top of page
AW1.jpg

The 120 Days of Sodom

by

Marquis de Sade

The 120 Days of Sodom
average rating is 2 out of 5

Extreme, Disturbing, Porn

R. Alex Jenkins

The 120 Days of Sodom is pornography gone all wrong.


An iconoclast, Marquis de Sade gets satisfaction out of attacking the system and his entire book is a giant negative sideswipe at the establishment and its morals.


This is the ultimate sojourn into sexual depravity, BDSM, torture porn, necrophilia and murder. There is very little to make you horny or aroused in any way.


Perhaps revolutionary in its day, but out of date by current standards.


It's neither erotic or sexy, but a vulgar tongue-in-cheek attempt to be as controversial and offensive as possible and I can't think of any one person in the world to whom I would recommend this book.


I know who this book was written for, Marquis de Sade, as the mightiest backstab to corrupt power, as the ultimate sacrilegious ode to fuck-you-all and nobody else in particular, but especially to the church and its pious morals, and sodomizing children with the Host, for example.


I learned some new words though:

Crapulous (drunkenness)

Pucelage (virginity)

Depucelate (take someone's virginity, especially anally)

Encuntment (penetration)


Even though this is a behind-the-doors snapshot into the private lives of upper-class society, does anyone actually care what other people do in private and how they get their kicks and jollies?


After reading this book, I certainly couldn't care less of a fig.


Marquis de Sade discusses things that sometimes occur to us but learn to extinguish before they ripen into mature thoughts or ideas. There's no room in our lives for that level of sordidity, which is why such notions sometimes seem funny when expressed openly, as an internal way of dealing with shock. I spat back my breakfast onto the countertop a few times!


We don't need to deal with such filth and feel happier gulping down junk media thrust down our throats by wily marketing organisations because it's easier to digest.


We prefer to see the Prince of Wales and his perfect family standing on the royal balcony and enjoying the flyover with a cheesy-looking Taylor Swift as popstar adornment for fresh coolz lurking in the background, but look into their royal eyes and you see forced smiles from people unprepared to give up their seats of power anytime soon, which we all secretly aspire to, the ultimate recognition of publicly accepted and legally esteemed wealth irrespective of whether it makes you happy, like looking out from within while everyone gawps in awe.


120 Days of Sodom is the ultimate stab at the modern-day dream of happiness through excessive power and wealth, instead of being happy at who you are and simply by having enough. It's not necessary to spend, spend, spend, nor ejaculate after every sexual thought in an attempt to be happy and fulfilled. Being an ostentatious libertine will satiate your desires but never make you happy, just as taking drugs, for example, gets boring if you do it too often.


The essential message behind this book is look at me I'm grotesquely rich and can do whatever I want with no consequences, even if it hurts, offends, maims or even kills other people, but remaining on a permanent high is impossible as it repeats and ultimately becomes mundane.


It's a farce and the royal family and the local bishops are probably rogering iguanas and experimenting with butt plugs in the background just like everyone else?


This book uncovers that sham. The reality that no-one cares how you get your highs and lows. But the way it goes about it. OMG!


If you can survive the onslaught of this filth until the final page, congratulations, while perpetually living in a sewer with no light at the end.


The book is sordid, extreme, unbelievably gross, and even sometimes laugh-out-loud funny when it takes you unawares, as overly descriptive and way too honest for its own good.


I don't even know why I decided to read this book, it's that bad. Some peculiar penchant I suppose for the worst toilet literature written by man, to indulge in the depths of depravity and somehow feel better about myself afterwards? I have no explanation and it certainly didn't work, nor make me a better person, but it does make you think that this type of behavior is perhaps normal for some people?


Perhaps a deluded belief that this is somehow important literature and worth the effort? Knowing already that you're going to feel worse about yourself afterwards and permanently polluted.


This is the ultimate tale of horror in many ways because it makes you feel like total garbage.


Neither important, rewarding or profound, but oddly fascinating and even laugh-out loud hilarious in places because of how descriptive and ridiculous it is, at how every type of perversion is described in minute detail, and that's only the introduction!


Imagine every type of sexual depravity you've ever heard of and add a hundred more to that you've never even dreamed of and then multiply by 100, and you're halfway-ish to describing this book.


There's even a dull chapter called Statutes at the beginning, outlining all the rules and regulations to be obeyed at sodomy chateau, to emphasize the level of bureaucracy and corruption even more.


The book describing four months of punishment, torture and filth-swilling in every type of imaginable permutation, depicting a hierarchical structure in which the rich enjoy every minute while the poor and exploited suffer every second. Someone shits from above, literally, while someone else has to deal with it AND gobble it up!


Life is not fair.

It's a dog-eat-dog world.

Que Sera, Sera (whatever will be, will be).


If you can get past all of that and see the bigger picture, the book is about power and dictatorship and how the mighty literally defecate on the weak for their own pleasure because there's nothing the inferior or frail can do about it.


It's beyond belief and what's described in this book can never realistically be made into a modern movie because of the extreme mix of torture porn, child abuse, paedophilia, scat, snuff, grave digging, torture, murder, and defecating on corpses, plus other activities that can't legally be recorded. The book doesn't spare an ounce of detail and no matter what you've read or seen in the past, this goes beyond it, which is the beauty of the reading experience if you can tolerate the ugly content, as the right to tell things as they really are with no censors or filters, which makes the book all the more remarkable for how talented a writer Marquis de Sade is - an extremely educated and eloquent man with an incredibly fetid and fertile imagination; in fact, we should treasure this type of material for the guts needed to put it into words, to be reviled and condemned for centuries to come because of what the author's NOT afraid to say, knowing that mainstream society will pigeonhole it as mad or deranged forever.


This is one of the weirdest reviews to write because it's possible to identify with the writer in a way that's difficult to explain, not because I agree with his sadistic viewpoints or his level of sick debauchery, as only the truly demonic can stoop to that level - but because I respect how untethered you need to be to get it out there and how you need to look the world in the eye and say I don't care what you think about me or my opinion. Hate me if you will, but you're here reading my story and probably rolling your eyes at my crazily depraved outlook. A viewpoint that doesn't deserve love or recognition and certainly no shining pathway to the pearly gates, but deserving of our respect for being bonkers enough to commit long-term to that level of depravity.


I wish I had the guts to say out loud even a tenth of what de Sade spews out in his pages, but maybe that restraint is what keeps me out of prison or the funny farm or from being universally hated. I don't rightly know?


It's also frightening to read about corruption in the church and the abuse of sexual power that has been going on unchecked for hundreds of years, with adults only speaking up about it in recent decades and their negative childhood experiences, in an attempt to stop it happening to future generations and to rid the world once and for all of paedophiles and their ilk. This book feels like a sordid joke or an attempt by a madman to provoke interest in the lowest levels of smut for abstract personal reasons, when he's maybe trying to tell us about political and religious corruption hundreds of years before anybody was even listening, and even today this is a book that people will write off and avoid as sick sordidness purely for the sake of it, which in many ways it is, but when it has a deeper message, advises us to beware the powers above as self-invested for their own benefit instead of the wider good.


This book is too severe, though, and all you end up doing is absorbing ever-increasing amounts of filth.


I never imagined a book about buggering and sh*t-eating to essentially be a swipe at corrupted power, whether political or religious or both, but 99% of the world won't be interested in the subliminal message behind the disgusting nightmare.


It's astonishing that this was first published in 1785! The level of pornographic detail goes beyond anything you will ever see in porno movies, involving small kids, anal sex and constant defecation. You think modern porn is new or revolutionary? Rubbish! The only thing revolutionary about it is the modern technology to openly disseminate it over the internet, but it's been going on in the background and much worse since time began and always will be, and what shocks us is seeing or hearing about it, the gutter press, the attitudes of the young and the libertines, not the content itself, but the gradual reveals of all the celebrities and coaches who have been entrusted with our social welfare, discovered later as paedophiles, when we know it's still happening all over the place but somehow pretend it's not, to brush what we can't see under the carpet, but inexplicably rise up on our haunches at public indiscretions as new to mankind and ultimately evil.


None of what happens in this book is excusable, though, especially anything involving young kids and the destruction of their innocence, but getting shocked about it is silly when it's been going on for thousands of years, but only recently exposed to the public eye, social media and CCTV cameras.


The reality is, as The 120 Days unfold it gets more and more repetitive and less shocking as you become desensitized to the debauchery and smut, which happens a lot quicker than let's say in Hogg by Samuel R. Delaney. There's something almost religious about the way it endlessly thrusts the same sordidness down your throat, and by 30% of the way through I found it non-erotic and almost sterile in a surgical way because of the way it's described in an unemotional third-party manner, like a fly-on-the-wall perspective instead of actually being there, which is one of the reasons accounts are told from a multiple storyteller viewpoint instead of first-person POV, alternating every few days, about dozens of different people and events so that you never feel any emotional attachment to anyone, no matter their age, situation or gender because it's always impersonal and generic. People get f*cked, shat on and sodomized from beginning to end, but so what, It's like stamping on a swarm of ants to squash out their collective lives, it means nothing.


After this realization I really struggled with the remainder of the book and approached it systematically as what are you going to throw at me next? I just wanted to get through it.


After 50% I was utterly bored and depressed and totally bogged down because there is no story, no plot, no heroes or characters worth rooting for, but endless and pointless sordidness and yawns because of it. When you put the book down and come back to it, it's shake your head revolutionary again for a while, but quickly turns into garbage.


Should you pick up this book for any reason whatsoever? Honestly, no! Maybe because of levels of depravity you should know about, as an eyeopener maybe, but not for enjoyment or feel-good factors or anything like that.


Maybe every politician should read this book to better understand what the proletariat actually think about them deep down and darkly inside.


This is the ultimate and darkest form of dystopia, the scum of the earth, the filthiest and most corrupt version of your worst nightmare.


I thank the book for its insight and beyond-belief surprises at times, but only two stars from me for the utter amount of filth that I do not want to repeat or recommend to anyone, ever.


Read it, like I did out of curiosity, and leave it at that.


Final words (honestly).

There are only 30 days of proper Sodom, not 120; instead we go into pointless Part The Second with 150 brief descriptions of how you to eat sh*t, where even the remotest storyline during the first month is lost.


What's even more amazing are the author's personal notes in italics to remind him/us that person A could be interchanged with person B for a bit of sh*t-eating variety so that point 46 of pointless Part Two doesn't conflict with point 47, like any of it matters?


Was this book a joke? I have no idea anymore, but I know I hated it as much as I hated the movie, for all sorts of different reasons.


Oh, please let something happen, let everyone die in a nasty earthquake or in an organized police extermination raid, or die of pestilence or absolutely anything, let absolutely ANYTHING happen, I have rarely struggled so much to get through a book because it's so damned BORING!


In Part Three and the summarized 150 points describing the third month, we explore torture porn, and in Part Four, the final month, we go full circle into murder porn, with 150 weird and disturbing descriptions of that.


My particular 'favorite' was a girl glued to a toilet seat, followed by a Bunsen burner heating up her bottom, forcing the girl to rip herself away and all her skin. You can't make this stuff up!


Now I have FINALLY finished the longest review I have ever written, thank God this awful mess is over, I can't think of any redeeming qualities, but why not give it 1 star then instead of 2 I hear you retort? Because of the political aspect and how de Sade hits the corrupt society nail on the head.


But I did not enjoy this as entertainment AT ALL, except for smutty laughs and eye-opening unbelievability now and again.

Share this review:

Photo of R. Alex Jenkins

If you enjoyed this review or would like to get in touch, connect with me at:

goodreads_logo.png
Gmail logo
Microsoft Outlook logo
Proz logo
bottom of page