Old Goriot

By Honoré de Balzac
Translator unknown
Read by Frederick Davidson

10.40 Hours 12/01/2000 unabridged
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Balzac’s universally loved novel explores the great theme of money and its effect on the human character. Old Goriot is a lodger at Madame Vanquer’s Parisian boardinghouse. At first, his wealth inspires respect, but as his circumstances are reduced, he is gradually shunned by the others. He moves into smaller and less desirable rooms in the house, and soon his only remaining visitors are two beautiful young women. The mystery as to who they are and what is happening to Goriot’s fortune involves several other boarders, including Eugene Rastignac, an ambitious youth who hopes to rise in society. With its complicities and alliances, mysteries and betrayals, passions and ambitions, the house becomes a microcosm of the grasping Parisian society of the 1820s—a perfect setting for Balzac’s masterful portrayal of la comédie humaine, the whole comedic parade of human life.

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Summary

Summary

Balzac’s universally loved novel explores the great theme of money and its effect on the human character. Old Goriot is a lodger at Madame Vanquer’s Parisian boardinghouse. At first, his wealth inspires respect, but as his circumstances are reduced, he is gradually shunned by the others. He moves into smaller and less desirable rooms in the house, and soon his only remaining visitors are two beautiful young women. The mystery as to who they are and what is happening to Goriot’s fortune involves several other boarders, including Eugene Rastignac, an ambitious youth who hopes to rise in society.

With its complicities and alliances, mysteries and betrayals, passions and ambitions, the house becomes a microcosm of the grasping Parisian society of the 1820s—a perfect setting for Balzac’s masterful portrayal of la comédie humaine, the whole comedic parade of human life.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The greatest novelist who ever lived.” W. Somerset Maugham, on Honoré de Balzac
“A man of genius.” Victor Hugo, on Honoré de Balzac
“[A] meticulously observed story of love and greed…Reminiscent of King Lear, it also resonates today with the clarity of the poet’s barbed pen…Frederick Davidson is brilliant, deadening his voice for the dreadful daughters and their ghastly husbands, as well as portraying each ridiculous tenant in the boardinghouse…But it is Goriot’s deathbed scene that causes the hairs to rise on the backs of listeners’ neck. Listeners…cannot remain unmoved.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) was born in Tours, France, educated at the Collège de Vendôme, and studied law at the Sorbonne. His father wished him to become a lawyer, but he left Tours in 1819 to seek his fortune as an author in Paris. He wrote eighty-five novels in twenty years, but his life was one of frequent privation. In 1850, he married Countess Hanska, a rich Polish lady with whom he had corresponded for more than fifteen years. Five months later, Balzac died in Paris.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 10.40
Audience: Adult
Language: English