Les Liaisons Dangereuses

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Overview

The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. Its prime movers, the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil—gifted, wealthy, and bored—form an unholy alliance and turn seduction into a game. And they play this game with such wit and style that it is impossible not to admire them, until they discover mysterious rules that they cannot understand. In the ensuing battle there can be no ...

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Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. Its prime movers, the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil—gifted, wealthy, and bored—form an unholy alliance and turn seduction into a game. And they play this game with such wit and style that it is impossible not to admire them, until they discover mysterious rules that they cannot understand. In the ensuing battle there can be no winners, and the innocent suffer with the guilty.
This new translation gives Laclos a modern voice, and readers will be able to judge whether the novel is as "diabolical" and "infamous" as its critics have claimed, or whether it has much to tell us about a world we still inhabit.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9782070368945
  • Publisher: Schoenhof's Foreign Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1972
  • Series: Folio Series
  • Edition description: French Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 503

Meet the Author

Christopher Hampton was born in the Azores in 1946. He wrote his first play, When Did You Last See Your Mother? at the age of eighteen. His work for the theatre, television and cinema includes The Philanthropist, adaptations of Ibsen and Moliere, and the screenplays Dangerous Liaisons, Carrington and The Secret Agent, the last two of which he also directed.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 83 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book is so good, its written in episoltory form and its so much more intriguing than it would be had it been a regular narration. You may not think that you can fully understand a story through letters passed among characters, but you can and it almost seems easier to understand. The book becomes slow moving towards the middle, but once the three main characteristics are introduced the story takes off again. Simply put this book is a great read!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2010

    Alrighty! Classic for a reason.

    Great study in narcissism. I mean, wonderfully vile people. Manipulative, self-absorbed characters who have not a single care in the world for the damage they're causing. They want their own entertainment and these little games are their diversions from the ennui of the French aristocracy. It's horrible how they take delight in deliberately inflicting misery upon others, and only for their own distraction. Don't we call that evil?

    Anyway, it'll keep you turning pages. My only complaint is the format. It's over 600 pages of letters, so you don't get a whole lot of setting or ambiance. Character development is the key feature on this one. One more complaint. Everyone sounds very similar. It's like everyone has the same speech patterns, or writing patterns since these are letters. Everyone must have used the same dictionary, because they all have the same vocabulary too. Pay attention and the letters draw out subtle nuances of each character, though.

    I think this needs to be on every high school required reading list.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    Love the book, Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and Cruel Intentions (

    Love the book, Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and Cruel Intentions (1999). All are wonderful tellings of this classic tale; and all make you think: Is everything really fair in love and war?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2010

    A must read!!!

    This was ten times better than the movie. The little intigues just draw the reader in. Another book I couldn't put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    amazing

    Starts off slowly, but you find yourself entirely engrossed by the hedonism of the aristocrats the story follows. The Marquise de Merteuil is a particularly enthralling character in her full embodyment of self serving cruelty.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2002

    Diabolically thrilling and sensationally moving.

    Dangerous Liaisons is about a wicked and satanically elegant Meretuil who was jilted by her lover Gercourt for the more innocent Cecile. She consults her malicious ex-lover and cohort Valmont to deflower the young bride, thus depriving Gercourt of the girl's innocence and piety. Feeling this is much to easy for the vindictive Casanova he makes Meretuil a much more complicated proposition. She is the virtuous Madame De Tourvel, who's beauty and goodness doom Valmont to violate his personal credo: Never Fall in Love. Suddenly the tables are turned on Meretuil, who will stop at absolutely nothing to make sure Valmont takes the hideous plunge headlong in a pit of unshakable destruction. It was a magnificent story about the complexities of love, seduction, and revenge.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2002

    A EROTICALLY ENTERTAINING, BRILLIANTLY STEAMING...SEX-CHARGED STORY

    Dangerous Liaisons is a marvelously thrilling work that drips with eroticism and entertainment. I really thought this was such an intelligent book that was written with such wit, style, and prose. The complex plot mirrors the world in which we live, and the demons in which we live amongst. A daring, original, inventive, clever, and smashingly sexy story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2002

    Entertaining Reading

    An excellent book for those looking to escape unbelievable or inanely moral works of literature. This book is formatted in the chronology of letters, which creates very realistic characters and sweeps the reader through time and place to 18th century France. Laclos does well to make his book seem like an accurate documentation of an event that actually took place, and unbeknownst to him, the book also tells a tale of just how wickedly bored the French aristocracy was prior to the French Revolution. A few times the book dawdles on and, as is common in books written prior to the 20th century, the emotional health of the female characters becomes irritatingly melodramatic. When I finished, however, I was pleased at having read this work, and greatly amused at the humorous and surprising fate of the evil Madame de Merteuil.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2001

    A Tangled Web Woven

    I just finished this book last night, and I only wish I hadn't seen the movie adaptations so that I'd be a little more intrigued. Written entirely in the format of letters sent between characters, Laclos gives each one his/her own identity. The subtle humour is fantastic; particularly with regards towards Madame de Merteuil at the end of the book. A bit tedious here and there, but most letters are.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2001

    2 thumbs up

    Not many people know this, but Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a basis for the movie, Cruel Intentions. I think that the book is better, as often books are. if you enjoyed the movie, which i did, you should get the book. It's plot twists and character development mentalities are a far cry better that some of the drivel writen today. Though short, it offers an alternative vantage point of the already popular teen flick. two thumbs up for the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2000

    If you like dirty French novels....

    You'll love this! This epistolary novel depicts the fascinating and rather creepy relationship of the Marquise de Mertuil and her former lover the Vicomte de Valmont. They amuse themselves by entangling with various members of the opposite sex, each trying to best the other. A compelling read, that as Andre Gide said, has 'much more instruction on morals than many a well-intentioned treatise.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 1999

    Cruel Intentions All over again

    This book is awseome! It beautifuly portrays the art of seduction and manipulation. No wonder such a great movie was made after i

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2012

    Cruel Intentions stole the whole plot of this book!

    Cruel Intentions stole the whole plot of this book!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2004

    woman plays and looses

    Very Erotical, old story how guys can get away with everythingthing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 1, 2013

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    Posted July 1, 2009

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    Posted November 4, 2010

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    Posted April 5, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2010

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    Posted February 4, 2013

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