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Father Goriot (version 2)

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By: (1799-1850)

Father Goriot is a heartbreaking tale of love, loss, and betrayal set in early 19th century Paris. The story follows the intertwined lives of several characters, but primarily focuses on the relationship between the titular character, Goriot, and his two daughters.

Balzac masterfully weaves a narrative full of intricate details and vivid descriptions that bring to life the gritty and corrupt world of French society during this time period. The characters are complex and multi-dimensional, each struggling with their own desires and ambitions.

The themes of social climbing, greed, and the plight of the lower class are prevalent throughout the novel, making it both a compelling and thought-provoking read. Balzac's writing style is rich and immersive, drawing readers into the dark and tumultuous world of his characters.

Overall, Father Goriot is a timeless classic that delves deep into the human condition, exploring the complexities of relationships and the consequences of one's actions. It is a must-read for any fans of classic literature or historical fiction.

Book Description:
Father Goriot , published in 1835, is widely considered to be Balzac's finest and most popular novel. It is set in Paris in 1819, after Napoleon's defeat and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. France was undergoing massive social upheaval, as the new bourgeoisie jockeyed for position alongside the old aristocracy. Against this backdrop, we follow the lives of Goriot, an old man who irrationally dotes on his daughters; Vautrin, a shadowy criminal mastermind; and Rastignac, a young man from the provinces who studies how to navigate the complexities and climb the ladder of Parisian society. Balzac's masterful use of physical and psychological detail makes this book a landmark in the development of realism in western literature. - Summary by Bruce Pirie


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