Black Venus: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.99
  • Save: $7.18 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Black Venus: A Novel Hardcover – May 7, 2013


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.81
$2.48 $0.01


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250014239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250014238
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Beautifully capturing bohemian Paris in the late nineteenth century, Black Venus follows the rise and fall of the poet and translator Charles Baudelaire and his tempestuous relationship with his Haitian mistress, Jeanne Duval. The gritty streets of Paris’ Left Bank, the opulent life of aristocrats, and the dingy cabaret clubs combine to provide a rich backdrop to the love-hate story that unfolds between Baudelaire and Duval. Muse of many Parisian artists, Duval sits for paintings by Manet and inspires some of Baudelaire’s finest erotic poems, becoming one of the most mysterious beauties of her time. Meanwhile, Baudelaire seeks to defend his famous collection of poetry, Les Fleurs du Mal, against public charges of obscenity while at the same time sinking into an opium- and alcohol-induced depression. MacManus, managing director of the Times Literary Supplement, creates a gritty and engrossing world in this beautifully crafted narrative, which will leave readers swooning—and reaching for their favorite recording of La Bohème. --Heather Paulson

Review

Praise for Black Venus:
 

“Beautifully capturing bohemian Paris in the late nineteenth century, Black Venus follows the rise and fall of the poet and translator Charles Baudelaire and his tempestuous relationship with his Haitian mistress, Jeanne Duval. … MacManus, managing director of the Times Literary Supplement, creates a gritty and engrossing world in this beautifully crafted narrative, which will leave readers swooning—and reaching for their favorite recording of La Bohème.” —Booklist (starred review)

 

“Historical romance fans with an interest in Baudelaire or a penchant for 19th-century Paris will enjoy this novel.” —Library Journal

 

“Through the clear narrative, readers are presented with a portrait of a complex relationship that grew within the decadent world of Parisian artists, poets and performers.” —RT Book Reviews
 

“Very engaging and evocative of the Decadent Movement of Paris in the late 19th century, … I would recommend this book to any who are interested in Baudelaire, his poetry, reclaimed women’s history, or late 19th-century Paris.” —Historical Novels Review

 

“This was a captivating novel that shed light on more than just what we already knew on Baudelaire. But what I appreciated most was this new portrayal of history's much maligned Jeanne Duval. James MacManus brought forth a side of Jeanne that was easier to understand and even have compassion for. Black Venus is an exquisite read.” —The Examiner

"Captures the avant-garde scene of Paris in the mid-nineteenth century…. MacManus skillfully recreates Baudelaire’s world with verve and imagination and renders a believable fictional interpretation of two very tempestuous personalities and their motives." —The Hudson Review

"A beautiful and gripping novel. A world that will entice you in and keep you reading until the end." —Kate Williams, author of The Pleasures of Men

"A wonderful book." —Imogen Robertson, author of The Paris Winter

"An engrossing, moving portrait of doomed love and genius." —The Sunday Times (UK)

"A vivid portrait of Paris during a turbulent period in its history, as well as an insightful exploration of the often self-destructive nature of genius." —Daily Mail (UK)
 
Praise for The Language of the Sea:

"Blending mystical fantasy with contemporary science, MacManus weaves an otherworldly tale of one man’s frenzied search for identity and fantastic quest for survival." —Booklist

“This is one of those rare things, a passionate book, written with feeling. Gripping drama plus well-drawn characters and a wonderfully absorbing and moving read.”
—Daily Mail (UK)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book of Secrets VINE VOICE on June 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
SOURCE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookTrib for participating in the author's blog tour.

BLACK VENUS is a fictional account of the volatile relationship between French poet Charles Baudelaire and his muse, Jeanne Duval. Duval was his greatest joy, yet also the cause of much pain and grief in life. She was the daughter of a French plantation owner and Hatian slave, who made her way to Paris in the mid-1800s. Baudelaire first became infatuated with her while she was working as a cabaret singer, soon becoming his inspiration for his most famous and controversial work, Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil).

This was a well-researched book, and I enjoyed how it presented a vivid account of life in Paris during that time. I loved stepping back into the world of bohemian artists and writers of the time, and seeing the social and political unrest that influenced their work. I thought that Baudelaire's obsenity trial and its outcome was particularly interesting, and also the fate of his publisher who believed in him.

In life, Baudelaire and Duval were troubled souls, and that came through in the book. However, the characters in the book fell a bit flat for me, and I never felt the strong, passionate connection that was supposedly between them. Something was missing. Since I'm a character-driven reader, I had a difficult time getting into the story because of that. Still, I liked journeying back to the streets of turbulent 19th century Paris - Paris itself was my favorite character in this book - with its beauty, cruelty, and vivacity.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Hartling on June 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My Thoughts:

I knew little about Charles Baudelaire and Jeanne Duval. It was a pleasure to get to know them in Black Venus. They were a seductive and intriguing couple that needed one another. Sadly they also annihilated one another. Their tempestuous relationship is at the heart of this novel.

Jeanne Duval was essential to Baudelaire's poetry. Without her there would have been no Les Fleurs du Mal. The literary significance of that work cannot be understated.

Baudelaire was charged with obscenity after Les Fleurs was published. Reading about the trial in which he was accused of creating an offense against public morals was compelling.

Certain books inspire me to learn more about the people and the settings contained therein. This was one of those books. I found myself looking up the clothes, the people, and the relationships described in Black Venus because I wanted more. That, to me, is a sign of a great book.

Black Venus is a bewitching and illuminating read that I highly recommend.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
Having squandered a small private fortune on drink, opium and all the other delights of the mid-19th century Parisian demimonde Charles Baudelaire translated Edgar Allan Poe for a living and wrote Les Fleurs du Mal for posterity. I thoroughly enjoyed this erotic and clever fictional portrait of France's greatest poet and the cabaret singer Jeanne Duval, his cruel and beautiful Creole muse and the Black Venus of the title. MacManus treats Duval, who had learned to love the lash from both directions, with far more tenderness than other authors who have handled her. The result is an unputdownable tale of obsession and pain as we follow them to a destiny we would love to see them spared. It would make a marvellous film.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Teddy on May 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I have to say I ran hot and cold with this book. I found the characters memorable but all unlikable. They were all quite shallow, which I believe MacManus intended. The descriptions of the grittier side of Paris, France in the 19th century were great. However, I found the plot lacking and the pace boring in many places in the book.

When I was approached to review this book, I jumped at the chance. The description made it sound so good. However, for me, it was disappointing. I did preserver and finished reading it but there were times I thought it really wasn’t worth it. Something kept me reading and it was like waiting for a train wreak to happen. So, was there a train wreak in the end? My lips are sealed in case anyone reading this decides to give Black Venus a try.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
Disclaimer- I received a free book for my honest opinion.

Charles Baudelaire is a "starving" poet in the 19th century. He spends more then he makes, just to keep up appearances, that is until his mother cuts off his funds. He soon discovers a women named, Jeanne Duval aka Black Venus, and she becomes his inspiration for some dark and sexually intense poems. He finds a publisher to publish his literature, even though they both know it would be banned and could cost them a lot in life. Baudelaire's mother blames Duval for her sons miscomings. Duval blames Baudelaire's hunger for sex and drugs for his issues. Baudelaire blames society for not understanding his brilliant poems. So what will happen in the end? Will Baudelaire become the famous poet he dreamed of? Will Duval find her way in life?

This book takes place in Paris in the 19th century. There were a lot of French names and words thrown in throughout the book. For me I found this made it hard for me to read. I loved the story line and wanted to find out more of what happened but at the same time I kept getting frustrated with trying to read it.

If you enjoy historical fiction with romance, death, sexual intentions. I think you would like this book. It wasn't a book for me but it wasn't a badly written book either. It kept me wanting to read to the end and I'm glad I did, there were so many twists and turns in the book and the ending was not what I expected. I think you'll be surprised too. I was worth the reading and the frustration of trying to get past harder words, to get to the end. WOW!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search