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Vance

Los Angeles, CA, United States

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  • Madame Bovary: Classic Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gustave Flaubert, Eleanor Marx-Aveling (translator)
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    A brilliant psychological portrait, Madame Bovary searingly depicts the human mind in search of transcendence. Acclaimed as a masterpiece upon its publication in 1857, it catapulted Flaubert to the ranks of the world's greatest novelists and ushered in a new age of realism in literature.

    I says: "A masterpiece. The narrator does it justice."
    "Off-Putting Narration"
    Overall

    I am not familiar with other works by this narrator, so he may be amazing elsewhere, but his characterizations in this performance really hampered my enjoyment of the book. Everything Emma Bovary says is delivered in a breathy whisper/whine that makes any subtlety or variation that may be written into the character simply vanish. What comes through is a petulant little girl who has the same whiny tone when begging her husband for more money, telling her lover that she wants to meet up with him, or buying a hat.

    I understand Emma is not meant to be a very sympathetic character, but this is a chore to listen to. And don't get me started on the number of times something or someone is referred to as "the poor..." In this translation and production, every single person and object appears to be utterly pitiable, and it gets tiresome.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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