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The Red and the Black by Stendhal

Based on a real crime that Stendhal read about in a French tabloid in 1827, the Red and the Black is a brilliant psychological portrait of passion, opportunism, and political intrigue set in nineteenth-century France. It is the story of Julien Sorel, a young man of humble origins but high aspirations, whose prospects for a respectable public career are cut short by boundless egotism, tragic love, and revenge.