Cousin Bette

  • by Honore de Balzac
  • Narrated by Johanna Ward
  • 16 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Bette referred to in this magnificent novel's title is Lisbeth Fischer, an excruciatingly cunning poor relation who both depends upon and nurses a terrible grudge against the family of her beautiful cousin, Adeline. That family is slowly being ruined by the uncontrollable sexual appetites of Adeline's husband, Baron Hulot - appetites that will, in time, give Cousin Bette opportunity to exact her vengeance. 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


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.
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- Tambi


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.
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- Adrienne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-22-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.