|About the Book|
PROS: This is a very well-researched book. The author, Maurice Lever, went thru great pains to find the journals, notes, letters upon this book was created. Then he delves deep into the recesses and reads between the lines to verify if the information in the letters was true to life. For example, when Sade cries in his letters for more money and says he is desperately poor, the Lever tells us that in reality, Sade was not so bad off, that Sade exaggerated his condition., and reminds us that it is Sades character to constantly beg and we shouldnt believe his letters outright.CON: This is a ridiculously long book. A total of 568 pages of reading (notes and biblio take an additional 58 pages). I read it every night for 20 min and needed almost 2 months to finish it. It is tedious, full of minor details in letter that are irrelevant and hinder the progress of learning about Sades life. This entire book cold have been shortened into 200 pages. And its NOT easy reading. The translation from French into English, makes the sentences long, cryptic, and nonsensical. Even after reading and re-reading Sades letter or Levers text I STILL dont understand what he meant. Too many negatives upon negatives and that make for a confusing letter. Even if Lever wanted to include the original Sades letter, as Sade wrote it (confusing and all), then he should have summarized it in one or two sentences below. What Lever does wrong, is include 1.5 book pages (sometimes 3 full pages) letters and just Expect you to understand. Then he goes to the next part. INSTEAD what Lever should have done is include one or two sentences that stand out from the letter and summarize the rest. Then he should have connected it to the greater context. They just dont make sense. Lever does NOT connect the letter to the situation.CON: Another great gripe of mine is that Lever uses different names for the same person without telling you IT IS THE SAME PERSON. So when you first start reading book you think hes talking about different people. He does this ALL throughout the book and you had to go back and froth over and over just to VERIFY in your OWN head, he was referring to the once and same person. For example, Lever first refers to his mother-in-law as Mme de Montreuil then he talks about la Presidente, but it isnt until 5 pages later that you realize its the same PERSON. He does this all throughout the book with OTHER people. Its just NOT GOOD WRITING.TO SUMMARIZE: Good Research, horrible explanations, bad use of names. The book is WAY too long.PS.. There is NO Erotica in this book, and the only sex and torture that Sade did, spans about 5 pages out of the book. The rest is social politics and french history.