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Le Pere Goriot | [Honore de Balzac]

Le Pere Goriot

At the shabby boarding house in the rue Neuve-Sainte-Geneviève, petty Madame Vauquer and her tenants wonder at the plight of the aging resident Goriot. Once a well-heeled merchant, Goriot was, at first, afforded special treatment from the Madame. But now something is clearly amiss in his financial affairs, and his increasingly tawdry appearance makes him a subject of ridicule in the household.
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Publisher's Summary

One of renowned French author Honoré de Balzac's finest works, Père Goriot provides a fascinating glimpse into Parisian life of the early 19th century. The rich character studies and themes of class, personal ambition, and materiality make this insightful novel as compelling today as when it was first published.

At the shabby boarding house in the rue Neuve-Sainte-Geneviève, petty Madame Vauquer and her tenants wonder at the plight of the aging resident Goriot. Once a well-heeled merchant, Goriot was, at first, afforded special treatment from the Madame. But now something is clearly amiss in his financial affairs, and his increasingly tawdry appearance makes him a subject of ridicule in the household. Some think he lost in the markets, others see him as a lecherous patron of prostitutes, but one thing is clear: his selfless, complete devotion to his two daughters.

As the tragedy of old Goriot is revealed, the shallow values of society come into scrutiny.

Listen to the classics: peruse our full list of titles by Honore de Balzac.

(P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"Le Père Goriot holds so much, and in proportion to what it holds is...so simple and compact, that it easily ranks among the few greatest novels we possess." (Henry James)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (70 )
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3.9 (38 )
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Performance
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  •  
    beatrice El Cerrito, CA, United States 03-12-10
    beatrice El Cerrito, CA, United States 03-12-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    159
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    37
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    Overall
    "balzac rocks"

    A first-rate introduction to Balzac, whose work I hadn't read previously. Hecht is fabulous as the creepy, seductive Vautrin.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    murray LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 03-15-13
    murray LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 03-15-13 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    13
    10
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    Story
    "Not as good as i remember it"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    take it out of the classic books of the19th century


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    make it not so ridiculously soap operish


    What three words best describe Paul Hecht’s voice?

    doesn't do character that well


    Did Le Pere Goriot inspire you to do anything?

    go back to english novels


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David E. Gregson San Diego, CA USA 11-22-12
    David E. Gregson San Diego, CA USA 11-22-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    Story
    "If you read only one Balzac novel, this is it."
    Would you listen to Le Pere Goriot again? Why?

    Balzac's powers of description are amazing -- and the characters are memorable.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Without doubt the young student Eugène de Rastignac, an attractive but misguidedly ambitious young man -- whose last name has actually entered the French language as a synonym for an opportunistic social climber -- an "arriviste." Rastignac wrestles with his own moral conscience as he manipulates people to achieve his social ends.


    Any additional comments?

    Superbly read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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