HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Viper's Tangle (Loyola Classics) by Francois…
Loading...

Viper's Tangle (Loyola Classics) (original 1932; edition 2005)

by Francois Mauriac, Robert Coles (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
506920,102 (4.15)70
Member:RebaRelishesReading
Title:Viper's Tangle (Loyola Classics)
Authors:Francois Mauriac
Other authors:Robert Coles (Introduction)
Info:Loyola Classics (2005), Paperback, 312 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Nobel

Work details

The Knot of Vipers by Francois Mauriac (1932)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 70 mentions

English (6)  French (3)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Excellent novel. Devoured in one sitting. Of course, this isn't much coming from me, but still.

Mauriac isn't talked about too often these days, and it's a shame - he's brilliant. I don't know why. Is it because he's thought of as a Catholic writer? Graham Greene and C. S. Lewis survive, and Dostoevsky with his Orthodox influence. Ah well.

A gripping and complex look at morality, and the deceits and lies people use against each other, with the acidity of revenge playing a major role in the book, and the malevolent intelligence of the narrator left me stunned, and how he saw his money tore apart his family with greed.

Excellent. Recommended to all. ( )
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
" I am one of those who has never known what it is to be young, never known what it is to be unselfconscious. I am by nature one of Nature's wet blankets."

Francois Mauriac won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1952, "for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life." Viper's Tangle, first published in 1932 and translated in 1951, is representative of Mauriac's focus on the spiritual. Although it has been cited as a classic example of the "Catholic" novel, a reader does not have to be religious to appreciate Viper's Tangle, which movingly portrays the life of a wealthy attorney and landowner, a man who states that he has created "about myself nothing but a wasteland."

As the novel opens, Louis is on his death bed at his country estate, surrounded by his family. His family fears that he is going to cheat them out of their inheritance, and in fact that is what Louis intends to do. The entire novel, with the exception of a short chapter at the end, consists of the letter Louis is writing to his wife to explain why he intends to disinherit his family--"a single act of vengeance upon which I have been brooding for almost half a century."

As he addresses his wife, Louis recounts the story of his life. Past, present and future are seamlessly interwoven. Frequently Louis's reflections on his past life are interrupted by fragments of conversations he overhears between his wife and children, and by the ordinary events of the progression of daily life on his estate as he awaits death. The shifts of time and event, and the continual juxtaposition of things that happened years ago, what happened minutes ago, and what might happen in the future are fluid and seamless. As we acquire more information, or as facts we were previously told or assumed are disproved, we must frequently reevaluate and reinterpret Louis's motives and his relationship with his family. Louis, too, evolves and reverts as he evaluates his life.

While this description may make the book sound claustophobic and static, there is in fact a lot of action--fortunes are made and lost, there are marriages of convenience and marriages of passion, a child dies, an illegitimate child appears, and so goes life.

Over the course of this remarkable book, we as readers come to sympathize with Louis, a venal, misanthropic, and thoroughly unlikeable man. On the basis of this one novel, I can agree that Mauriac is a writer deserving of a Nobel. I will be reading more by him. ( )
7 vote arubabookwoman | Feb 1, 2013 |
I heard about Vipers' Tangle by 1952 Nobel Prize winner Franciois Mauriac on Paul's thread and selected it as part of my personal challenge to read at least one book by each Nobel Prize winner. The story is written in the form of a letter of "confession" by a dying man. In it he tries to analyze what has caused him to be so lonely. In modern terms, why his family is so disfunctional. Where the lack of love, sometimes presence of hatred, jealousies, etc. have come from. He triesd to be honest with himself about where he has contributed to the problem and opens himself to the idea that the problems can be resolved and the chasms bridged.

I stared at the vines and said nothing. I was a prey to sudden doubt. Is it possible that a man can live for nearly half a century noticing one side only of the person who shares his life? Can it be that, from long habit, he picks and chooses from among her gestures and her words, keeping for use only those that feed his grievances and perpetuate his resentments? There is a fatal tendency in all of us to simplify others, to eliminate in them everything that might soften the indictment, give some human lineaments to the caricature that our hatred craves in order to justify itself...

Another very enjoyable and worthy read. ( )
  RebaRelishesReading | Jan 26, 2013 |
1547 Vipers' Tangle, by Francois Mauriac translated by Warre B. Wells (read 24 Dec 1979) This is an extremely well-done account of an evil and miserly man who shortly before his death is touched by grace. Very expertly done, and moving, but sad. His wife dies, having gone thru hell with him, and after she dies he comes to realize she may have loved him after all. A very good book. ( )
  Schmerguls | Dec 28, 2008 |
A deep examination of a dying man's psyche. Interesting and somewhat shocking ( )
  eugenios | Dec 31, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Francois Mauriacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wijdeveld, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
...Dieu, considérez que nous ne nous entendons pas nous-mêmes et que nous ne savons pas ce que nous voulons, et que nous nous éloignons infiniment de ce que nous désirons.
Sainte Thérèse d'Avila
Dedication
First words
Te asombrará descubrir esta carta enmi arca...
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Louis is a millionaire many times over, but he is unhappy. Toward the end of his life, seeking to uncover the cause of his unhappiness, he commits to paper his whole story.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
22 wanted8 pay4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.15)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 1
2.5 3
3 6
3.5 8
4 28
4.5 10
5 30

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,965,752 books! | Top bar: Always visible