Sawcat's Book Blog

The Philosopher's Kiss: A Novel - Peter Prange Overall, I liked this book. It gave a good view of what was going on ideologically in Paris, in the fifty years prior to the French Revolution, and you can see how some of the events and the ideas presenting in The Philosopher's Kiss lead to the greater complaints later on. I didn't really know much about Madame du Pompadour other than she was Louis's mistress (and what could be gotten from that Doctor Who episode), so I liked learning about her involvement in helping the encyclopedia come into being.The novel does seem a bit repetitive at times. But I think this is because when each volume of the encyclopedia was printed, it outraged the church and/or state, and someone was threatened with or was arrested and imprisoned, and faced censorship issues. The editors kept trying to push what they could get away with, so the same things kept happening.Sophie was a real person, according to the author's note, however not much is known about her, or what relationship she actually had with Diderot, other than she existed and knew one another. As a character, I don't really like her very much. Probably because she keeps going back to Diderot, who reads at best as a jerk. I don't think I have a great affinity to any of the characters. But to me, they almost seem to be secondary, while the Encyclopedia seems to be THE main character, as nearly all of the events covered in the book revolve around it. I also don't think the title helps it much. I half expected it to have a stronger romance, or depiction of it, but it didn't. The romance between Sophie and Diderot is fairly tame in the telling, and doesn't read like a romance novel.I would recommend this if you have an interest in the French Revolution and the precursors that lead up to it, and if you have an interest in the philosophy of this time period and their influences.I recieved this book via the GoodReads FirstReads giveaway

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