Book Reviews of Viper's Tangle

Viper's Tangle
Viper's Tangle
Author: Francois Mauriac
ISBN-13: 9780881843057
ISBN-10: 0881843059
Publication Date: 7/1987
Pages: 208
Edition: Reissue

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Publisher: Carroll Graf Publishers
Book Type: Paperback
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From back cover:

"Viper's" Triangle is probably the most accomplished and acclaimed of all of Francois Mauriac's works. Here, the Nobel laureate delivers a scathing indictment of how vulgar money can shatter the bonds of familial devotion. As such this novel is a masterpiece of psychological insight striking at the heart of the most fatally alluring of human passions: greed, jealousy and resentment.

Louis, a wealthy landowner risen from the peasantry, is nearing the end of his days. He has had reason to begrudge his wife for past indelicacies. And now, sons, daughters and grandchildren all carefully eye an immense inheritance. Louis is unsure whether the tangle of vipers is festering within himself or whether it is menacing him from the outside. As he sees more clearly into his own motives and past deeds, Louis' miserly and scheming disposition gradually transforms into feelings of atonement - even generosity.

This note of redemption emerging from the drama shows us the extraordinary subtlety and depth of Mauriac's perceptions of human relations. Also strongly in evidence is his genius for depicting the conflicts, aspirations and enduring traditions of the French rural classes for which he is so famous.


Francois Mauriac is the eminent novelist, playwright and essayist who played and active part in the French resistance in World War II. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1952. His other acclaimed works include: "A Woman of the Pharisees", "Therese", and "Flesh and Blood".