The Magic Skin

  • by Honore de Balzac
  • Narrated by John Bolen
  • 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"The possession of power, no matter how enormous, does not bring the knowledge how to use it." Raphael, a failed writer, deep in debt, and unrequited in love, is about to take a suicidal plunge into the Seine River. Just in time, he discovers the "Magic Skin" in an antiquity shop. Its supernatural powers grant every wish but it extracts a terrible toll! This parable depicts the malaise of 19th century France.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

poor reading

What a lousy reading! There were so many fake French accents, ALL of them unneccessary, that the book is unintelligible. I gave up after two hours. Don't waste your time or money.
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- Maria

Not well read

This is one of my favorites by Balzac. Warning: like many of his novels (and even more so) , this one starts out slowly, then bursts into action in the second half.
I found the reading itself disappointing. When the characters speak, the reader uses a strange prody of an Eastern European accent--think Pepe le Pew meets Dracula. He also lowers his voice, and kind of growls which is odd, since for the most part, the characters are are very young--in their 20's. This sounds like no French person I've ever known (and I know many), and worse, is often impossible to understand.

When you *can* understand it, this strange accent seems to mock the characters, the story, the French...What a shame! I kept vowing I would not listen through to the end, but it is such a good story,such a great author, and my commute is SOOOO long, I was able to muscle hrough it.

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- Cheryl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2002
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio