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Trials of Gilles de Rais Hardcover – October 1, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-1878923028 ISBN-10: 1878923021 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Amok Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878923021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878923028
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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78 of 98 people found the following review helpful By "lexo-2" on November 3, 2000
Georges Bataille's work varies wildly in quantity. His early essays, collected in "Visions of Excess", are interesting but by now rather amusing blood-and-thunder manifestoes, swirling with Nietzschean rhetoric, the kind of thing that makes certain young male academics feel the blood rising in their nads so that they'll write anguished tomes on postmodernism that no-one but their students will ever read. His slightly later "Literature and Evil" is one of the silliest and shallowest books of litcrit ever inflicted on an undeserving public. His novel "Story of the Eye" is insubstantial as literature and uninvolving as pornography. This late work consists of a sober essay on the French nobleman Gilles de Rais and the documents from Gilles' trial in 1440. I think it's the best book Bataille ever wrote.
Gilles de Rais was a genuine nutcase. Born into great wealth, he was raised by his brutal and amoral great-grandfather and was a natural knight - i.e., he was violent, addicted to luxury and spectacle, and appeared not to give a toss about anyone. He distinguished himself in battle alongside Joan of Arc, but when the wars were over, Gilles appears to found life a bit lacking in savour. So, with the help of some of his entourage, he found a new way of spicing things up. He would typically ride to the nearest village, select a handsome young person between the age of 8 and 20 (usually male, but female where no boys were available) and bring the child back to his castle to be tortured, raped and murdered. He particularly liked to cut the body open and gaze on the insides. Then he'd go to sleep and his associates would dispose of the body.
Nobody is quite sure how many children he killed this way, but the estimates run into hundreds.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robbie De Clercq on December 30, 2006
Gilles de Rais was one of the most famous soldiers in the Hundred Years War. But because of his success he thought he could get away with anything. Even when he was murdering hundreds of children, he didn't think he was doing something that was against the law. In satanic rites he sacrificed children to the devil, sodomizing their bodies and preserving the heads of the pretty ones.

It is kind of a miracle that the trial documents still exist to this day. Therefore it is great to read the opinions of the people who lived with the original bluebeard, and what they thought of him. Bataille does a great job examining the crimes, trials and confessions of this 15th century serial killer.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By akvinsc on October 22, 2009
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Maybe it's just me - but i found this book rather hard to read. And really rather boring. The majority of the book is about who Gilles was before the crimes. And I'm not talking about who he was personally, but who his family was, his title etc. It was just REALLY boring. Great if you are doing a report on him - there is a lot of info. But it just wasn't what i was expecting or looking for. The details of his crimes are very brief.
if you are looking to delve into the mind and actions of a serial killer - this just isn't your book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justin Hardison on March 27, 2013
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I chose Gilles De Rais for a project in Criminal Justice. This book opened me up to the life and crimes of this notorious serial killer. This book was amazing and Gilles De Rais is a very interesting serial killer.
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