Tyler 's Reviews > Old Goriot

Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
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's review
Sep 27, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 19th-century
Recommended to Tyler by: BBC Big Read list
Recommended for: Anyone; Dads; Guys
Read in September, 2008

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 gems – the perfect son-in-law. Problem is, his daughter’s already married -- to a perfect cad. Maybe the old man can do something to change that, and the action revolves around this effort. The protagonist is the young boarder, a dark-haired law student with foppish designs for whom Goriot’s daughter opens a new world.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I liked this book very much; it makes me want to read more Balzac. (I had not before.) AND I'm a woman, so it's not just to dads & guys.


Tyler Yes, this novel did a good job of catching my attention at the first pages. This was my first Balzac novel as well, and I've read several more since then, all of them good.


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