I think this is the first book, since I’ve started the blog, that I’m not all that thrilled about. Before reading it I’ve looked through a couple of reviews to know what to expect, but even though I found the reviews accurate, I still felt like something was missing. Maybe a little more psychological presentation, I’m not sure…
Anyway, the first time I’ve heard of Marquis de Sade was at a literature class, while studying a poet who was influenced by him. And since I really liked the poem we were studying, I became curious of the works of Sade. This was actually the first I’ve read from him and the book does justice to its reputation. It’s highly disturbing, with many elements of a brutal, violent and disgusting manner.
The book presents the story of four Frenchmen, the Duc de Blangis, his brother the Bishop, the president de Curval and the banker Durcet, who are very liberal in their way of living and have an interesting view concerning sin and morality.
They decide to partake in a pleasurable experience (pleasurable from their point of view) and with the help of a few procuresses, kidnap eight young boys and girls, and take them, along with more hand picked people, to a secluded property of theirs. Here they spend 120 days, in which they commit horrible deeds of torture.
Each day, one of the four women, brought especially for this, tell five passions, stories from their experience and the four men are only allowed to repeat the deeds from the stories and the ones presented before, keeping “the best” for last. And I think everyone can assume that the best for them is the possible worst for their hopeless victims.
During the story we see Sade’s point of view concerning ethics and morality put into the mouths of his characters, and these ideas are rather interesting.
A thing that I liked was the storytelling, but it was ruined in places because of the language. I understand that it was meant to be demeaning and outspoken and what not, but it just seemed vulgar too me. And I don’t think that was what Sade was aiming for. But apart from that, I really liked the style.
I think it was good that I’ve read this book, because I think Sade is an important figure, and not only in literature, so this is a plus even general knowledge-wise. I’m not sure I would recommend it, because it’s not the sort of book you just recommend. But if you have my weird and morbid curiosity, then be my guest 😀
Oh, and if you didn’t guess it by know, it contains mature content. (for warning’s sake)
If you’d like to read it online, you can find it here: The 120 Days of Sodom.
Next time I’ll be presenting something a bit more decent: Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo”.
Until then, have a nice day and a nice read 🙂