Sunday, August 14, 2011
Book Review of Camille, the lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas fils
Author Name: Alexandre Dumas Fils (The son not the father. In other words, THIS IS NOT THE AUTHOR WHO WROTE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO OR THE THREE MUSKETEERS!)
Type of book: Adult, France, "Kept women" 1800s, prostitutes, consumption
Year it was published: 1848 (one I have 1984)
She was Marguerite Gautier, beautiful, brazen and a courtesan of Paris. He was Armand Duval, handsome, prominent, and hopelessly headstrong. Their love was a sensation, a scandal, and to some, a sin. Their story is as old as time, and timeless as love itself.
I'm pretty sure that whoever read this book would have wanted to know more about Marguerite's character rather than what was given, (which was my feeling.) Although Dumas fils attempts to create three dimensional characters, they do not grab me unfortunately and they aren't read like that. Yes, the characters exhibit changes and whatnot, but I think this was designed more to be a play rather than a novel. (As far as I know this was the only novel by the son. Rest of his life he spent writing plays...) The story is not on characters but instead is on action that's going around the characters.
"I do not draw from this story the conclusion that all women like Marguerite are capable of doing all that she did-far from it; but I have discovered that one of them experienced a serious love in the course of her life, that she suffered from it, and that she died for it. I have told the reader all I learned. It was my duty...The story of Marguerite is an exception, I repeat; had it not been an exception, it would not have been worth the trouble of writing it." (253-254)
I'm not sure if the translation is recent or not, but this novel is very easy to read and one shouldn't encounter major difficulties with writing or understanding the story. It reads as if its in a modern day and not to mention I'm sure that women will fall in love with it, especially the devotion that Armand exhibits towards Marguerite.
Alexandre Dumas, fils (27 July 1824 – 27 November 1895) was a French author and dramatist. He was the son of Alexandre Dumas, père, also a writer and playwright. (from wikipedia.com)
This is my second time reading the novel. The first time I read it I didn't like it and thought it a dumb story. Second time I liked it much better. The version that I have reads very easily and isn't confusing at all. I enjoyed the sad love story (At the first chapter you learn instantly that Marguerite has died...)
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)