Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Black Sheep by Honore de Balzac (1842, - A Novel - A Component of The Human Comedy)

My Posts on Balzac

The Black Sheep is very much what I have come to see as a typical Balzac novel centering on family difficulties brought on by  money problems. I am about a third of the way toward reading through The Human Comedy, not really that big a project, many dedicated book bloggers could do it in under three months, and I see the biggest potential obstacle the seeming sameness of many of  the works.  But that is only a first thought, on second thought every work has interesting things and lets you time travel to France circa 1830 to 1845.  

Wikepedia has a good plot summery so I will just mention a few things I really liked.

I enjoyed learning about how the Paris lottery worked, how lottery branches were often given out as kind of sinecures to deserving and politically in favor widows.  There is a vicious scheme to poison all the dogs in a village and for some warped reason I quite liked that.  There is a plot to starve 100s of mice and then releases them into an enemie's granary.   I really like all the food descriptions and especially the very famous section devoted to making a quality omelet. Money, food,  class, are all intimately tied together in Balzac's world.

This book is primarily for those reading the full comedy.  

29 of 91

I have now begun A Woman of Thirty.

      "I find all this constant talk of money tiresome"
                       Ambrosia Bousweau 

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