While I found The Guermantes Way enjoyable but a bit lacking in depth, Proust returns to an examination of the inner lives of his characters in this book; and while I find Proust's language and powers of observation and description unparalleled, it is his insight into the human condition the makes his work so transcendent for me.
In this work, the interactions among all his characters lend themselves more to an in-depth study than in the prior work, where the superficiality of the society scenes into which he was entering precluded many deep insights. Here, his relationship with several characters deepens, particularly with Charlus and Albertine, and Proust's descriptions and insights of these relationships and conflicts never fails to fascinate, enchant, enlighten, draw the reader completely into his world.
I cannot say enough about the narration of Neville Jason. It is clear that he has studied and prepared for this reading as would an actor for the stage, and it shows in every moment. He has captured to perfection the voices of every character, particularly Charlus, with skill that goes far beyond what my own imagination could provide. His reading adds immeasurably to my enjoyment of the book.
I'm starting to regret that this novel is comprised only of seven books. It's a treasure one hopes will never end.
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