The son of a civil servant, Honore de Balzac was born in 1799 in Tours, France. After attending boarding school in Vendome, he gravitated to Paris where he worked as a legal clerk and a hack writer, using various pseudonyms, often in collaboration with other writers. Balzac turned exclusively to fiction at the age of thirty and went on to write a large number of novels and short stories set amid turbulent nineteenth-century France. He entitled his collective works The Human Comedy. Along with Victor Hugo and Dumas pere and fils, Balzac was one of the pillars of French romantic literature. He died in 1850, shortly after his marriage to the Polish countess Evelina Hanska, his lover of eighteen years."
Honore De Balzac was born in 1799 and died in 1850.
Honore De Balzac has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about La Peau de Chagrin (Pocket Classics)?
Heh? May 4, 2006
This is not one of Balzac's great works. First, if you are not extremely fluent in French, you will find the language in this book very difficult. The story is a bit strange to begin with, but visualizing what is happening or even what this mysterious talisman looks like is all but impossible. As you trudge through the pages and pages and pages of this book, you're always hoping it will get better, that you will be stimulated in the way that Balzac had done before, but to no avail. Reading should be fun, but this is drudgery.
A chilling tale of the destructive powers of desire Jun 19, 1999
In this fairly early Balzac novel, part of his grand "La Comedie humaine" project (in which he set out to describe every aspect of French society with interwoven plots), Raphael, a young and destitute nobleman, acquires a talisman with particular powers. This patch of chagreen skin, its Arabic inscription promising to fulfill his will, also grows smaller every time a wish is granted -- and with it, his lifespan. A struggle begins worthy of Stephen King horror. Raphael must either somehow stop the talisman's shrinking or try to bring his will to a screeching halt. Mixed in is the story of a beautiful but heartless woman he desires. (This part, to be honest, gets a bit dull at times, though it is somewhat crucial to Raphael's psychological portrait.) This wasted venture prevents him from being closer to the simpler but caring girl who deserves his love. Balzac's father believed that the human will ultimately saps a person of his life if overexerted. In this short novel, Balzac explores this idea with flair and wit, and maybe a bit too much on-the-couch psychoanalysis.