Luo and the narrator were instantly obsessed with the book. They marveled at the pronunciation of the author's name, the translation, and even the smell of the book. The contemplated the many reasons why Four-Eyes lent them the book: " was it a random choice? Perhaps he picked it simply because, of all the treasures in his precious suitcase, it was the thinnest book, and the most decrepit. Did he have ulterior motives we could not fathom?- P. 56 Luo started and finished the book within the same day Four-Eyes lent it to them, wrapped up in the French story of love and miracles.
NICE quote "Picture, if you will, a boy of nineteen, still slumbering in the limbo of adolescence, having heard nothing but revolutionary blather about patriotism, Communism, ideology and propaganda all his life, falling headlong into a story of awakening desire, passion, impulsive action, love, of all the subjects that had, until then, been hidden from me."".
Knew almost nothing of France, but the story rang as true as if it had been about their neighbors. Narrator imagines himself in France when reading, " by the smoking hearth of her [Ursule] parlour in the company of doctors and curates -.
***After finishing Balzac's book (after Luo had already finished), Luo had not returned. He was without doubt that Luo was off telling the Seamstress the wonderful tale of Balzac's. Envisioning Luo telling her the story, the narrator states "Suddenly I felt a stab of jealousy, a bitter wrenching emotion I had never felt before."" P. 57-58 (could also tie in adolescence to the romanticism and lovey dovey aspect of the novel).
Luo and the narrator are forced to go to great lengths in order to obtain their precious treasure: the books concealed in Four-Eyes' leather suitcase. They even impersonate members of the communist army from Beijing, and risk lice infestation, in order to obtain folk songs for Four-Eyes so that he may impress a journalist and acquire a job.