Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review of #4 Louise de la Valliere by Alexandre Dumas

Name of book: Louise de la Valliere

Author Name: Alexandre Dumas

ISBN: 0-19-282389-2

Publisher: Oxford

Part of Series: D'Artagnan Series by Alexandre Dumas Sequel to Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, Vicomte de Bragelonne, prequel to The Man in iron mask

Type of book: Adult, French, 17th century, Louis XIV

Year it was published: this version 1995 (Original version in France 1847-1850)

Summary:

Louise de la Valliere is the middle section of the Vicomte de Bragelonne, or Ten Years After. Against a tender love story, Dumas continues the suspense which began with The Vicomte de Bragelonne and will end with The Man in the Iron Mask. It is early summer, 1661, and the royal court of France is in turmoil. Can it be true that the king is in love with the Duchess D'Orleans? Or has his eye been caught by the sweet and gentle Louise de la Valliere? No one is more anxious to know the answer than Raoul, son of Athos, who loves Louise more than life itself. Behind the scenes, dark intrigues are afoot. Louis XIV is intent on making himself absolute master of France. Imminent crisis shakes the now aging Musketeers and d'Artagnan out of their complacent retirement, but is the cause just? This new edition of the classic English translation of 1857 is richly annotatted and sets Dumas's invigorating tale in its historical and cultural context.

Characters:

There is way too many characters and too many intrigues going on. If you asked me what kind, I'd be clueless. I remember something to do with Louis XIV in love with his sister in law (and being married) wanting to use Louise de la Valliere so people won't pay attention to her so his brother won't get jealous. But then he falls in love with Louise de la Valliere who is betrothed to Vicomte de Bragelonne. (Anyone but me see anything wrong here?) There are appearances of Three Musketeers (Athos is absent) and I enjoyed how D'Artagnan tricked Aramis and so on. Also, why do the good and desirable all have to be blonde?! (Sorry my main pet peeve...) If you can tell me of a positive woman in this or other Dumas's books that happens to be a brunette, then I won't complain. I disliked Louise de la Valliere with a passion because she's not a rounded characters is way too too good. She seems to be a Mary Sue character. Louis XIV, although a king, has no right to seduce or to be with women who are either married or are engaged. If Louise is unhappy somehow with Bragelonne then she'll have my sympathies, but she's okay! She's engaged to a man she doesn't even love passionately and doesn't even bother writing him a Dear John letter! Why should a character like her get my sympathies? (Or if she is actively pursuing Bragelonne relationship but he doesn't reply or anything like that, then another thing that will get my sympathies.)

Theme:

If you're a king and want something then you can have it. Society is very strict so be careful with everything. Too many plots and intrigues at the top. Unfortunately these are the only ones that stood out in the book. If there are more please tell me.

Plot:

Very not even snail is this slow plot. First of all Bragelonne gets separated from Louise, then she begins to work for Madame and falls in love with a king. As mentioned too many characters. The author or someone needs to write character biographies of the book people so I can keep track of who's who and involved with what plot and whatnot. Towards the end the book slightly picks up and we are left off, well, with a pretty good scene. (Very exciting yet predictable four pages.)

Author Information:

Alexandre Dumas is a French author born in 1802 and wrote other novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Man in the Iron Mask and The Three Musketeers. He died in 1870 and also wrote The Reign of Margot.

Opinion:

Wow, I can't believe this. Few years ago I took a Jane Austen where I had to read Fanny Burney's Evelina as well as The Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, and I thought that those two were horrible and torturous beyond words. (I hated them so much that I named one character Edmund Orville; Edmund from Mansfield Park and Orville from Evelina.) But at last I found a book that surpasses even those two, and this book is called Louise de la Valliere. I like reading books that are psychological in nature or else explain something in detail. (I am currently reading Dream of Red Chambers from China and so far am enjoying it, and also The Tale of Genji which is also enjoyable so far.) In other words it takes a lot for me to hate this book. (And if one looks at my Book Reviews page, I have very few books that I hate...) This literally took me the strength of Hercules to get through. This is a slow beyond words book. A slow book where you literally watch the beach form grain by grain in slow motion.

0 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.)

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