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Les Liaisons Dangereuses

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  402 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
The scandalous reputation of Laclos's novel, first published in 1782, is based on its chilling portrayal of the mannered decadence and sexual cynicism of the French aristocracy in the last years of the ancien regime. Christopher Hampton has made a masterful adaptation for the stage of the conspiracy to corrupt a young girl barely out of her convent.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 2nd 1985 by Faber & Faber
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Steve Mayer
Mar 05, 2016 Steve Mayer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much fun to read as it was to see.
Over the years I have seen many theatre productions of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' master work, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, read more than one full translation of the novel, and seen both Steven Frears' film version, which uses Christopher Hampton's script, and Milos Forman's film version.

None of these prepare you for Hampton's script of Dangerous Liaisons.

Stripped of the movement and motion of a stage production, of the light and colour of film, and of the intervening narrative passages of the bo
Sep 22, 2014 Dark-Draco rated it really liked it
This was a short, yet fascinating read. A tale of two French aristocrats, playing off each other as they scheme to bring ruin and revenge to perceived enemies. There's a glorious sense of decadence and deceit - the constant needling of the two protagonists is brilliant and there is a sense of humour that I wasn't expecting - the scene where Valmont writes to his target using a lover as a desk is just genius. This has made me want to read the full novel or see the play/film, as I really would lik ...more
Dec 01, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crackling repartee highlight this play of some pretty nasty people, being nasty to others and ultimately themselves.
Oct 01, 2016 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
I only read the two hour Audible abridged version. It was fast-paced and fairly clear that important things were being left out. It's possible I would have liked it better in full, but I didn't enjoy the Audiobook enough to go out and read it.
Les Liasons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton adapted from Choderlos de Laclos

Les Liasons Dangereuses are quite famous- I tend to use the expression: “liaisons dangereuses” and I have heard it, read it in The Economist as title or in the text of articles. I am not sure how famous the book is, or if most of the people who use the words have at least seen the film.
I was talking with an educated woman who did not know about the film. It is a must- see film- with the excellent John Malkovich in th
Oct 25, 2016 Lee rated it liked it
Normally I don’t read abridged editions, much less full cast dramatizations. Yet this time I’m glad that I accidentally read the short version (Hampton’s play based on the book, read by the cast of the 2016 revival), just the right dose for these contemptible characters. Any longer, and the sugary charm that covers their depravity would cloy and curdle. They live up (down?) to the worst stereotypes of decadent French aristocrats, but as the novel was written in 1782, they may well be the origina ...more
Jul 10, 2007 Cheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama-british
I would give anything to go back in time and see the first production of this starring Alan Rickman, I'm sure he was fantastic as Le Vicomte de Valmont, and Fiona Shaw as Mme de Volanges sounds amazing. It's such a witty, well written play. The places where it breaks from period and uses modern vernacular are especially wonderful. It's one of the rare plays that's a good read and a great play in production.
Oct 17, 2013 Megi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the time of the period that is used in this play, but for some reason I just don't like the relationships that characters have between each other. For me, it just too dramatic. Some people may love the idea of the whole betrayal and blackmailing people, but I'm not really fan of reading this type of readings.
Mar 04, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Horrible, mean, vindictive...perfect theatre. I absolutely love this. Wonderful, awful characters. And this is a great adaptation. The only part I don't like is the end. I feel there should be much more of a 'comeupance' for Madame de M - all you get is the hint that the older lady knows the truth and the 'shadow of the guillotine'.
Nov 17, 2016 catechism rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre
Stripped-down, brutal, compelling. I was expecting it to end the way the movie did, with Valmont getting his revenge from beyond the grave by having Merteuil's letters released. But no, he gets his revenge because Merteuil wins and is all the more miserable for it. I had to think about that, but now that I've done so, I like it a lot more.
Harry McDonald
Feb 13, 2016 Harry McDonald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, read-in-2016
Christopher Hampton's masterly adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' novel premiered 30 years ago, and yet it's exacting portrayal of sex, plotting and revenge remains totally riveting. His command of language - this may well be the only play in English to be comprised largely of double entendres - and his creation of utterly brilliant characters led to me loving this - rather unexpectedly.
Liz Chapman
Mar 05, 2010 Liz Chapman rated it it was amazing
MMmm mmm. Sex, power, revenge, manipulation, and more sex. Mostly tastefully done, with a few exceptions, but an excellent "tragedy of manners" showing the disastrous results of perverting sex to be a tool of manipulation and power, rather than a means to express affection and commitment.
Great play by Christopher Hampton, which was later made into the movie with Glenn Close and John Malkovich. The play is far more explicit and decadent, so truer to Laclos' intentions, and it has quite a few great one-liners. Valmont is an absolutely fantastic character, and so is the Marquise.
Mar 27, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it
Very earthy. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos describes seduction and intrigue among the French Aristocracy in this minor classic. The book contains letters written from conspirers and lovers to their partners...with amusing plot tangles. Laclos' book was published in 1782.
Mike Jensen
Feb 20, 2015 Mike Jensen rated it really liked it
Hampton's disturbing play from Pierre Choderlos de Laclos disturbing novel about games of emotional cruelty bouncing back on those who play them.
Jan 17, 2012 Loni rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
Hilarious! Such a good, appropriate ending. Well-constructed web of relationships and revelations. Drama. Very entertaining.
Nov 07, 2015 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply am enthralled and in love with this play. Even more so knowing the story was written by a teacher, revolutionist and feminist in the 1700's. Loved this play-read as good as any book!
Mar 21, 2009 Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: script
The movie was based on this script which was based on the original book. I also directed this back in college and think it is a great story.
A play should not be read, it should be seen. Nevertheless, I read this play, for class, and I enjoyed it well enough.
the gift
great play, compare to book, to film...all good.
Jan 05, 2017 jcp rated it really liked it
Booth Theater, NYC
Janet McTeer
Liev Schreiber
Carolyn Stevens Shank
Sep 04, 2013 Carolyn Stevens Shank rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a third reading of the Laclos classic...Each time I enjoy it more!
Bobby Sullivan
Nov 11, 2013 Bobby Sullivan rated it it was amazing
One of the best plays I've ever read. Wow.
Apr 08, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, plays-seen
Great play. Great production.
Dec 08, 2016 Kayley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre
Ugh. This play drives me nuts. The writing has a tendency to have a "show not tell" approach. Terrible ex machina to say the least.
Jun 19, 2010 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The letters get progressively unbearable.
Feb 20, 2016 Claine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, audiobook
I unwittingly read an abridged version, so this score is unfair. I hope I to read a complete version of it soon.
Jul 22, 2008 Logan rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite plays. The script is smart, well-paced, and full of delicious barbs and wit. Plus, I'm a total sucker for a good period piece.
Mar 15, 2016 Marc rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, drama
My review is for the play adapted by Christopher Hampton - who also wrote the script for the film version. It's excellent - now I want to read the novel and re-watch the film ...
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Christopher James Hampton CBE, FRSL is a British playwright, screen writer and film director. He is best known for his play based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses and the film version Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and also more recently for writing the nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement.

Hampton became involved in the theatre while studying German and French at
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