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Lost Illusions: Two Poets

Gelesen von Bruce Pirie

(4,529 Sterne; 51 Bewertungen)

Two Poets (1837) is the first 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, when the new bourgeoisie was jostling for position alongside the old aristocracy. We meet Lucien Chardon, a young provincial who romantically aspires to be a poet, and his friend David Séchard, who struggles to manage his father’s printing shop and falls in love with Lucien’s sister Ève. The picture of provincial life that emerges is laced with greed, ambition, and duplicity.

Balzac’s work was hugely influential in the development of realism in fiction, and indeed in creating our sense of 19th-century European culture. Oscar Wilde archly said, “The 19th century, as we know it, is largely an invention of Balzac’s.” 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. The two other volumes in the trilogy are A Distinguished Provincial at Paris (1839) and Ève and David (1843). (Summary by Bruce Pirie)

Other volumes in this series:
Lost Illusions: A Distinguished Provincial At Paris
Lost Illusions: Ève and David (6 hr 22 min)


Chapter 1


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Chapter 2


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Chapter 3


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Chapter 4


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Chapter 5


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Chapter 6


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Chapter 7


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Chapter 8


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Chapter 9


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Chapter 10


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Chapter 11


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Chapter 12


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Chapter 13


Read by Bruce Pirie



(5 Sterne)

I've yet to finish listening to this most marvelous piece of Balzac's Lost Illusions trilogy. However, this is because, even though I know there are two more novels waiting for me after this fascinating first, I cannot bring myself to listen to the final chapter. My doing so is purely affirmative of its quality, though, as I want to be able to savor the 'finale' of Two Poets with a length of time appropriate to that of as one would take prior to a dessert after a dinner as sublime as reality itself. I also must add that Bruce Pirie's narration is also a joy.

Lost Illusions Two Poets

(5 Sterne)

Fantastic Book, Fantastic Reading! I can't wait to begin the Second book of the trilogy. As good a story as any modern one I have read. Every character became so real to me that I felt I knew them well not long into the story in fact, found myself forming prejudices towards some and deep reverence for others. By far my favorite reader yet! Thank you!


(5 Sterne)

Concluding 2 of the 3 in this series, I'm impressed. The reader is amazing. The number of characters passing through these tales is overwhelming at times. The language and references to facts is over my head. Nevertheless, I found it enthralling. The main characters were interesting. I appreciate the focus on people and situations, rather than tedious descriptions of scenery. Will listen to the third book.


(5 Sterne)

This is book 1 of the trilogy and it is a wonderful story with interesting characters. The narration is flawless and dare I say, exquisite. On to the 2nd book...


(5 Sterne)

Another excellent book, wonderfully read by Bruce Pirie. Looking forward to listening to the second book of the series. JK

(5 Sterne)

The narrator is great but I could not get the playback speed right it sounded like a computer reading.

(5 Sterne)

Great reader. Love Balzacs descriptions so full of detail and ironie