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The Monk: A Romance

M. G. Lewis

Book Overview: 

Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk: A Romance is a story of frustrated and unrequited desire between mentor and pupil mixed with elements of the supernatural. It includes several subplots: rape, torture, incest and demonic plots. It is the old story of the forces of good versus the forces of evil, except that in this one evil comes out ahead.

A film adaption, The Monk, was made by French-German director Dominik Moll in 2011. It was shot in Madrid and stars Vincent Cassel, Déborah François, Geraldine Chaplin, and Sergi López.

This novel shares a number of traits with Ann Radcliffe gothic novels, The Italian and The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Recommended for fans of Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I love my Sister too well to judge her harshly; and till this moment I possessed no Friend so dear to me as yourself. I will also confess, that your having it in your power to oblige me in a business which I have much at heart, makes me very anxious to find you still deserving my esteem.'

'Lorenzo, you transport me! No greater pleasure can be given me, than an opportunity of serving the Brother of Agnes.'

'Convince me that I can accept your favours without dishonour, and there is no Man in the world to whom I am more willing to be obliged.'

'Probably, you have already heard your Sister mention the name of Alphonso d'Alvarada?'

'Never. Though I feel for Agnes an affection truly fraternal, circumstances have prevented us from being much together. While yet a Child She was consigned to the care of her Aunt, who had married a German Nobleman. At his Castle She remained till two years since, when She returned to Spain, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Calling all Gothic Novel fans : you have to read The Monk - this is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of Gothic novels which will unjade the most jaded. Here you will find much fun to be had with nuns, priests with uncontrollable underwear, more nuns, pregnant nuns, nuns with minimal clothing, nuns giving

Ambrosio, the abbot, is the perfect monk, head of an abbey in Madrid, and the idol of the city, a young, handsome, charismatic man, with a spellbinding voice, that thrills the congregation at his church. All the people flock to it, to hear his sermons, five minutes after the bells ring, the church i

”Lucifer stood before him a second time. He borrowed the Seraph’s form to deceive Ambrosio. He appeared in all that ugliness, which since his fall from heaven had been his portion: His blasted limbs still bore marks of the Almighty’s thunder: A swarthy darkness spread itself over his gigantic form:

This is such a great fun book to read. It's really not like anything else at all, it's so extreme in every way. It was written in the era of the great classics, but this one is never going to be taught in schools.

The book out-Gothics all the Gothic novels you ever read, Jane Austen's Northanger Abbe


Il primo film tratto da questo romanzo è una produzione italo-franco-tedesca del 1972, sceneggiatura firmata dallo spagnolo Luis Buñuel e dal francese Jean-Claude Carrière, regia del greco Adonis Kyrou, con Franco Nero nella parte del monaco Ambrosio e Nathalie Delon in quella di Mati

‘’I must have your soul; must have it mine, and mine forever.’’

This is one of the pioneers of Gothic Fiction, a work that defined one of the most fascinating, demanding and controversial genres. A novel written in the end of the 18th century that shocked the reading audience of its time with its

Click here to watch a video review of this book on my BookTube channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Scandalous and scintillating, The Monk is a literary marvel.


Αυτό το "γοτθικό" κλασικό βιβλίο με οδήγησε στην Ισπανία του μεσαίωνα σε ένα κλίμα δεισιδαιμονίας θρησκευτικής αποχαύνωσης και διαστροφής.

Τοποθετημένο σε ένα μεσαιωνικό μοναστήρι με έναν χαρισματικά και αγγελικά διεστραμμένο καλόγερο που μαγεύει τα πλήθη, αρχίζει να περιπλέκεται

Does character redemption exist in Lewis’s world? No, I think not. The vile protagonist degrades himself on every level. Here’s a list to show how messed up he is:

1. He lusts after his sister.
2. He becomes obsessed.
3. He tries to rape his sister.
4. He goes insane.
5. He tries to kill his sister.

When I was younger, I avoided this book because the literary snob in me--a much more insistent voice back then than now--had decided, on the basis of ”informed opinion,” that “The Monk” was a calculated exercise in sensationalism, a device for producing horrific thrills through the deliberate, explo

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