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The Mysteries of Paris, Volume 1

The Mysteries of Paris, Volume 1 by Eugène Sue
By: (1804-1857)

Eugène Sue's The Mysteries of Paris, Volume 1 is a captivating and immersive novel that delves deep into the dark underbelly of Paris society in the early 19th century. The story follows the journey of a young man named Rodolphe, who disguises himself as a vagabond to explore the city's seedy and dangerous neighborhoods.

Sue's vivid descriptions and intricate character development bring the streets of Paris to life, allowing readers to feel as though they are walking alongside Rodolphe as he uncovers the city's many secrets and scandals. From the bustling markets to the shadowy alleyways, Sue paints a vivid picture of a city teeming with both beauty and corruption.

The novel's exploration of social issues such as poverty, crime, and injustice adds depth and complexity to the story, making it not only an entertaining read but also a thought-provoking commentary on the inequalities of society. Overall, The Mysteries of Paris, Volume 1 is a gripping and engrossing novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.

Book Description:
The Mysteries of Paris (French: Les Mystères de Paris) is a novel by Eugène Sue which was published serially in Journal des débats from June 19, 1842 until October 15, 1843. Les Mystères de Paris singlehandedly increased the circulation of Journal des débats.

There has been lots of talk on the origins of the French novel of the 19th century: Stendhal, Balzac, Dumas, Gautier, Sand or Hugo. One often forgets Eugène Sue. Still, The Mysteries of Paris occupies a unique space in the birth of this literary genre: it entranced thousands of readers for more than a year (even illiterates who had episodes read to them) and was also a major work in the formation of a certain form of social consciousness. One often hears that the 1848 revolution was partly born in the pages of the Mysteries of Paris or, more appropriately, that the Mysteries of Paris helped create a climate which allowed the 1848 revolution to occur.

The hero of the novel is the mysterious and distinguished Rodolphe, who is really the Grand Duke of Gérolstein (a fictional country) but is disguised as a Parisian worker. Rodolphe can speak in argot, is extremely strong and a good fighter. Yet he also shows great compassion for the lower classes, good judgment, and a brilliant mind. He can navigate all layers of society in order to understand their problems, and to understand how the different social classes are linked.

Rodolphe is accompanied by his friends Sir Walter Murph, an Englishman, and David, a gifted black doctor, formerly a slave.

The first figures they meet are Le Chourineur and La Goualeuse. Rodolphe saves La Goualeuse from Le Chourineur's brutality, and saves Le Chourineur from himself, knowing that the man still has some good in him. La Goualeuse is a prostitute, and Le Chourineur is a former butcher who has served 15 years in prison for murder. Both characters are grateful for Rodolphe's assistance, as are many other characters in the novel.

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Reviews (Rated: 1 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - March 3, 2016
Subject: The Mysteries of Paris
May be a good story, I'll never know, I gave up after 15 chapters due to too many different narrators with their varying recording qualities.

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