What's the Best Balzac?
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I'd have to say Pere Goriot if I had to choose only one, but from the lesser known ones, perhaps Cousin Pons (better, I think, than Cousin Bette); La Rabouilleuse (The Black Sheep), which is an excellent revenge thriller, or even the slightly fantastical The Wild Ass's Skin (think Picture of Dorian Gray, but better and French).
Each of them, like most of Balzac's works, are eminently readable.
Having read The Wild Ass's Skin and Pere Goriot, I would definitely endorse Pere Goriot as the one to read.
It's a big toss up between's the Wild Ass' Skin which I love and le Père Goriot which moved me tremendously. I also have a soft spot for his short story Le Bal de Sceaux - know the town well since I lived there for several years...
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