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Thérèse

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,618 ratings  ·  80 reviews
From the moment she walks from court having been charged with attempting to poison her husband, to her banishment, escape to Paris, and final years of solitude and waiting, the life of Therese Desqueyroux is passionate and tortured.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 1927)
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Kevin I studied this for my French A level and as difficult the story was to read, this actually took my interest. I enjoyed this greatly, however have not…moreI studied this for my French A level and as difficult the story was to read, this actually took my interest. I enjoyed this greatly, however have not yet watched the movie(less)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Stranger by Albert CamusThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Best French Literature
91st out of 557 books — 1,043 voters
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldWinnie-the-Pooh by A.A. MilneAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest HemingwayThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Best Books of the Decade: 1920's
159th out of 314 books — 587 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mariel
May 04, 2015 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: you might as well just go to sleep
Recommended to Mariel by: Eddie
I know nothing of love save that it is the constant object of my desire, a desire that possesses me and blinds me, setting my feet on the ways of the waste land, dashing me against the walls, forcing me into bogs and quagmires, stretching me exhausted in the muddy ditches of life.

Run away, Thérèse. The trees where she suffered alone moan that is human. She's not alone. Mauriac is right that it is a huge family, the unresting, and a recognition would burn like an outbreak of forest fire. I don't
...more
Luís Miguel
Notam-se ecos da tradição Faubertiana em Mauriac. Thérese D. pertence àquela categoria de livros grandes demais para o número de páginas que albergam. Deve-o à densidade da escrita e ao que se intui da mesma. Neste livro conhecemos a ilustre Thérese, logo à saída do julgamento onde foi absolvida pela tentativa de homicídio do marido, por envenenamento. Através de analepses descobrimos a sua personalidade e o seu móbil, compreendemos o seu crime, para no fim a julgar. Manteremos o veredicto?

Este
...more
booklady
François Mauriac begins Thérèse Desqueyroux with her criminal case being dismissed. Accused of poisoning her husband, Thérèse, is acquitted by Bernard’s own felonious testimony only to become victim herself of a virtual house arrest as much for propriety’s sake as punitive vengeance. The family has closed ranks to hide the dirty secret of her guilt, determined Thérèse will remain captive in one room for the remainder of her life. And yet it’s Thérèse’s ambivalence about the crime which confounds ...more
Eddie Watkins
Compassionate disgust. That’s how I’d sum up Mauriac’s view of humanity, or rather not of humanity but of the flesh of which humanity is composed. But this “flesh” extends beyond the actual flesh into all the background, all the buried impulses and motivations that lurk within our lives, leading our flesh into situations and traps, leaving it stranded and suffering and vying for an out, or at least a moment of tainted pleasure. The receptacle for this compassionate disgust in this volume is Ther ...more
Denis
An indelible memory - I read this French classic a long time but have never forgotten it. Not sure if it's translated in English, but it certainly deserves to be discovered in this country. Mauriac is one of the great masters of the French language, and this novel is, deservedly so, one of his most famous and most celebrated. The title character, a murderess, is fascinating and her story is riveting. It's also a formidable portrait of French bourgeoisie.
Helynne
The full title of this novel is acutally Therese Desqueroux, and the inclusion of the protagonist's married surname is important to the theme. Francois Mauriac, who wrote most of his novels in the 1920s through the 1950s, is sometimes known as France's Catholic writer, but he was a rather uneasy Catholic who questioned orthodoxy and tended to write more sympathetically towards his characters who were in one kind or another of a personal or spiritual crisis. This 1926 novel asks the reader to co ...more
Laura
There is a new movie version of this book but I always want to read the book first.

A gift from my brother.

This novel is based on a true story when in May 2006, the author attended the trial of the poisoner Mrs. Canaby: L’affaire des Chartrons.



Therese, as well as Madame Bovary in some way, lives in her own world since her husband is not able to understand her feelings. Even with the birth of their daughter, their faith won't change any more.

The author uses the flashback technique in order to tel
...more
Friederike Knabe
Having recently watched the 2012 film version of Francois Mauriac classic novel, I felt the need to go back to the original novel that I read decades ago when I was in my late teens. Reading Therese Desqueyroux with a twenty first century lens, I was fascinated by Mauriac's complex and multi-faceted presentation of her "case". Inspired by a "fait divers" concerning an actual court case that he read in his youth, Mauriac became deeply drawn to the young woman at the centre of it: what motivated h ...more
verena
une petite déception je dois l'avouer. Je trouve le récit tout d'abord assez daté dans son style. Deuxièmement, je considère la plume de Mauriac terriblement masculine. Je ne suis par partisane de la "gender literature" attention, néanmoins j'ai profondément ressenti le "genre" de l'auteur derrière ses écrits. Lorsque Mauriac expose les pensées profondes de Thérèse, à chaque fois, je me suis dit "voilà une remarque peu féminine". J'ai trouvé Thérèse peu attachante, je ne me suis pas investi dans ...more
Celeste
Apesar de Thérèse Desqueyroux não ser uma Emma Bovary, não quero deixar de salientar que um pouco como Flaubert afirmou "Madame Bovary sou eu, por mim mesmo", também François Mauriac se referiu à personagem deste livro nas seguintes palavras:"Thérèse, muitos dirão que não existes. Mas eu sei que tu existes, eu que há anos te espio e por vezes te travo o passo e te desmascaro”.

"Thérèse Desqueyroux"(1927) é um romance psicológico que parte de um caso verídico que chocou a sociedade francesa da ép
...more
Lobstergirl
Jul 11, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Toonces
Shelves: covers, own, fiction, anchors
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julieta Paradiso
Sans trop dévoiler, je vais tout simplement dire que cette histoire est bien du Mauriac. On y rencontre ses personnages tourmentés, l’hypocrisie des familles, le climat lourd qui semble tout envelopper…
L’écrivain tel un analyste des passions essai de jeter de la lumière sur le mal, son origine, son déclic, ses motivations, ses conséquences. Or est-il possible de fouiller si profondément dans les tréfonds de l’âme humaine? Une chose est claire : le mal, ou le péché, est un vrai mystère.
J’ai moin
...more
Cat {Wild Night In}
Just finished reading this and I'm in two minds as to how I feel about the novel. On the one hand, there is so much going on in every sentence: Thérèse's mind is so fast and she knows her mind very well. This contrasts with the provincial world and people around her.

At times I pitied her, at others almost admired her, but there's something about her total indifference to the world (or was it her loneliness?) that half-repulsed me. I'll try reading it in English at some point in the future to see
...more
Antenna
Inspired from his youth by the real-life case of Blanche Canaby, accused of the attempted murder of her husband, Mauriac developed the classic tale of Thérèse Desqueyroux, a character who fascinated him so much that she figures in two subsequent novels.

In the opening chapter, the charge of poisoning her husband Bernard is dropped against Thérèse Desqueyroux, after he has lied to "get her off the hook" for the sake of appearances. The rest of this short novel is an exploration of why she committe
...more
Vincent
e livre étonnant nous plonge dans les tourments d'une femme de la bonne bourgeoisie du sud-ouest qui tente d'assassiner son mari. Tout le livre est une enquête pour connaître les motivations et fouiller l'âme de cette femme brillante mais aliénée. L'élégance de l'écriture offre un contraste saisissant avec la violence des sentiments et du propos. C'est vif, brillamment construit, fin : on ne décroche pas de ce court roman.
Czarny Pies
Aug 31, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone curious about this Nobel Literature Prize Winning author.
Recommended to Czarny by: It was on Prof. Vercollier's course reading list
Shelves: french-lit
This is without a doubt the masterpiece of Francois Mauriac, the Winner of the 1952 Nobel Prize Literature. It is the story of an arranged marriage involving the provincial nobility of France. Our heroine Therese finds her husband to be such an unspeakable bore that she attempts to get out of her marriage by attempting to poison him She administers a good number of doses of arsenic before the pharmacist turns her in. Her good-natured if boring husband agrees to grant her a divorce.

The characteri
...more
Ruth
This book wasn't very easy to read in French, but it is certainly very well written. The style is very poetic, which contributes to the difficulty but also to the beauty of this book. The psychology of the different characters is deeply explored. As a result, I felt deeply for Thérèse, who suffers terribly. Mauriac depicts the emotions of the protagonist very well, which renders this novel really compelling.
Andrei Turcu
I was driven to read "something" by Mauriac heaving read that he won the Nobel prize. Currently reading "Vipers nest" I must agree with the critics that Therese Desqueyroux is the author's fist "big" novel, announcing something even bigger. The book is constructed as an autobiography of the main character, who remembers her past and reveals all the facts that brought her to a particular situation. I liked how the author solved the puzzle of Therese's life gradually in a comfortable pace. I also ...more
Samuel Peliska
A fascinating novel in which an unhappy young wife tries to poison her husband, but for reasons that are not clear even to herself. Mauriac examines how even someone as intelligent and adept at self-examination as Thérèse can remain a mystery to herself. He also shows how such institutions as religion and the family can become stifling and even inhumane when charity is superceded by materialism and obsession with social (and political) correctness. Raymond Mackenzie's new translation is wonderfu ...more
Hoda
Very nice and emotional. It left me a bit dissatisfied, because I think it would've included more twists. But I loved it :)
Vittorio Ducoli
Quando il cattolicesimo non è dogmatico

François Mauriac è uno scrittore francese oggi forse un po' dimenticato. Eppure è stato, per un cinquantennio, un'epoca cruciale che va dagli anni '20 alla fine degli anni '60 del secolo scorso, uno degli intellettuali francesi più noti e influenti. Cattolico, unì all'impegno letterario quello civile: si schierò contro il franchismo in Spagna e la Repubblica di Vichy, e nel dopoguerra condannò il colonialismo francese e la repressione in Algeria. Nel 1952 g
...more
Greg Fanoe
Nobel Prize Project
Year: 1952
Winner: François Mauriac

Review: This volume consists of Mauriac's two novels about Thérèse, Thérèse Desqueyroux and The End of the Night, as well as two short stories about her life. Collectively the two novels, especially Thérèse Desqueyroux.

The issue is that these novels mix together the traditional novel and traditional themes with hints of modernism in a way that makes it feel very dated. This has not aged well. I'm glad I read the books, because they are well
...more
Martina
An incredibly powerful yet fragile image of Therese resonate in ones mind long after finishing the book. Therese was an only child of very conservative and carrier interested man. Her mother died shortly after giving her birth and except for old, half deaf Aunt Clara there was not other woman influence in Therese's life. Therese grows up mostly in the company of her father and his man friends debating business around the dinning table and loosing herself in books and studies. She seams not to h ...more
Melanie
Que dire de ce livre? Je ne l'ai pas aimé, mais pas détesté. Disons seulement qu'il était bien. Bizarrement, j'ai bien aimé le personnage de Thérèse, même si parfois elle était contradictoire.

A mon avis, le milieu du livre était plus intéressant parce que c'est à ce moment qu'on connait la raison derrière l'empoisonnement de Bernard. (view spoiler)
...more
Gabrielle
J'avoue que lorsque j'ai remarqué la chronologie aux premières pages, j'ai trouvé ce livre un peu ennuyant. Mais quand Thérèse dévoile ses pensées et ses sentiments, là j'ai compris que Francois Mauriac est un génie. Thérèse Desqueyroux est une femme complexe, contrairement à son mari Bernard et Anne, qui eux s'avèrent etre simples et ne se posent pas de questions sur leur existance. Je trouve que la personnalité de Thérèse, bien que cruelle à première vue, reflète l'émancipation de la femme et ...more
Gaellooo
Au début de ma lecture, j'ai eu un peu de mal à situer la période durant laquelle se déroule l'histoire. La narration m'a un peu destabilisée, en ce sens qu'on ne sait pas pourquoi un non lieu a été rendu. On ignore ce qui est reproché à Thérèse. On parle d'une fameuse ordonnance et du faux témoignage de son mari. Tout ceci reste bien mystérieux. Thérèse a, pour moi, un comportement étrange voire très bizarre. Elle ne se réjouit de rien. Elle paraît détachée de tout.

Le style est difficile à app
...more
M
Therese's depression, the torment of her utter indifference, really resonated with me. I loved this:
"What was there to fear? This night would pass like other nights; tomorrow's sun would rise. Whatever happened, she would come through. There could be nothing worse in store for her than this feeling of utter indifference, this sense of complete detachment which seemed to have cut her off from the rest of the world, and even from herself. She was tasting death now as surely as the living can ever
...more
Elin Nilsson
It was interesting reading it, maybe because it reminded me a lot of "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert, only "Thérèse Desqueyroux" is written about half a century later. Maybe a more modern version of "Madame Bovary"? Anyway Thérèse has me interested from the beginning, her behaviour is something out of the ordinary and extremely destructive. As most of these old important classical works it didn't seem to have a proper ending. It always bothers me.
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François Charles Mauriac was a French writer and a member of the Académie française. He was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in Literature "for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life." Mauriac is acknowledged to be one of the greatest Roman Catholic writers of the 20th century.
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“The effort of explaining, even of expressing himself, had become, with the years, more and more terrifying to him. Whether from laziness or from inability to find the right words, he had developed almost a passion for silence.” 13 likes
“What a fool she was ever to have imagined that there might be some place in the world where she could sink to the earth with the knowledge that there were people round her who understood, who perhaps even admired and loved her! She was fated to carry loneliness about with her as a leper carries his scabs. 'No one can do anything for me: no one can do anything against me.” 11 likes
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