• The Magic Skin

  • By: Honore de Balzac
  • Narrated by: John Bolen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 18-10-02
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.5 (8 ratings)


"The possession of power, no matter how enormous, does not bring the knowledge how to use it." Raphael, a failed writer, deep in debt, and unrequited in love, is about to take a suicidal plunge into the Seine River. Just in time, he discovers the "Magic Skin" in an antiquity shop. Its supernatural powers grant every wish but it extracts a terrible toll! This parable depicts the malaise of 19th century France.
©2002 Tantor Media Incorporated
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Jeannie on 14-05-07

The Magic Skin

This is, I think, the worst read audiobook I have ever listened to. It is so badly read that it is not possible to follow or understand the story. Pauses in all the wrong places, pseudo-French accents (as if one needed this) for the dialogue, and the said (un)French accents make it almost impossible to hear, much less comprehend, what is going on. Had I known in advance, I should never have bought it. Pity, as I understand it's a great novel!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Welsh Mafia on 13-09-08

The Chagrin is in the listening??.

Balzac is a loved Parisian companion of many a jaunt to a g?te. Give the guy a break, you need the absolute of the French countryside to enjoy this one fully. Not to everyone?s taste, but then you pass many caravans on Le Franciliene and though bound for campsites we?re all still on holiday, aren?t we?

What a poor production of ?La Peau de chagrin.? One of the true French greats really grates here ? having to turn my speakers right up to get any sort of reasonable delivery. ?In-audible?, I think is more appropriate.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Maria on 04-02-04

poor reading

What a lousy reading! There were so many fake French accents, ALL of them unneccessary, that the book is unintelligible. I gave up after two hours. Don't waste your time or money.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Cheryl on 17-08-09

Not well read

This is one of my favorites by Balzac. Warning: like many of his novels (and even more so) , this one starts out slowly, then bursts into action in the second half.
I found the reading itself disappointing. When the characters speak, the reader uses a strange prody of an Eastern European accent--think Pepe le Pew meets Dracula. He also lowers his voice, and kind of growls which is odd, since for the most part, the characters are are very young--in their 20's. This sounds like no French person I've ever known (and I know many), and worse, is often impossible to understand.

When you *can* understand it, this strange accent seems to mock the characters, the story, the French...What a shame! I kept vowing I would not listen through to the end, but it is such a good story,such a great author, and my commute is SOOOO long, I was able to muscle hrough it.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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