Book Review by Better than Food: 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade

the Marquis de Sade

Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade in 1760, age 19.

This is another video review of one of de Sade‘s works that I ran across while researching the author. Since today is de Sade’s birthday, and I have already posted a review of one of de Sade’s two most infamous works, I thought I would post a review of his other most infamous work.

The review is by Clifford Sergeant, who does excellent reviews of modern and classic works of literature on his Better than Food Youtube channel. I have seen several of his videos and I think they are terrific. However, reading and reviewing 120 Days of Sodom seems to have shaken him somewhat in this video.

As I mentioned in my previous post, last week, for some unknown reason, I had a burning curiosity about de Sade’s life. I watched a few YouTube videos on it, and, suffice it to say, my curiosity for his works has been sated, but I would love to learn more about de Sade’s life. He seems to be a fascinating character, though severely flawed to say the least.

From what I can gather about 120 Days of Sodom, de Sade wrote it while in prison (I believe in the Bastille). He wrote it to keep himself entertained and never intended to have it published. However, after he escaped prison, the manuscript was found in his cell and by some strange strokes of luck, was eventually published.

I hope you enjoy the video. It is a fascinating glimpse into one of literature’s most infamous works.

Book Review by Ligeia Resurrected: Justine by the Marquis de Sade

the Marquis de Sade

Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade in 1760, age 19.

Today is the birthday of Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade. In remembrance of that (for better or worse) I am posting a review of one of de Sade’s most famous works, Justine. The review is not for the faint of heart and comes with a few disclaimers and warnings. Seriously, the review is excellent, but it touches on some exceptionally cruel and obscene subjects. If you can’t handle the review, you by no means want to read the book. There is a reason sadism was named for the Marquis. If you want to know more about de Sade in addition to where the link above leads, there are some good videos about him on YouTube.

I am posting the video in case any of my followers has a burning curiosity about the Marquis or his works. I was in that situation last week, Now that my curiosity has been sated, I will continue to be interested in de Sade’s life story, but probably not in his works.

Though his works are generally not considered to be of the horror genre, they probably should be. De Sade’s works contain things that would nauseate Stephen King and Clive Barker as well.

Personally, I do not advise reading de Sade’s works. They are…”inhuman” seems to be the most apt term I can conjure up. Cruel and obscene seem inadequate in describing his works. Although you have probably heard the term sadistic many times, you probably will not conceive of its true spirit until you have read a few pages of Justine or of his other infamous work 120 Days of Sodom,

Once, a few years back, I picked up a copy of 120 Days of Sodom in a bookstore somewhere and read the first two to three pages out of curiosity. I read only two to three, because that was all I could stomach. I left it where I found it and will probably not pick up another of his works again. In fact, if I ever find out that someone I know is a fan of de Sade, I will probably not let him or her into my house ever again.

I have not read any of Justine. If you are mildly curious about it, there are a few YouTube videos on the movie (or two) that is based on it. You can actually find the trailer for it on YouTube.

When I was digging into the story of de Sade himself, I did find him to be a fascinating and tragic character. I would love to read a psychological study of him. He apparently had a lot of resentment toward his mother, who abandoned the family when he was quite young. That seems to be the reason the women in his works suffer such terrible fates, particularly if they are a mother. He seems to have been a man controlled by the mother (no pun intended) of all obsessions. Yet, in spite of blatant and cruel dalliances, there were women who loved him dearly though they knew of his numerous sordid affairs. Perhaps, he was their obsession. Perhaps not. I feel certain that anyone who had anything to do with de Sade for more than a few day would probably be an interesting psychological case in his/her own right.

I recommend that you read a biography of de Sade rather than one of his works. Maybe read a few pages of one of his works, so you get a (somewhat sickening) feel for them, but don’t force them upon yourself. Read only as much as you can tolerate, then put the book down, and never pick it up again.

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the video.

Au revoir.

Reviews Needed

I am seeking people to review my works and who post their reviews to markets in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada. I offer my Kindle e-books for free periodically according to Amazon policy.  You can find my works on my Amazon author’s page.  Let me know which you would like to review and I will let you know when it available for free or set up a date that you can have it for fee. I am most interested in having reviewed either my short horror (A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror), my collected poetry (Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover), my short fiction on relationships (The Scent and Other Stories), or my action-adventure novelette (Click).  The other two works are contained in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.