Balzac described Cousin Bette as one of his "scenes of Parisian life", and it is certainly that. It offers us a hypnotic vision of that infinitely varied city during the bright, vital, scandalous, and sexually untrammeled era of King Louis-Philippe. The courtesans, swindlers, bankers, artists, murderers, detectives, and saints populating this world pass before us invested with a verve and vividness unsurpassed in the history of the novel.
(P)1999 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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This is a delightful, witty, scathingly ironic novel of 18th century Paris. Joanna Ward raises it to even greater heights -- she is simply a wonderful narrator.
This book falls into the category of "can't put it down." I found it to be fascinating and captivating, all of the characters are rich. I found that I had to really listen and pay attention, especially in the beginning, but once I was hooked it was most rewarding. The narrator does an exceptional job. You will think about this story even when you are not listening to it.
Johanna Ward is a suberb reader.
I loved this book. it was very modern despite being an old book. It actually reminded me alot of Anna Karinena I would recommend his book to any one. The narrator was excellent too.
"Pre-code scandlous fun"
A fine example of inspired professional writing. I read this book after it was mentioned in Prose's reading like a writer...and I was not disappointed. The style of writing is while florid, still engaging and accessible. The number of French clich?s is a delight to the student of language, but having a basic command of French and Paris will make the book all the more enjoying. I recommend this book as the audio backdrop for a 2 week vacation in Paris.
But, I warn the naive or moralistic that this book can be quite shocking...although never pornographic. Rich complex, although often cartoonish character studies.
Good emotional insights, and many tragic insights on the struggles of the un-attractive vs the favored and the transitory nature of both.
I did listen twice because I could not keep the characters apart and the reader didn't change her voice enough to help me remember individual characters. After I got past that it was easier to listen to.
Actually, none of them since none were able to see their own problems let alone do anything about them.
In the beginning it was difficult to keep the characters apart.
No, not possible.
I was a lot like a modern day soap opera.
"A morale tale of greed, envy, and vice."
I don't know. Though it seems like a good topic roster to listen to, I had trouble staying interested at times. Maybe it was the reading.
Great story that feels immediate, even though the world has changed. People always want more sex, security and power. Universal.
"Doing justice to Balzac"
Johanna Ward reads this book beautifully! She clearly has excellent control of both French and English and it shows! Thanks!
"Save your money/credits"
In the hundreds of books I have listened to, this is the second one that I could not finish. Poor narration and story combine to make it a waste of credits.
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