Lost Illusions: Ève and David


Read by Bruce Pirie

(4.5 stars; 22 reviews)

Ève and David (1843) is the final book in Balzac’s Lost Illusions trilogy, which is part of his sweeping set of novels collectively titled La Comédie Humaine. The story is set in post-Napoleonic France. In the first volume of the trilogy (Two Poets, 1837), we meet Lucien Chardon, an aspiring poet frustrated by the pettiness of provincial life. In the second volume (A Distinguished Provincial at Paris, 1839) Lucien, now using the more aristocratic-sounding surname "de Rubempré," leaves his family in order to seek fame and fortune in the literary world of Paris. By the end of that book, he faced imminent emotional and financial collapse.

In this present volume, the reader is returned to the provincial town of Angoulême, where Lucien's sister Ève and her husband, Lucien's friend David, have been desperately struggling against clever competition to keep a their printing shop afloat. Their situation is complicated when Lucien's financial distress spills over into their lives.

Balzac’s work was hugely influential in the development of realism in fiction. The Lost Illusions trilogy is one of his greatest achievements, and is named in the reference work 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. (Summary by Bruce Pirie)

Other volumes in this series:
Lost Illusions: Two Poets
Lost Illusions: A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
The story of Lucien de Rubempré continues in the sequel, Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
(8 hr 20 min)

Chapters

Chapter 1 27:05 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 2 22:17 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 3 21:46 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 4 32:40 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 5 21:46 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 6 34:46 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 7 21:55 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 8 35:38 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 9 30:34 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 10 27:12 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 11 26:24 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 12 18:47 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 13 30:29 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 14 10:17 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 15 25:15 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 16 35:04 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 17 13:05 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 18 26:55 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 19 22:03 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 20 16:18 Read by Bruce Pirie

Reviews

Wonderful!

(5 stars)

Balzac has been difficult to appreciate for me but Mr. Pirie has pulled me into the unforgiving world of the author. Often times one must suspend all preconceived ideals of today and it is richly rewarded...unbelievably rewarded. Balzac will offend and gloriously so! Thank you Mr. Pirie for expanding my world.

Different

(5 stars)

I liked the two previous books better, but am still glad I listened to this book. The narrator, mr. Bruce Pirie as always is a joy to listen to. Thank you, JK

Dreadful, Tiring

(3 stars)

I listened to all three in the series. Excellent reader. No doubt a talented author. The language was beyond my capabilities. The endless coming and going of a thousand characters was dizzying. There was barely a scrap of humor. Nearly everything was a tragedy. Much dishonesty and selfishness. The ending fell flat I am glad I listened and happy it's over.