The Red and the Black

  • by Stendhal
  • Narrated by Davina Porter
  • 20 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Madame de Renal, a wealthy heiress who married the mayor of Verrieres, suddenly finds herself in love with handsome young Julien Sorel, her children's penniless but ambitious new tutor. After a lifetime of complying with all the social rules of French high society, the unassuming Madame de Renal has always regarded true love as the height of immorality, or the subject of fanciful novels. But after meeting the mysteriously charming Julien, both of their lives are transformed in unimaginable ways. Praised for its unflinching look at the hypocrisy of romantic conquests, Stendhal's The Red and the Black remains one of the 19th century's most affecting and passionate novels, and a major influence on modern fiction.

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What the Critics Say

"Of all the instruments that have ever been used for sketching or writing, Stendhal's traces the most delicate line." (Andre Gide)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Great Reading

Stephen's review, while offering a general snipe at Stendhal, doesn't really give much information about this specific recording for those who may wish to know if it is a good audio version of the book or not.

I think Davina Porter is one of the best narrators I have ever heard- in an ideal world, every child would have a mother with a voice like this to read them bedtime stories. It may be a personal feeling, but you can check it out for yourself on the sample.

As for the text, it is also top drawer: I had to read the book in French for my degree, and I also read a Penguin edition when I wanted to reread it and was being lazy, and I bought this version for when I was being even lazier and wanted to 'read' the book while jogging etc. The point of this is that I concluded this translation was better than the Penguin one: it is more faithful to the original while at the same time being beautiful to read.

All in all, this version of this novel is a lovely experience and, in my opinion, twenty hours of your life well spent.
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- Thomas

Stendhal Syndrome

?...a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly 'beautiful' or a large amount of art is in a single place. The term can also be used to describe a similar reaction to a surfeit of choice in other circumstances, e.g. when confronted with immense beauty in the natural world.?
Sorry to report that I didn?t suffer any of the above ? drooping eyelids, paucity of will to live, deadening of the buttocks?tempered with intermittent amusement.
Treat with a large dose of Zola followed by a course of Flaubert to be taken after Maupassant
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- Welsh Mafia

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-07-1999
  • Publisher: Recorded Books