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Sarrasine (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition) - Honore De Balzac A lot going in this packed little read that begins slowly and builds to an exciting and dramatic crescendo. In brief, a layered story of Sarrasine, a man grown bored with life until he happens across the opera singer Zambinella. Passion and infatuation follow but things (predictably) aren't always what they seem...

“‘La Zambinella!’ echoed the Roman prince. ‘Are you jesting? Whence have you come? Did a woman ever appear in a Roman theatre? And do you not know what sort of creatures play female parts within the domains of the Pope? It was I, monsieur, who endowed Zambinella with his voice. . . . .’