Books that have film Adaptations · French Literature.

Camille by Alexander Dumas fils

“After all, nobody is unhappy always,” 

I had always wanted to read this book for many years, and I finally got my hands on a copy from a cheap book depository.

The story is that of a young courtesan, Marguerite, who is the object of affection for a young man, Armand Duval,through various ups and downs until Marguerites tragic death at the hands of the tragic disease, Author’s Whim. Or consumption. Either one will do.

While the book was good and the use of language itself interesting, I got very irritated because the relationship  (usually sold as beautiful and romantic) just comes across as self destructive from both sides. I hated Armand by the end because he encouraged others to bully and torment Marguerite when she was dying. Also to begin with he came across as very obsessive.

I’m not trying to judge the book by modern standards and principles but I feel as if I must. While the book itself didn’t leave me in a puddle of tears, to me it was Marguerite’s acknowledgement that she will be used and then abandoned by men was probably saddest of all.

I’m glad I read this book and the edition I read had photographic stills of the times when Camille was adapted to stage and screen which was interesting. Maybe melodramatic books like this suit filmic adaptation better, who knows ?

While I liked the way Paris was described and the book’s interesting use of language, I didn’t particularly care for the central romance of the pair. This can be especially problematic when its one of the predominant points of central focus. Read it by all means if it piques your curiosity but I don’t think this book will be reread by me anytime soon.

MY RATING: *** / *****

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