The Red and the Black

By Stendhal
Translated by Lloyd C. Parks
Read by David Case

18.38 Hours 04/01/2010 unabridged
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One of the great novels of the nineteenth century, The Red and the Black is a powerful character study of Julien Sorel, a clever and idealistic young opportunist who attempts to rise above his station through a combination of talent, deception, and hypocrisy. Sorel uses his powers of seduction and charm to secure advancement, only to find himself betrayed by his own passions and outwitted by the larger political and social intrigues of post-Napoleonic France. His doomed quest for fortune and love is both heroic and satirical, reflecting the inner tensions and outer pretensions that result from desiring what is not ours. Stendhal’s complex portrayal of his characters’ thoughts and feelings was far ahead of his time, earning The Red and the Black recognition as the first modern psychological novel, with Julien as his most brilliant creation and one of the greatest characters in all of literature.

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Summary

Summary

One of the great novels of the nineteenth century, The Red and the Black is a powerful character study of Julien Sorel, a clever and idealistic young opportunist who attempts to rise above his station through a combination of talent, deception, and hypocrisy. Sorel uses his powers of seduction and charm to secure advancement, only to find himself betrayed by his own passions and outwitted by the larger political and social intrigues of post-Napoleonic France. His doomed quest for fortune and love is both heroic and satirical, reflecting the inner tensions and outer pretensions that result from desiring what is not ours. Stendhal’s complex portrayal of his characters’ thoughts and feelings was far ahead of his time, earning The Red and the Black recognition as the first modern psychological novel, with Julien as his most brilliant creation and one of the greatest characters in all of literature.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In The Red and the Black...Stendhal foreshadowed alienation and disaffection. He made them as sexy as a lipstick trace on a wine glass by embodying them in Julien Sorel.” Salon
“The Red and the Black is a shocking novel...it was a novel ahead of its time...the author pulled no punches in his depiction of comtemporary society.” Roger Pearson, Fellow and Praelector in French and The Queen's College, Oxford
“That Stendhal liked women helps explain why he is such a great portrayer of women characters. His portait of Mathilde de La Mole in The Red and the Black is clearly drawn by a man who understood women.” Diane Johnson
“A work of literature that one views as difficult, or as an undertaking, demands the best-quality narration. This re-released production of Stendhal’s finest work, a progenitor of the psychological novel, easily meets this requirement. The late David Case’s pacing lends itself to the themes of class, ambition, and desire. His delivery makes this seemingly dusty work of literature an engrossing story and helps one understand the new ground Stendhal broke in writing it. As Case portrays the archetypal characters, he fully inhabits both their struggles and the satire of the story.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Stendhal

Stendhal, the pen name of Marie-Henri Beyle (1783–1842), was a nineteenth-century French writer. Known for his acute analysis of his characters’ psychology, he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism in his two novels, Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black, 1830) and La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma, 1839).

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 18.38
Audience: Adult
Language: English