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.
(P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"It still astonishes. If one were to ask, 'World, which is the most perfect novel ever written?' the world would immediately answer: Madame Bovary. " (Washington Post Book World)
"Madame Bovary is like the railroad stations erected in its epoch: graceful, even floral, but cast of iron." (John Updike)
Of course a book like this is a must listen especially if you have not read it.
All depends on the performance and here the narrator doesn't disappoint.
I have read this a few times and it was a pleasure to find that listening to it brought a fresh perspective. It is a good translation which does Flaubert justice.
If you don't know the story you have a great pleasure waiting for you.
This was the first book I downloaded from Audible, because a friend of mine was also reading it. It's been years since I read Madame Bovary and I was captured all over again by its brilliance and incredible language, scene setting, character development... Simon Vance's reading voice is perfect: comforting, articulate, soothing. Just a true pleasure.
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
Lessons learned in 300 pages/11 hours: Bored French women are trouble. Men are NOT to be trusted. Doctors don't know jack. If you want your kids to have a good job, raise them to be pharmacists or pawn brokers. Don't buy crap you can't afford. Don't get into debt. If you are going to kill yourself, do it right. Hide your notes. Marry for love.
Madam Bovary is a masterpiece of literature. He carefully constructs a scenario which draws the reader into a deeper understanding of the "human condition" with vibrant characters, wonderful prose, and commentary on the yearnings of the human heart.
Thatcher's "Vanity Fair" discusses the same issues, yet with a satirical wit, that ultimately draws the reader in.
Simon Vance is a wonderful narrator. His voice and elocution is easy on the ears and his performance speaks to his grasp of the writer's intent.
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.
This was a big disappointment, having heard how great the book is. "Greatest novel ever written." But why? I liked the delightful naturalistic observations of plants, light, subtle details. But there were two problems: Charles is so dull, and Emma is an unsympathetic, uninteresting character. She is beautiful and superficial. I never engaged with her at any level, never cared what she did, what happened to her, had no empathy or interest in her. And certainly there was little else to do after that--the towns and other characters are of no interest either.
A wonderful classic. This is a simple but exquisitely crafted novel with beautiful prose. Wonderful descriptions of provincial life and insightful portrayal of the banalities of everyday life. I can thoroughly recommend this download - a definite must for the discerning listener!
"Well narrated but not an exciting book"
Very little happens in this novel and the characters are not easy to like. It isn't really an insight into a slice of life in France either.
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