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Lost Illusions by [Honore Balzac, Ellen Marriage]

Lost Illusions Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 126 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Balzac [was] the master unequalled in the art of painting humanity as it exists in modern society," wrote George Sand. "He searched and dared everything."

Written between 1837 and 1843, Lost Illusions reveals, perhaps better than any other of Balzac's ninety-two novels, the nature and scope of his genius. The story of Lucien Chardon, a young poet from Angoulême who tries desperately to make a name for himself in Paris, is a brilliantly realistic and boldly satirical portrait of provincial manners and aristocratic life. Handsome and ambitious but naïve, Lucien is patronized by the beau monde as represented by Madame de Bargeton and her cousin, the formidable Marquise d'Espard, only to be duped by them. Denied the social rank he thought would be his, Lucien discards his poetic aspirations and turns to hack journalism; his descent into Parisian low life ultimately leads to his own death.

"Balzac was both a greedy child and an indefatigable observer of a greedy age, at once a fantastic and a genius, yet possessing a simple core of common sense," noted V. S. Pritchett, one of his several biographers. Another, André Maurois, concluded: "Balzac was by turns a saint, a criminal, an honest judge, a corrupt judge, a minister, a fob, a harlot, a duchess, and always a genius."

This Modern Library edition presents the translation by Kathleen Raine. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Review

"Whether or not Lost Illusions counts as the greatest novel ever written, as the literary scholar Franco Moretti claims, it’s a pretty magnificent one. You can read it for its combination of social scope and psychological insight, and for its cinematically vivid portraits of faces . . . and many fine phrases. . . . And then you can read Lost Illusions, as Marx read Balzac, for its account of the double-edged nature of early capitalism."—Benjamin Kunkel, Salon.com 

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003TSEEM0
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Neeland Media LLC (June 24, 2010)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 24, 2010
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1674 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 390 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 126 ratings

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
126 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2017
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18 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2019
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3 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2014
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34 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 27, 2009
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15 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

R J Fergusson
1.0 out of 5 stars This edition is unreadable! It's as though it was written by someone with no knowledge of English!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 19, 2020
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Will Stanford
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 27, 2013
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7 people found this helpful
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David Bisset
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Balzac
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 7, 2021
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Amelia Ofori
5.0 out of 5 stars Intensely amusing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 29, 2016
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michael hammett
5.0 out of 5 stars A great French classic.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 24, 2019
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