Dangerous Liaisons Book Overview


Dangerous Liaisons is a critically acclaimed and bestselling novel written by French author Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The book was first published in 1782 and has since become a classic of French literature. It is a captivating masterpiece that combines elements of romance, psychological drama, and social commentary, making it a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships.


Set in pre-revolutionary France, Dangerous Liaisons tells the story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two wealthy and manipulative members of the French aristocracy. Merteuil and Valmont derive pleasure from playing games with others’ hearts and reputations, and they enter into an intricate web of lies and deceit. They make a pact to seduce and corrupt innocent individuals, as well as to exact revenge on those who have wronged them. As their schemes unfold, the consequences become increasingly dire and destructive.

Awards, Reviews, and Accolades

Dangerous Liaisons is not only beloved by readers around the world but has also received widespread recognition within the literary community. The novel has garnered numerous awards and accolades, including:

  • Winner of the Prix des Deux Magots, a prestigious French literary award.
  • Shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award.
  • Included in various “Must Read” lists, such as Time Magazine’s “100 Best Novels” and BBC’s “The Big Read.”

Critics have praised Dangerous Liaisons for its compelling narrative, rich character development, and thought-provoking themes. The book’s exploration of power dynamics, morality, and the consequences of reckless actions continues to resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Main Characters

Marquise de Merteuil

Merteuil is a seductive and cunning aristocrat who is determined to maintain control over her own destiny in a society dominated by men. She exemplifies the struggle women faced during this time period and uses her intelligence and beauty to manipulate those around her.

Vicomte de Valmont

Valmont is a charming yet manipulative nobleman who prides himself on his ability to conquer any woman’s heart. He sees his sexual conquests as mere games and relishes the challenge of seduction. Valmont’s character embodies the amorality and decadence prevalent in the French aristocracy.


Dangerous Liaisons is a timeless masterpiece that explores the dark underbelly of human desires and the devastating consequences of manipulation and deceit. The novel’s intricate plot, unforgettable characters, and powerful themes continue to captivate readers, making it essential reading for anyone interested in literature that delves into the complexities of human nature.

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