Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “L'Abbé C” as Want to Read:
L'Abbé C
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

L'Abbé C

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  471 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Startling narrative of the intense and terrifying relationship between twin brothers; Charles, a modern libertine is dedicated to vice and depravity; Robert is a priest so devout that he is nicknamed L'Abbe. Essentially a psychological novel.
Paperback, 158 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Marion Boyars Publishers (first published 1950)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about L'Abbé C, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about L'Abbé C

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-46)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 15, 2013 Tony rated it it was ok
Shelves: french
I couldn't spoil this plot if I tried. I would have to find the plot first. Although I found part of it which I will render as a multiple choice test.

Who left the load under the window while Charles and Eponine were having unspecified sex?

a) The priest.

b) The butcher.

c) Both of the above.

d) None of the above.

Sorry, but, well, I prefer my allegories to be not quite so shitty.

Everybody except an unnamed 'Editor' dies, but not in any cool, shocking or even interesting manner. Like the sex, it is u
Sep 13, 2011 Of_the_muse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those who fully commit themselves to the depths of L'abbe C,
a vexing paradox arises: the necessity of verbalizing a profound
experience and the impossibility of ever giving such profundity
a justifiable expression. Undoubtedly, L'abbe C was Bataille's compromise.
Unlike The Story of the Eye, this novel examines the links between religious and spiritual ecstasy more comparatively than subversively. As Robert's pious solitude erupts into a desire to satisfy his flesh, Charles' debauchery slowly
Sep 04, 2012 Rhys rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed by this novel. I might as well get that out in the open immediately. However, I do realise that it’s an important work and that Bataille’s ideas, themes and concerns are of the highest quality. *L'Abbé C* is fundamentally about the fatal aspects of utter sincerity. The story is a parody of fin de siècle ‘decadent’ novels: two brothers, twins, one of whom is a paragon of virtue, the other a depraved hedonist, are both corrupted by a woman in different ways. Bataille’s intensity ...more
Deniz Balcı
Bataille her zaman okunmak için yüksek krediye sahip yazarlardan. Yapıtları bir bulmacayı andırıyor çoğu zaman. Chiviyazıları'ndan çıkan 'Göz'ün Hikayesi' her açıdan büyük bir filozofun görüşlerini barındırır içinde. Ayrıntı Yayınları'ndan çıkan 'Annem' toplamasında ki; kısa öykülerden, mini romanlara kadar her eseri de aynı derinliğe sahipken; bir yandan da kendine has muğlak bir çizgide yazılmıştır. Rahip C.'de onların yanına yakışır cinsten. Tartışmalı ve düşündürücü bir kurgusu var. Okumaya ...more
Aug 07, 2011 Chortle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poets
Shelves: fiction
Generous 4 stars. It is better read by poets and should not be ignored because the language and descriptions are very wonderful and why I'm giving the 4 instead of the 3.
Over my head, I probably understood half of the book, maybe a quarter of the book.

The characters are philosophically obsessed drama queens. Over and over again: always ill at ease, uncomfortable, questioning their morality , thinking about death, being sick, or dying. The descriptions of their angst ridden conditions is poetic,
Jan 11, 2009 Saxon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'abbe C is Bataille's first novel and you can somewhat tell. Underlying philosophical themes of the novel tend to steer the story too much and Bataille seems stuck between surrealist tendencies and developing realistic characters whom he can utilize to make commentary on the human condition. That being said, this book is infectiously dark and eerie. A story about a brother attempting to make his twin brother who is a priest sleep with his favorite whore is enough to make me like it enough. A fr ...more
I found this tale of twin brothers very dark. Charles, seeking his pleasure and Robert the sombre priest seemed to me to be hell-bent on destroying each other in a version of the eternal triangle. Charles met with Eponine, the young prostitute the men had known since childhood, at every chance he could find but she was determined to bed Robert, who in turn was obsessed by her but tormented by illness and his religion. An un-named narrator who is the friend of Charles is given the task of publish ...more
A most strange work. Not quite sure what he was trying to say. The language is rich and sonorous, the themes - the corruption of man and woman. Sartre says that Bataille has survived the death of God, I am not so sure.
About two-thirds of the way through, I finally started to understand what was happening, and the postscript made it seem a worthwhile read. One day I should probably re-read it knowing the outcome, but it'll be a long time before I undertake that goal. It's definitely a bit over my head.
Zachary Mclean
I thought this story was very hard to follow as the author seemed to bounce back and forth from his own thoughts to one characters thoughts to anothers. It was, however, philosophically shocking and thus recommended since what doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger.
Inez Parra
the only reason this book gets three instead of four stars is because it left me more frustrated than i was prepared to be. we wandered in circles until i was dizzy and uncertain of who felt love and who was just plain out of their heads...but i suppose this is life.
Scott Gillespie
Nov 16, 2008 Scott Gillespie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: toliet-paper
At page 117 I closed this dreary book.
Jun 20, 2008 Jonathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
With angstful, adjective-heavy, sophmoric descriptions like "bilious nuns and slovenly maids" on every page, this book is no "Story of the Eye." Don't waste your time.
Mika Busch
Jun 11, 2016 Mika Busch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are not familiar with Georges Bataille's version of Erotic Fiction, this is a wonderful place to start and quite possibly the best place to end. Bataille expresses a philosophy of spiritual decadence in both his works of fiction and non fiction and the depths he is willing to lower his characters are at times shocking beyond mere erotica, beyond pornography and certainly beyond decency.

Not this book. It is beautifully written, subtle and I remember the moment I was when he tied everything
Mar 10, 2015 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure if I devoted more time to the novel, I would find much more that was interesting and compelling in the narrative and what Batailles is trying to get at here. The book seems to lend itself to a psychoanalytic reading...Jungian with Charles and Robert representing animus and anima (or maybe Charles representing animus and Eponine representing anima) or a Freudian reading with the brothers representing id and superego. The two novels by Batailles that I have read seem to carry a great deal ...more
Yasemin Şahin
Oct 14, 2015 Yasemin Şahin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Art arda Bataille okumak çok iyi bir fikirdi. İkiz kardeş olan ve biri rahip olan iki erkek ve bir kadın arasında geçiyor denilebilir. Zaman zaman Jules at Jim filmi tadında bir kurguya hapsolsam da, değil. Kadının Rahip C.yi elde edememişliği, onun kendisine ilgisizliği onu çıldırtır. Rahip C. üzerinde kardeşi vasıtasıyla baskı uygular. Bir rahip olmanın ve bu denli arzulanmanın kendi üzerindeki zorluklarını çok iyi aktarmıştır Bataille. Yine birinci tekil şahıs kullanılmış bu da okumayı çok ko ...more
Donald Travis
I have never read a more erotic novel that no overt sex scenes. For this alone, this novel merits the three stars. This is not to say that the book is not maddening and manipulative...boy, is it. Many will simply feel jipped, others(as you can see) felt someone that you follow around all day because youve convinced yourself that at the end of the day there will be a payoff. Don't look for a payoff here, you'll just get angry. Instead, revel in the mastery of the bi ...more
Sean Homrig
Whoa. Sex, death, disparity, and guilt, all wrapped up in less than 160 pages. The story is told poetically, although I admit my mind wandered a bit, as reading this was akin to trying an exotic cuisine for the first time; I'll need to try it again for my untrained palette to really appreciate it. There should, however, be some sort of warning label on the cover about reading this when one is depressed.
Nandini Pradeep J
Sep 08, 2014 Nandini Pradeep J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At once, it is compelling fiction and an analysis of the human mind. Till the very end, you're left wondering what it is that Charles is trying to not say about his brother..Does he really not? What it is that he decides to leave incomplete.. At what point do you give up.. so on and so forth... L'Abbe C makes me want to go back and read Story of the Eye once more.
Ashley Husemoller
Have you ever watched a movie because it happened to be on TV but you started it, like, halfway through so sometimes they'll start talking about things that happened earlier in the movie and you have no clue what they're talking about? That's how I felt with this book. It's a fast read and pleasant enough, I just felt like I had missed something...
"I have in my mind an obscenity so great that I could vomit the most dreadful words and it wouldn't be enough"

Bataille spews less than what most might view as obscene saying more in spartan texts fluid gushing evocation. Scatters of truth slide languidly down the wall post bursts of anguish sidled with emotional gore.
Two brothers betray and ultimately destroy those that they love best.
Ignė Sutemos
Jun 28, 2015 Ignė Sutemos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gyvenimo vertinimas turi prasmę tik tada, kai išklausoma nuomonė to, kuris kalbėjo paskutinis, ir protas nevaržomas tik tada, kai visi vienu metu šaukia ir vienas kito negirdi.
Jun 22, 2014 Anton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book seller approached me on a train headed to Sevastopol with a knife and the words "This book is distilled poison."
Nov 04, 2007 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a thing for twins, and this novel by Bataille is the ultimate 'twins' story. Erotica that is almost revolutionary.
Feb 05, 2016 Kenneth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Nov 09, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. Not his best.
The imagery Bataille conjures is dark and grotesque and you cannot pull away.
Alexander Van Morguen
Alexander Van Morguen rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2017
Maddy rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2009
Nikki rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2011
Emilia marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2011
Niel rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2012
Mingus added it
Jun 14, 2012
Seán rated it did not like it
Jul 10, 2012
Bill rated it liked it
Jun 01, 2013
Tara A
Tara A rated it did not like it
Jun 14, 2013
David rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2013
Wes rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2013
Ruadhri marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
Brian rated it liked it
Dec 27, 2014
Wizze rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2016
Hal Johnson
Hal Johnson rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2017
Lauren rated it liked it
Apr 23, 2007
Tim rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2007
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Vice Consul (Pantheon Modern Writers Original)
  • Arcanum 17 (Green Integer)
  • Death Sentence
  • Impressions of Africa
  • Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep
  • The Bells of Basel
  • The Ogre
  • Manon des Sources (L'eau des collines, #2)
  • The Roots of Heaven
  • Claudine's House
  • Jealousy
  • The Opposing Shore
  • The Temptation of St. Antony
  • Thaïs
  • Fantômas (Fantômas, #1)
  • Moravagine
  • The Book of Monelle
  • Last Nights of Paris
French essayist, philosophical theorist and novelist, often called the "metaphysician of evil." Bataille was interested in sex, death, degradation, and the power and potential of the obscene. He rejected traditional literature and considered that the ultimate aim of all intellectual, artistic, or religious activity should be the annihilation of the rational individual in a violent, transcendental ...more
More about Georges Bataille...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“…I felt as if I were living only in order to be more aware that I was dead.” 2 likes
“The fascination of sleep, which pits the lure of the void against the obstinacy of an impotent will, is an obstacle that life has perhaps never surmounted.” 1 likes
More quotes…