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The Country Doctor (La Comédie humaine)

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  309 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Scenes From Country Life from The Human Comedy (La Comedie Humaine). By the French author, who, along with Flaubert, is generally regarded as a founding-father of realism in European fiction. His large output of works, collectively entitled The Human Comedy (La Comedie Humaine), consists of 95 finished works (stories, novels and essays) and 48 unfinished works. His stories ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Dodo Press (first published 1833)
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Steve Gordon What I was trying to say is that The Country Doctor is not amongst Balzac's best works....not that it isn't a work of genius - as it certainly is.…moreWhat I was trying to say is that The Country Doctor is not amongst Balzac's best works....not that it isn't a work of genius - as it certainly is. When Balzac made an English muffin, it was a work of genius.(less)

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Oct 31, 2009 Eva rated it liked it
At first, I despised the preachiness Balzac fails to hide. He is promoting class equality, which is fine, but his manner is too direct. As I continued, I appreciated more the examples of a capitalist free market system where all increase in productivity and wealth together, being civic minded. And I loved this line about government said by the doctor (protagonist) about teaching the rest of the country to follow his example: "... a government which regards itself as a diffuser of light is the le ...more
Sally Tarbox
..."this life of obscure renunciation",, 29 March 2015

This review is from: The Country Doctor (Kindle Edition)
Somewhere between *3 and *4 for this rather untypical Balzac novel (at least for the first 200 pages.)
The tale is set in the mountains near Grenoble, where, in 1829, a captain from the Napoleonic campaigns has come to seek out a local doctor for medical assistance. As the two strike up a friendship, the doctor (who is also mayor) talks at length on the changes he has wrought to the faili
Sep 05, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, c19th, france
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Narendra Jussien
En 1829, le commandant Genestas, arrive dans un village des environs de Grenoble pour y rencontrer un mdecin dont on lui a vant les talents, le docteur Benssasis. Celui-ci raconte son visiteur comment il fait accder au bien-tre un bourg qu'il a trouv dix ans plus tt dans la plus profonde misre. Le lendemain, il entrane le commandant dans sa tourne de visites, lui fait connatre le pays et ses habitants, dont il est le bienfaiteur; le soir, aprs avoir dner et assist une veille, les deux nouveau ...more
No es uno de los mejores de Balzac, aunque es una buena manera de conocer de verdad la visión de este hombre sobre el mundo y la sociedad. Más que una novela es casi un ensayo sobre política, gobierno, religión, y nos queda claro que Balzac era bonapartista y muy conservador, con ideas que hoy podrían considerarse hasta peligrosas. A veces resulta incluso pesado, pues sus personajes, sobre todo Benassis -el médico- nos recetan monólogos extensísimos en los que exponen su visión del mundo. Intere ...more
Nov 14, 2012 Yves rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xixe-siècle, france
Ce livre de Balzac raconte comment l'arrivée d'un médecin changera drastiquement un petit village. Il raconte à son interlocuteur comment il s'y est pris pour assainir les moeurs et avec quelle efficacité il a construit l'économie complète du village. De plus, au fur et à mesure de la lecture, on découvre les passé des personnages principaux à travers leurs confessions.

La première partie du roman est quand même très naïve et remplie de la pensée magique sur la facilité de redresser une économie.
Dec 29, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it
This is without a doubt the strangest and most serene of all of the author's work. We begin with a rather static story of a military commander named Genestas searching out a Dr Benassis who is much loved in the mountains and valleys of Savoy and in the town where he serves as the mayor. We follow the doctor on his rounds and meet some of the people of the area.

Just when some doubt arouses in the reader's mind where all this is going, the novel ends in confessions by Genestas, Benassis, and a yo
Aug 10, 2012 David rated it liked it
The story takes place in south central France around 1820 something, shortly after the Napoleanic wars, and starts out with a Commandant from the Grand Army in search of a specific country doctor to fix his various hurts from said wars. He finds the doctor alright, and finds (as does the reader) that this doctor can talk endlessly, which he does. He has transformed the peasantry of the area into middle class folk, nothing short of a miracle. One reviewer wrote the book has no story, just and end ...more
May 22, 2016 Helen rated it liked it
Preachy and long - the only redeeming grace is the tale of Napoleon's years and Country Doctor's Confession (just my humble opinion).
Jul 18, 2012 Dagny rated it really liked it
The Country Doctor is one of the isolated books of The Human Comedy. It is set far from Paris and without other characters of the Comedie humaine passing through the story here and there.

Doctor Benassis is the title character in a poor village a few leagues from Grenoble. A chance visitor is enchanted with the small, exceedingly well-run village and intrigued by the unparalleled popularity of Doctor Benassis. Slowly he learns the history, not only of the village but of the man himself, including
John Otto
Feb 29, 2012 John Otto rated it it was ok
Boring!! I thought I had read some Balzac before and liked it. Must not have been this book. It amounts to a lecture on how poor, ignorant country folks can be uplifted through the efforts of one man to become hardworking, prosperous country folks. William Makepeace Thackeray was an English author who wrote around the same time era and wrote in a way that is still interesting. Balzac, at least this book, is extremely dated.
John Mark King
This was a pretty interesting read...a simple portrait of rural France, post-Napolean. Probably not the best de Balzac book to read first, but an interesting story nonetheless. Full of tales of Napolean's exploits as told by former soldiers and peppered with various philosophies of religious order and the value of free trade, I found it an interesting glimpse into this part of history I know little about (from the French perspective).
Feb 19, 2015 علی rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels

در مورد بالزاک؛
Nov 14, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fiction, mexico
It was a bit difficult to decide between 3 or 4 stars for this. Balzac is wonderful in creating vivid characters, this work had a character almost equal to Jean vanjean but not as in as much depth. I felt more like I was reading character sketches than a novel. He did tie them together a bit at the end but not in a great way. Hugo would have done better.
Mar 05, 2014 Luzali rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
ay noooo
empezó muy bien pero luego ya imploraba por su fin
tal vez en mi primera juventud lo hubiera leído de pe a pa con ávidas ansias de empaparme de ese mundo y su escolástica pero no ahora casi muero de aburrimiento hacia la mitad y el final
Steve Gordon
Sep 16, 2011 Steve Gordon rated it really liked it
Truly a Napoleon of the people was he! In the world of Balzac's works, this only gets four stars. Of course amongst the mortals, it would garner five.
Mark Fortner
Jan 04, 2013 Mark Fortner rated it did not like it
The first few chapters of this book read like a lesson in economic theory. I couldn't keep my eyes open.
Lauren Huibregtse
Rather a dry commentary on the possibility of community government and infrastructure...
Tim and Popie Stafford
Didn't grab me. Long winded monologues.
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Honoré de Balzac was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.

Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders o
More about Honoré de Balzac...

Other Books in the Series

La Comédie humaine (1 - 10 of 88 books)
  • La Maison du Chat-qui-pelote
  • The Ball At Sceaux
  • Letters of Two Brides
  • The Purse
  • Modeste Mignon
  • A Start in Life (Dodo Press)
  • Albert Savarus
  • Vendetta
  • A Second Home
  • Domestic Peace

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