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Cousin Bette (Classics) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, December 2, 2004||
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Beyond all question one of the very greatest of [Balzac's] works.-- "George Saintsbury"
The masterpiece of his premature old age.-- "Graham Robb, Balzac biographer" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B002RI9X24
- Publisher : Penguin; Reprint edition (December 2, 2004)
- Publication date : December 2, 2004
- Language : English
- File size : 806 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 468 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #685,541 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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“I have learned more from Balzac than from all the professional historians, economists, and statisticians put together.”
“To open up what society and the novel of manners repress, to stage a kind of explosive upthrust of that which is ordinarily kept down, under control, is Balzac’s delight and his passion. He asks to be read in a spirit of adventure and daring.”
"COUSIN BETTE portrays a world in which almost everyone will do anything to anyone if sex and money are at stake, a milieu in which sex is routinely traded for money, in which friendships and alliances are forged to advance the most immoral motives, and in which only fools and martyrs are deluded enough to follow the outmoded promptings of honor, loyalty, and conscience."
Well, I certainly think so anyway.
This edition of the novel is not of the best. It is large and hard to hold! I would buy the penguin edition next time -- which is also a better translation.
The ending was rather quickly finished but the story was quite a visual soap opera.
Top reviews from other countries
Using a relatively small cast of (main) characters, Balzac succeeds in depicting a whole host of passions and emotions, most of them the kind we like to attribute to others but are hesitant to acknowledge in ourselves, such as treachery, envy, jealousy, even hatred. The story in itself is simple and straightforward: Bette is the (poor) cousin of Adeline who married into money after meeting the (then young and dashing) Baron Hulot, and has depended on her relatives' goodwill and patronage ever since. Bette has secretly fallen in love with the Polish count Steinbock, and when Adeline's daughter Hortense captures his attention and subsequently marries him, that is the last straw for Bette. From that moment on she sets out to plot and deceive with the sole goal of ruining the entire Hulot-family. Does she succeed? Well, I urge you to find out for yourselves. In doing so you'll encounter a rich array of very lifelike characters, in a plot that moves along briskly, find yourself facing some serious (at times disturbing) dilemmas (such as 'What would I have done?'), and be treated to little nuggets of timeless insight into the human mind on virtually every page.
A real treat, as worthy of our attention today as it was upon its first publication in 1847!