The Red and the Black by Stendhal audiobook

The Red and the Black

By Stendhal
Read by Bill Homewood

Naxos
22.08 Hours 1
Format : CD (In Stock)
  • Regular Price: $54.00

    Special Price $21.60

    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781843793991

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More
  • Regular Price: $9.95

    Special Price $3.98

  • Regular Price: $65.99

    Special Price $33.00

    ISBN: 9781094016641

    In Stock ● Ships in 1-2 days

  • Regular Price: $55.99

    Special Price $28.00

    ISBN: 9781094016658

    In Stock ● Ships in 1-2 days

Young Julien Sorel, the son of a country timber merchant, carries a portrait of his hero Napoleon Bonaparte and dreams of military glory. A brilliant career in the Church leads him into Parisian high society, where, “mounted upon the finest horse in Alsace,” he gains high military office and wins the heart of the aristocratic Madamoiselle Mathilde de la Mole. Julien’s cunning and ambition lead him into all sorts of scrapes, but it is the struggle between his passion for two beautiful women—the quixotic Mathilde and the loyal Madame de Rênal—which ultimately decides his destiny.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

Young Julien Sorel, the son of a country timber merchant, carries a portrait of his hero Napoleon Bonaparte and dreams of military glory. A brilliant career in the Church leads him into Parisian high society, where, “mounted upon the finest horse in Alsace,” he gains high military office and wins the heart of the aristocratic Madamoiselle Mathilde de la Mole. Julien’s cunning and ambition lead him into all sorts of scrapes, but it is the struggle between his passion for two beautiful women—the quixotic Mathilde and the loyal Madame de Rênal—which ultimately decides his destiny.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“British actor Bill Homewood has a deep, sonorous voice and narrates with almost musical refinement. He is chameleon-like in his versatility with vocal characterizations, easily switching from the youthful Julien’s timid, earnest voice to the condescending tone of Monsieur de Renal. Homewood is masterful in his narration, capturing all the nuances in the tone and language of Stendhal’s writing.” AudioFile
“A novel ahead of its time.” André Gide, Nobel Prize–winning author

Reviews

Reviews

by Tad Davis 9/15/2018
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Well-narrated but bleak

Bill Homewood gives a stirring reading of this bleak novel. His style of narration takes some getting used to, but if you give him a chance, you’ll find that his voice is beautifully expressive and at times downright lyrical.

My problem is with the book itself. I read it out of a sense of duty, but I hated Julien Sorel, and I began to find his claustrophobic self-consciousness unbearable. I know many readers come to feel some sympathy for Julien by the end, but I’m not one of them. In a nutshell, Julien is a sociopath. Stendhal says, in so many words, that he “lacks any sense of fellow-feeling,” and Julien makes that clear repeatedly.

He’s brilliant at Latin and memorization, and on that basis gets a job as a tutor. He forces himself to seduce Madame de Rênal, not because he really wants to but because it plays into his what-would-Napoleon-do ethic. Discovered and forced to flee at gunpoint, he does a stint at seminary, and then takes a position as private secretary to a Duke.

But then the old thing commences again. This time he seduces the duke’s daughter Mathilde. She falls madly in love with him — partly as the result of his deliberate gamesmanship — and gets pregnant. Her father overcomes his rage to make a generous settlement on the couple. But in answer to his inquiries about Julien, he learns of the previous scandal from Madame de Rênal herself. The marriage plans are broken off and Julien is once again a fugitive.

So what does he do? He goes back to his old town and shoots Madame de Rênal in the middle of a church service. She doesn’t die, but his attempt is enough to earn him the guillotine. As he sits in prison waiting for the sentence to be carried out, he is visited by both women. Madame de Rênal has forgiven him — and he decides he really does love her after all, and treats Mathilde, disgraced and pregnant with his child, with utter contempt.

So no, no sympathy for Julien here. It’s a well-produced audiobook, but not one I’ll be returning to anytime soon.

Author

Author Bio: Stendhal

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).

Titles by Author

See All

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 22.08
Audience: Adult
Language: English