Le Pere Goriot

  • by Honore de Balzac
  • Narrated by Paul Hecht
  • 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

balzac rocks

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

For a classic, disappointing: bleak and humourless

I'm a big fan of classic 19th c. novels, but this is the first novel by Balzac I've read. It will probably be the last. I found the story mediocre, the writing longwinded, and most of the characters uninteresting. The moral development of the law student Rastignac (sp?) is somewhat interesting as he first is corrupted by and then has his eyes opened to the true nature of 'high society.' But the interminable scenes in the last third of the novel ddepicting Goriot declaring his love for his daughters while they carry on fleecing him down to the shirt on his back simply lose interest. The reading was fine.
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- Emrys

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-05-2007
  • Publisher: Recorded Books