Dangerous Liaisons

  • by Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
  • Narrated by Gabriel Woolf
  • 15 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) is a French epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.First published in four volumes by Durand Neveu from March 23, 1782, the book cause scandal on its release.
The story, composed entirely of letters written by the various characters to each other, tells of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade others,The story, composed entirely of letters written by the various characters to each other, tells of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade othersThe story, composed entirely of letters written by the various characters to each other, tells of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade others, uncaring of those who face social ruin or whose hearts are broken. It depicts a decadent and corrupt aristocracy exposing the perversions of the so-called Ancien Regime. The relevance of this grew due to the ensuing the French Revolution.
Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de Laclos (1741 - 1803) was a French novelist, official and army general.
Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

My new favourite thing!

18th century epistolary novel recounting the sexual intrigues and adventures of a pair of scheming French Libertines.

Really liked the way the letters are used to hide and to work parts of the plot instead of simply being a device that gives the characters a first-person voice.

Some interesting and disturbing psychological strategies are used between the main characters to goad each other and to trap and manipulate the hapless victims.

The letters are eloquent and quite amusing in a wicked sort of way, and the story is so fresh for something 233 years old. The audiobook is very well narrated by Gabriel Woolf using P.W.K Stone's very readable translation for Penguin (1961).

This recording is clear, but there are small hitches in the editing: small slips of the tongue have not been edited out, and about a paragraph of narrative is missing from 3:35:00 to 3:35:19 of letter 44 in part 1.
Read full review

- Monty

an interesting but very old fashioned book

I did enjoy this book but it was somewhat spoilt for me for having seen the excellent movie starring John Malkovich and Glenn Close (the updated version with Sarah Michelle Gellar is pretty good too). The movie managed to retain the complex relationships between the characters, and the moral ambiguity of the story, but it had a much sharper focus and narrative drive. The book, in contrast does not so much dwell on as wallow in the detail and to the modern reader it does drag, particularly in the middle; and it beggars belief somewhat that people wrote such long, articulate and closely argued letters to one another. On the plus side the prose is superb - like eating a large and rich box of chocolates.

The book caused quite a scandal in its day - in the years just before the French revolution ( I think the author had a minor role in this but cant remember the details). Narration is superb and sound quality fine for what must be quite an old recording.

I confess I preferred the movie so in all honesty could not recommend the book unless you are keen on 18th century French literature.
Read full review

- Tom

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-01-2009
  • Publisher: RNIB