Les liaisons dangereuses

Author Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Vote 5/10
Reviewed on 2019-12-29
Read in French

Also given the year of its publication (1782), this book is modern and surprising.

It’s a disturbing window on a world of extreme decadence, where a lascivious private life corresponds to a great display of prudery in public. The aristocratic society of the years immediately preceding the French Revolution appears in all its convoluted and degenerated aspects. And of course, it’s the mirror of any society where one class has reached a level of well being that makes it bored and in search of secret perversions.

I have generally appreciated the plot and the epistolary form. Even with all the positive aspects I have listed above, I can’t say I liked the book. What I liked the least was some stagnation in the plot. It took longer than expected for the action to get anywhere and to come to its (tragic!) conclusion. I blame the impatience to which the modern novel has made me grown accustomed to. I had to put in some effort to finish it.

Overall, for all the surprises found along the way, it’s a book I’d recommend, especially if you want to rebel a bit against conformism.