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The Shackle

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Renee Nere is now 36 - it is three years after she leaves Max and she sees him again with his wife and young child.

He doesn't even recognize her, and she in turn feels nothing for him. Renee is now living as an independent woman on a small income from an inheritance. She has left the music hall and is thinking once again of writing seriously. This time, however, she falls
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 1976 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1913)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
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Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: colette
Un viaggio nella mente e nel cuore di una donna.
Di tutte le donne, forse?
E' bellissimo.
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adooooooore all Colette's writing...this is no exception.
More thoughts to come...

Not as compelling as The Claudine stories but I appreciated the style and the way she dissects the flawed self of her character Renée, whose perceptiveness and analysis always keeps her one step ahead of any eventuality, so that nothing appears to happen spontaneously.

Renée is 36, single (has been mariired) and has come into an inheritance that makes her financially dependent, so she is trying on that lifestyle after having been an actress in the theatre. She likes to
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This novel is delicious (sensual pleasure) and merciless (games women and men who are sexually attracted play). From what other reviewers say, maybe I enjoy it so much because I have not read Vagabond. But that will be next.

To me, Renee is lost. There is no real resting place for her outside of sensual pleasure. I haven't read the Thurman bio for quite some time (wish I still had that), but I don't remember Colette being really content with anyone or anything that is completely hers. She's a
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, reviewed
As with a lot of her work, the plot is deceptively simple but holds a lot of insight into human feeling. It's a rather sad book, dealing with a stage where a woman is leaving youth behind, and becoming rootless.

The 'captor' of the book, Jean, is also leaving behind the irresponsibility of youth. He could have been written as just another tediously handsome twink, but Colette writes him subtly and with sympathy. Both characters have flaws which seem organic parts of their characters.

It looks
Gina Rheault
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Circa 1900, naughty ladies and lace in a foofy hotel in Nice, difficult to read first person meanderings. Twenty pages in, a big question: Do I really care??? The answer, a resounding NO. And thus, abandoned, like Fifty Shades of Gray to which it is sometimes compared. Not interesting to me. Others may differ.
Vicki Roberts
Not as good as The Vagabond, but still loved studying her writing!
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After retiring from the stage, 36 year old Renee finds herself a friendless 'old maid'. She is neither rich nor poor, ugly nor beautiful, just someone who is accustomed to picking up and moving to a new city and hotel with no one to meet her there. She falls in with a group in Nice that consists of a pretty young woman, the lover who beats her and his opium-addicted weirdo friend. When the young lover begins paying attention to Renee she tries to resist but he arouses the long-dormant need to ...more
Molly Ringle
The language is still beautiful and eerily relatable, just as in The Vagabond. But this Renee seems like someone so much more aimless and weak than the Renee we knew in The Vagabond. She had such potential and inner strength, and now all she's doing is moving from hotel to hotel and letting slightly insane people soak up all her time. Mind you, I do like the mischievous, clever Jean better as a romantic interest than Max, who was all too dependable and dull. But even so, it felt like Renee's ...more
Megan Chance
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Shackle is the sequel to The Vagabond, and it follows Renee Nere as she struggles to reconcile her need for independence and self-sufficiency with the demands of a passionate love affair. Colette's writing is so deceptively, beautifully simple that she pulls you in before you've quite realized it. It is also beautifully on-point emotionally. I loved this one.
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't enjoy this one much. My copy's title is translated as The Captive. I'm guessing it's the same book based on the synopsis. I didn't realize that it was a sequel, so perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the 1st one.
May 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this had a lot of live up to, being the sequel to the vagabond, which is one of my very favorite colette books (yes, better than the claudine books), one i have a personal, not critic-eyeballing attachment to. and still given that, it was quite good.
Dina Rahajaharison
"Je veille, comme peuvent le faire toutes celles qui, neuves ou blasées, commencent ou recommencent leur vie, anxieuses contre le flanc d'un homme endormi."
Angela Natividad
Jan 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably my least favourite Colette novel, if only because it glories in the ruin of the proud vagabond she so painstakingly built in its predecessor.
Mike Grigsby
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Colette was the pen name of the French novelist and actress Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She is best known, at least in the English-speaking world, for her novella Gigi, which provided the plot for a famous Lerner & Loewe musical film and stage musical. She started her writing career penning the influential Claudine novels of books. The novel Chéri is often cited as her masterpiece.

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