This is a difficult book to read. Not because of graphic rape or violence depictions but because it is boring, illogical and repetitive as hell. I decThis is a difficult book to read. Not because of graphic rape or violence depictions but because it is boring, illogical and repetitive as hell. I decided to get some more taste of Marquis de Sade after reading The 120 days of sodom and had to constantly remind myself that it is an old book. It was written in XIX century. People used to be different. People had little knowledge about human body. Literature was different. Ugh. Too different for a modern reader. You don’t read it for fun. You read it to write a review how terrible it is, to get a glimpse of philosophy that was considered alternative those days and maybe to taste some history of how people lived more then a century ago. And it is still not that bad to give it up.
In the beginning of the book the author explains that his purpose in writing this book is to show through the story of one particularly pious (and very very unlucky) girl why is it more advantageous to be cruel then virtuous whether you like it or not. And so begins Justine’s journey to her personal hell. She becomes an orphan at the age of 12 and searches for work and shelter but constantly falls into the hands of people who want to take advantage of her. It seems from the story that every man and most women in France enjoy raping and torturing young boys and maidens. Or at least everybody who Justine meets on her way. Every man is a predator, every woman is a lustful lesbian and each time one of them sees such a virtuous girl a switch in their pants goes on and they find no rest until they torture, sodomise and humiliate her to fulfil their lust.
To increase her suffering each thinks of themselves as a libertine philosopher and hold it their duty to explain Justine why is she so wrong to keep her religiousness and virginity. Those explanations seem to go on forever: belief in god is ridiculous, nature made people cruel motherfuckers and there is no place for virtue in this world, parents have every right to murder their children, it is better to enjoy sex when the other partner suffers pain then to enjoy it together, there is no god, being bad is good, being good is bad, repeat, repeat, repeat ad nauseam. The funniest thing is that even uneducated thugs can talk philosophy and they talk it big time. Like they all have just run away from prison, they sit in a forest, Justine is almost raped and one of the criminals explains her in detail about life, death, universe and the absence of god.
The whole book is about how Justine meets a person who she considers good, how they turn out to be lustful beasts, a sadist’s explanation on why he or she is right to do what they do, 1001 ways Justine and other boys and girls get tortured, her not so glorious escape and search for new shelter. Rinse and repeat. And all of her tormentors tend to rip off her clothes so often that one can wonder if she carries a suitcase full of new clothes with her or she’d definitely end up walking around the country naked.
There are just no normal men in this novel. Everyone she meets is a pervert in some way or another. One hates women so much he can’t look at vagina, the other one likes to impregnate women and then kill their babies, the others enjoy slowly killing their victims and make them suffer as much as possible while these guys are having a dinner, a guy who likes women shit on their face (coprophilia seems to be de Sade’s favourite thing), a guy who likes to perform autopsy on living people etc. And each of them seems possessed with Justine, her virtue, her virginity and apparently her ass as well. I wonder how historically correct this book is. Was XIX century so fun that one could be kidnapped, raped and tortured at every corner? Or was it only de Sade’s wet dream? His biography says that he was known to abuse children and his house maids so probably it was a one man’s fantasy after all. If you like reading graphic content and don’t mind repetition and sometimes anatomical incorrectness, you’ll like the book. Otherwise it’ll only bore you. Might as well give you a good laugh too.
Speaking of the anatomy. In the beginning of the book Justine gets raped. Then several chapters later she’s being sodomised and a man tells her that he’s giving her a favour by not taking her virginity so that she can later get married and still be a cherry. What?! Didn’t the man notice she’s not a virgin or did the author forget what he wrote a couple of chapters before? Apparently de Sade “knows” what he’s talking about because several more chapters later she looses her virginity one more time. How’s so? Well that 1st time, the author explains was so long ago that Justine’s all tight there again and.. and she’s virtuous to and that makes her almost a virgin. Almost. I laughed my ass of with this idea....more
I read this one long ago at high school and liked it. Unlike many classical (pre 1900yr) books it was a fun and easy reading. I don't remember the detI read this one long ago at high school and liked it. Unlike many classical (pre 1900yr) books it was a fun and easy reading. I don't remember the details but rather my impression of it as witty book that lightly touches many 'serious' matters in a sarcastic way....more
I'm reading it because it's classical and I've heard about it a lot. Yet the only thing I'm thinking is how hard it is to read. The language is so denI'm reading it because it's classical and I've heard about it a lot. Yet the only thing I'm thinking is how hard it is to read. The language is so dense and basically it's just a 19th century chic lit (huh big surprise). To make it clear: I like classics. I enjoy books written in 19 - beginning of 20th centuries. I also can't tell this one is boring or unwitty just so hard really. Unfortunately I think this will be the 1st and last Jane Ostin's novel I am to ever read....more
Finished. First 2/3 of the book were so hard to read.
The novel is funny and sarcastic yet somehow I found it hard to read. I tried Heller's "SomethingFinished. First 2/3 of the book were so hard to read.
The novel is funny and sarcastic yet somehow I found it hard to read. I tried Heller's "Something happened" and couldn't stomach both plot, main character and style. Here I liked plot and even enjoyed the chaotic timeline, I like to follow the characters, but language... Smth felt wrong with it. But I really really enjoyed the book nonetheless. To the end it became sadder and sadder and I started feeling the story if you know what I mean. I'm glad I decided to read it even though I struggled in the beginning. it's really really good....more