Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ursula Paperback – November 5, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It had me enthralled from page 1; I can see why Balzac considered it a 'remarkable tour de force'. The characters of the horrible relatives in particular are brilliantly drawn eg 'his face was one of those in which it is hard for the thoughtful observer to see any trace of a soul beneath the florid tints of gross, coarsening flesh'. Recommended.
I began by reading the novel Ursula, from Balzac's series of stories, The Human Comedy.
...for more information on this review, visit mavierecommence.blogspot.com.
Not so here. We have a good story about relatives conspiring to take for themselves a young girl's inheritance. The novel deals with the very real world of the French Civil Code, of family disputes, of kindness to strangers, and of falling in love. So why ruin this with a ridiculous twist?
I'm willing to accept magic when the author lived in a world where everyone believed such things (The Tale of Genji has the most wonderful ghosts, for instance) but when Balzac, who despite his Catholicism was a humanist, decides to have a plot like this depend on ghosts, séances, and Mesmerism, well I almost felt like giving up on the novel. And I would have if I hadn't resolved to read all of the Comédie Humaine.
What makes it unforgiveable is that Mesmerism was already shown to be quackery. An 18th century French royal commission, which had invited American ambassador Benjamin Franklin to join, had even refuted Mesmer's claims by testing them, even following Mesmers instructions, with their feet soaking in basins, holding each other by the thumbs so that the "magnetic fluids" could flow through them. That must have made quite a scene! Deepak Chopra and Uri Geller invented nothing.
So one star above the lowest score for the writing and the characters, but that’s all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book a bit difficult to warm up to. I think it starts rather slow, but toward the end, I found it quite fascinating and will read more Balzac. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Frank Criscenti
It's Balzac, folks. History has adjudged him a classic and seminal author. Personally, I love Balzac.Published 15 months ago by rev2000