I was disappointed in Stendhal’s The Red and the Black.  I was expecting something a little more along the lines of Les Miserable. Although Stendhal painted a vivid portrait of French society and politics in the latter part of the Restoration, there were large parts of the novel that became tedious in describing moment-by-moment details of Julien’s vaccilating romances. The point of view constantly shifted, which diluted the force of the novel. There were subplots that led nowhere. Even given the fact that the genre was romantic and picaresque, some plot twists were too implausible. I wish I could say I recommend the book, but I can’t, except possibly for extreme Francophiles.

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