Father Goriot (version 2)

Read by Bruce Pirie

(4.7 stars; 72 reviews)

Father Goriot (Le Père Goriot), published in 1835, is widely considered to be Balzac's finest and most popular novel. It is set in Paris in 1819, after Napoleon's defeat and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. France was undergoing massive social upheaval, as the new bourgeoisie jockeyed for position alongside the old aristocracy. Against this backdrop, we follow the lives of Goriot, an old man who irrationally dotes on his daughters; Vautrin, a shadowy criminal mastermind; and Rastignac, a young man from the provinces who studies how to navigate the complexities and climb the ladder of Parisian society. Balzac's masterful use of physical and psychological detail makes this book a landmark in the development of realism in western literature. - Summary by Bruce Pirie (11 hr 27 min)


Chapter 1 43:17 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 2 32:54 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 3 17:51 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 4 24:57 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 5 11:07 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 6 29:33 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 7 48:58 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 8 26:24 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 9 49:06 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 10 46:31 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 11 45:27 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 12 43:30 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 13 41:32 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 14 41:42 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 15 36:31 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 16 42:25 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 17 43:42 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 18 30:45 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 19 31:06 Read by Bruce Pirie


a great story

(5 stars)

I enjoyed the story, which unfolds slowly with long descriptive passages, very much. The reader, Bruce Pirie, is excellent. His voice conveys the meaning of the characters yet "disappears" in the sense that his voice never distracts the reader from the tale and the characters.

(5 stars)

Working my way through ‘La Comedie Humaine’, and found this another fascinating glimpse of French life, class & culture in the 1800s. The reader, Bruce Pirie is 1st class and it is a shame that he is not the reader of the entire collection. Some, sadly, are completely devoid of expression and inflection that I’ve been unable to get through the first chapter. Wish I could find a list of all his readings.

Spectacular Narration!

(5 stars)

10/10 for Narration by Bruce Pirie - which brought to life the rich characters in this book. This is my first book by Honore de Balzac, and thanks to the perfect narration I will go on to read the rest of The Human Comedy.


(5 stars)

This book has been on my reading/listening list for quite some time. Beautifully written, in many ways so true to life. Again, the narrator, mr. Bruce Pirie, contributed so much to this book, thank you, JK

A Masterpiece of a Story

(5 stars)

Bruce Pirie is a narrator not to be missed and he reads Balzac to perfection and the right touch of passion. The story taps human emotion in every way possible. Brilliant!


(5 stars)

As poignant today as when written. Not a light hearted jaunt through a man's life, but rather, a gut grabbing look at the consequences of familial relationships. An excellent LibriVox Volunteer.

A must listen!

(5 stars)

A timeless coming of age story beautifully read. I will not spoil the ending by saying more.

Outstanding reader

(5 stars)

Bruce Pirie's sensitive reading of this classic is deeply moving. Pirie's reading is unforgettable.