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Emmanuelle Paperback – May 5, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (May 5, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802130690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802130693
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Emmanuelle:

"Lyrical and graphic . . . But it's not all salacious play-by-play. The sex scenes are interspersed with abstract musings about the nature of sex. One of the central ideas, which I will now clinically paraphrase to conform to standards of decency, is this: The definition of the erotic is arousal, not climax . . . the book's argument reverberates beyond the erotic. The writing I most enjoy now delights in the moment's contours and textures, not surprising plot twists. The best work seduces the reader through nuanced details and observations, and does away with italics and exclamation points. It takes pleasure in the ambiguous interstices of life while dismissing its flagrant resolutions. In short, it arouses." —Teddy Wayne, NPR

"This new edition reminds us how this revolutionary epic had an impact on the sexual liberation of women." —Le Parisien Magazine

"Hedonistic, joyful and much more fresh than Fifty Shades of Grey." —Marianne

"Emmanuelle is not just sex; it is an eroticism that is vintage, oneiric, utopian, and tender, an optimistic and radiant eroticism." —lepoint.fr

"An unrestrained erotic novel, replete with details of the author’s sexual experiences and erotic philosophy. Emmanuelle Arsan has launched an all-out one-woman crusade to liberate mankind from the sexual taboos that have woven themselves into our moral nature and end up by ruling us through unjust laws." —Panorama (Italy)

"Emmanuelle writes nearly as well as the Divine Marquis [de Sade], and shows the same penchant for philosophy." —Le Nouvel Observateur

"Emmanuelle’s eroticism is not pathological, unlike the eroticism of revolt. It is a crucial part of the satisfaction of the individual, which feels threatened by nothing, which unfolds in harmony with the world: an eroticism of perfect accord." —Le Magazine Littéraire
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1997
Format: Paperback
While some might find the frankness of the book's text shocking, Emmanuelle Arsan's infamous bestseller is rich in imagery and detail which still resonates brightly so many years after its initial publication.
The story concerns a young Parisian who flies to Bangkok to join her diplomat husband. In a marriage which in the strictest sense might be termed "open," Emmanuelle struggles to conform to what she believes are her husband's wishes. She becomes entranced by an older man named Mario, whom she believes can teach her the "Secrets of Eros," and help her to become what she terms a "real woman." The real star of the book, however, is not the story, but the period philosophy which is so oft found throughout the book, and especially in the chapter "The Law."
Love "scenes" are frequent, but are told with such subtle beauty and grace, that they never become unpleasant or gratuitous. "Emmanuelle" is without a doubt a classic of the genre.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Emmanuelle is rather a well written book and it has a certain charm. With any doubt it is nicely erotic in parts. There is lesbian sex and love which are arousing to read. There is also a reasonable feel for colonial French expats living a decadent life in South East Asia. The endless dialogue about love and fulfilment between Emmanuelle and Mario is, to an Anglo-Saxon at least, pretentious nonsense but I have to admit it is very much of the French psyche and is an acquired taste - I found it rather dull. I also found some parts laughable. If you read the first chapter and Emmanuelle's adventures on the aircraft it seems to me quite clear that Arsan must never have been flying except in her dreams. If you see it at a friend's, or are bored and need something to read then by all means try it an you will find enough to keep you interested. If you believe that there really is a philosophy of sex then this is a book for you. If not, then read it for the narrative and the love scenes which are erotic to be sure. Otherwise Anais Nin is really much more literary and artistic in the same genre.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Heering on September 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
The sex scenes in this book are pretty good, if you are into that sort of thing. And most of the first half of the book is amusing, especially Emmanuelle's relationships with other women (sexual or not). But the second half of the book is dominated by Italian playboy Mario educating Emmanuelle about his philosophy of eroticism. This is pretty pretentious stuff, and rather dull. Mario almost makes sex seem boring. What a windbag! Also, the book ends rather abruptly. It feels like there was another chapter that got left out. But the book is worth a read, if only because it has become so iconic.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By shettakaburi on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Something I find interesting about this book is that it is often held to be a feminist work, a freeing of a woman's sexuality. In reading the book I felt the hand of a man throughout. It was always a man who guided Emmanuelle into her debauchery and always a man who gave her permission. There was even a parenthetical scene between Emmanuelle's husband and his colleague where he voiced his encouragement of Emmanuelle's infidelity. I got the feeling there was no Emmanualle, just a woman who was no more than the sum of her parts and her libido on a little leash to be tugged around by any passing father figure.
There is nothing life changing about this book and no message worth giving an ear to you. If you're looking for something erotic, it fits the bill. Just be careful of the second half which Mario dominates with his mind-numbing chatter.
(...)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gromer on December 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was interested in the book and the movie because of the 70's feminist/female-empowerment angle. I am sorry to say that I purchased this book after reading the mixed reviews here and found that it was completely unreadable. Perhaps it's because it's translated from the French: I will give it the benefit of the doubt that the writing appears better in its original language. But In English, the writing is terrible and there is no attempt at any literary value (despite its claims). The "erotica" was so clumsily worded as to have no appeal at all. I stopped reading after a few chapters. At least the movie had Sylvia Kristel, who - no matter what you think of her acting skills - is kinda cool in her cult, campy, 70's way. But this book has no Sylvia Kristel or any kind of cult cool. If you think Danielle Steele and Shirley Conran is corny and unreadable, this is much, much worse. It was a waste of money.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautifully written, classy, sexy and stimulating! So much has been written, through the years, about this book and its sequels, as well as "The Story of O", that I wish to mention here, what I find most interesting, is the back-story to its creation...I have read that Emmanuelle Arsan is the pen name of Marayat Bibidh and later known as Marayat Rollet-Andriane, born in Thailand. She was the wife of a French Diplomat, who could possibly be the actual writer of "Emmanuelle". In any case, the story is rumored to be somewhat autobiographical in nature. While no one knows for sure, with absolute certainty, it makes the reading of "Emmanuelle" that much more intriguing!
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