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Père Goriot (La Comédie Humaine)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  26,864 ratings  ·  808 reviews
Père Goriot can rightly be regarded as one of the greatest of Balzac’s novels,” writes Henry Reed of this masterful study of a father who sacrifices everything for his daughters. This novel marked the true beginning of Balzac’s towering project La Comédie Humaine, his series of novels and short stories depicting “the whole pell-mell of civilization.” In Père Goriot, the g ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published December 7th 2004 by Signet (first published 1835)
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Riku Sayuj

The Importance of Being Cynical

Rastignac’s education is the theme of the novel — provided at the expense of Père Goriot, who built up a fortune from nothing, married his daughters into wealth and was duly ignored and left to die a lonely death. This clear tragedy tells Rastignac, and perhaps France itself, what it takes to succeed in a Capitalist World: ruthlessness and a complete apathy to moral sentiments.

As Vautrin explains to Rastignac, it is illusory to think that social success can be ach
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 18, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: classics, 1001-core, 501
No doubts on my part. This novel deserves a 5-star rating. Challenge my rating if you want and I know I can defend it, tooth and nail.

At first, this seems to be just a story of an old man, Pere Goriot and how he ends up in the pupper's grave despite being a rich businessman when he's still strong. His fault is that he loves and cares for his 2 spoiled uncaring ungrateful daughters who get all his riches and in the end don't even care going to his deathbed. However, that plot seems to be just sec
Sep 09, 2010 Mon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 19th-c
Years ago my mum was an English literature professor and my dad a linguist at an university. Ever since I could read beyond the alphabet books I was spoon fed 'serious classic literature'. Mum had a particular passion for all things French, and I read things like The Red and the Black and Madame Bovary before Harry Potter was even published. Like most normal children, I did not enjoy anything over 200 pages with dense text about poverty and woman's fashion and instead resorted to large amount ...more
many pre-20th century novels have the nasty habit of presenting their author's beliefs as hard, solid fact. y'know what i mean: sentences which flatly state that 'Women believe' such and such or, as per balzac (pg. 51), "Young men's eyes take everything in; their spirits react to..." (<-- to which i'd argue: no! young men's eyes don't take in shit. and if i was gonna write either/or i'd find some elegant means to qualify it). now, wishy-washy apologetic sentences deserve destruction by sharpi ...more
"Lord, this world of yours is so badly made!"
- Goriot

Supremely melodramatic, fierce, sweeping, lurid, and a little gay, Goriot is a kickass novel. The most famous of Balzac's encyclopedic Comédie humaine, a series of linked stories and 91 novels that I'm not sure has ever been paralleled, this installment crams into 300 pages about six different stories and a view of Parisian life in the early 1800s that swoops from bird's eye to microscopic detail, excluding nothing. "Paris is an ocean," says B
Lynne King
A beautiful classic that everyone loves but not for me.

I loved the "Peau de chagrin" - by Balzac - my best essay at university. A true shame in this respect and I must confess it bothers me. All I can say is that tastes change with time...
Mamdouh Abdullah
حين يكتب فيكتور هيجو عن باريس، يشبهها بفتاة مغناج، تنفجر ضاحكة في وجه الجنس البشري وتقول أأنا بلهاء؟! لها ابتهاج هو بمثابة الصاعقة، وضحكتها فوهة بركان يصيب رشاشه الأرض. ولها الحق في أن تكون كذلك حسب تصوره، إذ أن لها يوم 14 تموز، وهي تحمل جميع الأمم على أن تقسم يمين ملعب التنس. كتبها ومسرحها وفنها وعلمها وفلسفتها ينهل منها البشر: تفاخر بباسكال وديكارت وروسو وفولتير وموليير. يشاطرها الكون لغتها، وهي فوق ذلك كائن أخلاقي. أكثر من عظيمة، وغير متناهية. لماذا؟ لأنها تتجرأ حسب قوله. غير أن باريس هذه تصد ...more
I expected to like this book more, and I didn't absolutely love it perhaps because this is a precurser to the works of Hugo and Zola whose novels I really love, and somehow less refined -- in short, I was kind of disappointed, and I know this author and love him but haven't read him in a while so this may be something too. Here's what I did love: the translator, Ellen Marriage; portrayals (and utterances) of Vautrin and Eugene; despite a slow start, the author's eternal truths interspersed throu ...more
This is my third Balzac novel, and I've enjoyed every one. Each reads easily with wonderful descriptions, vivid characters, great dialogue and interesting plots. Balzac is hard on every strata of society, but there's still plenty enough good qualities in at least a few characters and enough humor sprinkled here and there to alleviate the grim reality.
David Lentz
Balzac was a most enthusiastic participant of high society in Paris in his heyday principally because it yielded so many characters for his human comedy. Despite the artifice of glamor, wealth and nobility, a young attorney named Rastignac learns that it is shallow, materialistic and vain beyond all sense. Aspiring to make a name for himself, Rastignac stays in a bording house where he meets old Goriot, a vermicelli merchant with two daughters prominent in Paris society. Like King Lear, Goriot l ...more
It's good to study up on the history of the novel -- this one's apparently a founding father. Maybe if I'd read it with nothing to do for a week my experience would've been different, but I was too often distracted to commit to the concerns of early-19th century Paris. As such, my feelings about this one are mixed, like with Stendhal's The Red and the Black last year.

I love the expository jags, the proclamations about the behavior of all young men, all women in Paris. The essayistic asides seem
يبدو أننا اسأنا الظن في الفرنسيين، ففي كثير من المجتمعات (حتى الغربية) تعد الهوية الفرنسية صنوا للانفتاح في مجال العلاقات وماشابه. ولقد دحضت هذه الرواية ذلك المعتقد بضراوة. فهاهي خالة البطل تنصحه بإيقاع اختين متزوجتين في غرامه. ثم يلتقي بأبيهما فينصحه بعشق إحداهن لأنها الأقرب إلى قلبه، بل ويدفع ماوراءه وما أمامه ليفرش لهما (عشا) بعيدا عن بيت الزوج البغيض. عموما نعتذر للفرنسيين هذا الإجحاف بحق سمعتهم، ولكن هذه سنة الحياة، و (ياما) في فرنسا (مظاليم).

تحكي رواية بلزاك عن شاب من الطبقة الوسطى المتدني
Jim Coughenour
"It's a great shame that so many readers owe their first (and often last) contact with French literature to the opening pages of Le Père Goriot," writes Graham Robb in his resplendent biography of Balzac. Balzac begins his book with a pages-long description of the Pension Vaquer, an impoverished boarding house where key characters will come together. I'd have to disagree; Balzac's minute description of this seedy setting, which is also a description of its landlady, Madame Vaquer, is as over-the ...more
Sep 27, 2008 Tyler rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone; Dads; Guys
Recommended to Tyler by: BBC Big Read list
Shelves: 19th-century
A distinctive element of this novel stems from its compactness. Most of the action takes place at a boarding house or a couple of other locations in Paris. The setup highlights the interaction between people, and the author’s astute observations about human nature set the story off. Balzac’s prose is superb, and his command of detail gives readers a palpable feel for the lives of people so far removed in time (1819) from us.

Goriot is a father who, among the fellow boarders, finds that rarest of
En me documentant sur ce roman, j'avais pensé trouver une sorte d'étude sociale zolienne. Mais Le Père Goriot s'est bel et bien détaché de toutes mes précédentes lectures datant du XIXÈME siècle. Ce roman de Balzac, le vingt-deuxième du cycle de la Comédie Humaine et la collection «Scènes de la vie privée», relate les aventures d'Eugène de Rastignac, jeune noble sorti de sa province pour affronter la capitale française. Résidant dans la modeste pension Vauquer, l'étudiant a pour ambition de bril ...more
Lydia Presley
Original review posted here

This book floored me. I mean, jaw on the floor, gaping as I read, type of floored me. Who knew Balzac could be so approachable? I picked up this book fully expecting to struggle through it, much like my earlier trials with Middlemarch, and instead I found myself thoroughly intrigued by this drama. And Balzac himself, as narrator of the story of Father Goriot, calls it a drama, although he hastens to explain that it isn’t quite the same as those other dramas of the time
Justin Evans
I am a style snob, but every now and then I find myself reading something that's, how can I put this?, not so finely crafted, and not really caring. This was one of those occasions. There's not much need for me to go into depth here: "Goriot" is a great novel of modernity, with great characters, great literary echoes, and a perfect understanding of what life is like--what it is still like. There are seventeenth century journalists who would regard the narrator as clumsy, yes. The characters are ...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five for the Burton Raffel translation

The review has moved to my blog.
Ahmad Sharabiani
920. Le Père Goriot, Honoré de Balzac
بابا گوریو - اونوره دو بالزاک (ققنوس، ...) ادبیات فرانسه

این کتاب را «م.ا. به آذین»، و «مهدی سحابی» ترجمه کرده اند
ا. شربیانی
د. حمدان
الأب غوريو أونوريه بلزاك

بلزاك 1799 – 1850 هو روائي فرنسي ويعد مع فلوبير من رواد المدرسة الواقعية.. وهو روائي غزير الإنتاج "91" رواية.. وأكثر من مائة قصة.. نشرت خلال فترة ما يقارب العشرين سنة. إشتهرت أعمال بلزاك باسم "الكوميديا الإنسانية" وهي تمثل سلسلة من الأعمال تظهر نقداً لمجتمع باريس بحس ساخر لاذع ولا تخفى فيه المواقف المضحكة المبكية.

الأب غوريو هي أحد أهم أعمال سلسلة الكوميديا الإنسانية.. وتبدأ الرواية بوصف للفندق الصغير لمدام فوكير والذي يعيش فيه البطل غوريو وجاره الفتى الريفي إيجين دي راست
Another of Balzac’s studies of Parisian society and class divisions in early 19th century France. The story was initially published in serial form in 1834.

The shady character Vautrin summarized Parisian society to the young student Eugene Rastignac in this way: “If you get splashed with mud riding in a carriage you’re an honest fellow, while you’re a rogue if you get dirty on foot. If you have the bad luck to nab something from somebody you become a peepshow for the crowd at the Place du Palais
Justin Bendana
Perhaps it is a good time as ever to read such a book as Old Goriot. Well, I am 20 years old, young, ambitious, a novice, and most of all innocent to the ways of how society works. Of course, I will feel much inclined to like the character of young Eugene Rastignac. Like Eugene, I wanted to be accepted into the upper echelon of society by entering into the legal profession as my parents and i have always dreamed of, but I wanted most of all to be accepted in so called 'modern society' through th ...more
Cleyton Boson
Balzac is perfect in this book where the good sensibility is mere moral pretend. At first view, Father Goriot is just a good old man that wants the happiness to his daughters. But they don’t love him as he would must be loved. His daughters have shame of him and blame him of his poverty. The good old man suffers cause of this relationship through all novel and end his life in a horrible and pathetic condition.
This is a sad history to you? However, Balzac get become it much more cruel yet. Gorio
Some King Lear comparisons have to be inevitable: about a rather stupid, annoying but devoted father to two spoilt and rapacious daughters who bleed him dry.

Eugene de Rastignac, a young and handsome student's choices are followed, too. He is often found in a position of having to make choices between his ambitions and his sense of honour; his existence seems to be an uneasy combination of the two.

The want for money is a big theme, and the hotbed of social ambition that Paris was. Balzac's rich
کتاب به نقد زندگی اشرافی در فرانسه می پردازد و جنبه های منفی گرایش به پول، خوش گذرانی و زندگی مادی را تا آنجا برجسته می کند که نشان می دهد فرزندان پدری که از همه دارایی خود برای آن ها گذشته است حتی هنگام مرگ او نیز به فکر عیاشی های خود هستند. متأسفانه این موضوع تنها مسئله فرانسه ی زمان بالزاک نیست و امروزه در فرهنگ خودمان نیز شاهد آن هستیم. حداقل من به عینه یک بابا گوریویی می شناسم که همواره دلم به حال او می سوزد... .
Matteo Di Maggio
È proprio grazie a papà Goriot che capisci il vero amore di un padre verso i propri figli! Un capolavoro ottocentesco e post rivoluzionario che marchia la vecchia società parigina come spietata e discriminante verso le persone più umili, come appunto il Goriot.
Il suo amore e la sua devozione rappresentano un grande esempio di umanità, di rispetto verso la famiglia.
Papà Goriot è veramente un capolavoro!
Tempo de Ler
Em «O Pai Goriot», Honoré de Balzac retrata mais uma vez a degenerada sociedade parisiense do século XIX. Numa narrativa nada difícil de acompanhar, o autor passa por dramas familiares, tragédias económicas, esquemas criminosos, romances verdadeiros e aproximações oportunistas.

Goriot investiu o seu dinheiro no casamento das duas filhas com homens de relevância social. Pai dedicado, Goriot fez tudo ao seu alcance para garantir a felicidade das filhas, filhas essas que, no entanto, vivem centradas
Simona Bartolotta
«Ma un uomo è un dio quando somiglia a voi: non è più una macchina rivestita di pelle, ma un teatro dove fermentano i sentimenti più belli, e io non vivo che per i sentimenti. Un sentimento non è forse il mondo in un pensiero?».

Ammetto che, almeno fin quando non ho superato lo scoglio del primo capitolo, ero convinta che non l'avrei finito. È stato con piacevole sorpresa, dunque, che proseguendo con la lettura mi sono vista pian piano -forse un po' troppo piano- trascinare nel delizioso vortice
I colori della tavolozza stanno ad un pittore, così come le parole stanno a Balzac il quale, con un tocco di pennello, ha disegnato l'umanità del diciannovesimo secolo parigino, ma in realtà anche quella del ventunesimo secolo italiano, e del diciottesimo inglese. Come un sommozzatore scandaglia il fondo marino, così Balzac è stato in grande di scandagliare l'animo umano arrivando nel fondo più profondo e descrivendo maschere sociali che, nella vita di tutti i giorni, smettono di mimare se stess ...more
Balzac, Honore de, PERE GORIOT (1834)
I had no expectations of this l9th century French effort by the prolific Balzac, but it's a fine novel, as timely now as when it was written. The question it raises is one of how a parent shows his love for his children. In Goriot's case, as with many parents today, it was to try to give the children every advantage in life he could. In his case, the resource most at his disposal was money and what it could provide.
Goriot is a plain man, lacking social con
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Etude du Roman 1 6 Jul 24, 2015 08:32AM  
  • La Bête humaine (Les Rougon-Macquart, #17)
  • Bouvard and Pecuchet
  • Jacques the Fatalist
  • The Charterhouse of Parma
  • Une vie
  • Un amour de Swann (À la recherche du temps perdu, #1.2)
  • Gargantua and Pantagruel
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 89 books)
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  • 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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