Colonel Chabert (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Honoré de Balzac

Colonel Chabert

Read by Bill Homewood


In the brutal Prussian winter of 1807, Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte’s Grande Armée suffered massive losses to the Russians in the Battle of Eylau. Many thousands died. Young Colonel Chabert falls heroically, his actions having turned the tide of the battle, but he is buried anonymously on the battlefield in a mass grave. Incredibly he is alive but severely injured, and digs himself out. On his eventual return to Paris, he finds his wife, the beautiful and ambitious Rosine, now remarried, his fortune gone. Chabert’s relentless, passionate pursuit of justice, supported by the determined young lawyer Derville, is gripping to the last page. This exquisitely written story has it all: love, hatred, treachery, hope and courage.

  • Running Time: 2 h 55 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-376-8
    Cat. no.:NA0512
    Edited by:Nikki Ruck
    Translated by:Ellen Marriage and Clara Bell (updated)
    Released:August 21
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Part of Balzac’s Comédie humaine, this novella comes to an ending that either is or is not a happy one, depending on how you think about it. Narrator Bill Homewood’s deep, resonant voice – suitably lightened for female characters – carries us along as Chabert, a Napoleonic hero mistakenly listed as having been killed in battle, returns to Paris and tries to reclaim his life. Balzac did not much admire the upper classes, but Homewood only occasionally uses voices and accents to caricature them. The text makes them seem awful enough without his help. The author drew on a wide range of emotions, and this narrator brings them all out evocatively but without unnecessary exaggeration.

D.M.H., AudioFile

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