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Swann's Way | [Marcel Proust]

Swann's Way

Swann's Way is the first part of Marcel Proust's monumental seven volume Remembrance of Things Past. Here, Proust's vision, psychological understanding and vivid powers of description combine to create one of the most poetic and magical works in all literature.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Reading Proust's great work, Remembrance of Things Past, may be daunting, but listening is a riveting experience, an insightful, often funny, poetical exploration of character, place, emotion and idea. In this section, the young narrator recalls the elaborate social etiquette and conventions among Combray's first families. Neville Jason is a master at characterizing the multitude of voices and guides us seamlessly through time. After a sampling of this classic, we are tantalized and long to continue.

Publisher's Summary

Swann's Way is the first part of Marcel Proust's monumental, seven volume Remembrance of Things Past. Here, Proust's vision, psychological understanding and vivid powers of description combine to create one of the most poetic and magical works in all literature. For lovers of the original text there are new delights to be found in this audiobook version, while those discovering the work for the first time may be surprised to find it so accessible.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©1995 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd. (P)1995 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

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  •  
    Bob Westland, MI, USA 04-06-03
    Bob Westland, MI, USA 04-06-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Every moment comes alive"

    In the movie THE HOURS everybody feels their lives are trivial, so they jump out of windows, etc. What they really needed was to read (or, even better, listen to, Proust). Proust puts the magic in all the trivial bits that make up our lives. He enobles them; we take dignity from them. Where Buddhism teaches "mindfulness", the awareness of each feature of each moment, and the understanding that it will never be repeated just that way again, the rest of us have Proust.
    Normally I require a plot in any book I read, but with Proust it's different. We live his life in minute detail. So accurately does he dissect every emotion, reveal every motivation and explore every ramification that we become him. We no more need a plot in this book than we need one in our own lives. Instead we take from his example the ability to see in our own trivial moments the glimmer of literature.
    One caveat: It is a pity to abridge this book. There is an unabridged version on the market--expensive, but maybe worth it.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc-Andre New Haven, CT, USA 09-24-03
    Marc-Andre New Haven, CT, USA 09-24-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Proust is alive and well"

    How can you go through life without experiencing Proust?s books? Most people do. But, they are missing a great experience. Can I say, comparable in my mind to climbing the Everest? There is something very intimate about Proust?s writing. Until now, I thought that only reading 3,000 pages of Proust?s magic style could create this perfect experience. However, I was wrong. The ?audible? version does it. Like the radio shows in the 40?s, it lets you create your own images and story line. Imagining Proust?s world and characters is crucial in sustaining your interest for this very complex story. Audio does it. Thank you.

    Honestly, when I read Proust, I have a tendency to skip some paragraphs. This is a very bad habit, I know. Audible solves this problem. You have to listen to everything.

    Finally, I was listening while reading the e-book unabridged version. Try it. You will like it. Audio just makes Proust more accessible, more understandable, and more enjoyable. You have this feeling of an intimate conversation in a salon, in this beautiful city of Paris and Marcel is talking to you.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Richmond, VA, USA 08-26-08
    Cheryl Richmond, VA, USA 08-26-08 Member Since 2002
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    "This is abridged beyond reason"

    The abridged version is 3 hours and 50 minutes long. The unabridged version is 20 hours and 30 minutes long. Perhaps listening to this abridged version gives a faint hint of what it is to read Swann's Way, but come on!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Harrogate, United Kingdom 04-10-11
    John Harrogate, United Kingdom 04-10-11
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    "Perfect"

    The perfect narrator for this great work - and this standard is maintained for the whole of the book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marius Irene, South Africa 01-21-10
    Marius Irene, South Africa 01-21-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How it all began"

    Swanns Way is in fact the first book of the seven-volume In Search of Lost Time / Rememberances. In this abridged audiobook version, it is only the first part of book one, with Swann in Love comprising the second part. It is beautifully narrated by Neville Jason. The books starts very slowly. At the best of times Proust is an unhurried author, who delights in ordinary events, but the opening of this book is Proust at his most sluggish. Please do not let that put you off. Your perseverance will be rewarded by some of the most wonderful writing, which is really special, given that this is, of course, a translation from the French.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Basil R. Westchester, NY USA 11-22-04
    Basil R. Westchester, NY USA 11-22-04 Listener Since 2004
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    "Not bad"

    This book was a bit too wordy for me. I do love period pieces, and Proust does describe a situation in full detail. But his descriptions are sometimes so long that one forgets what he was talking about in the first place. The narrator does do a wonderful job of the different voices, bring the book to life making it feel almost like a play rather than an audio book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward 05-31-03
    Edward 05-31-03 Member Since 2003

    ed_b

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    "As good as it gets"

    I, too, was a little timid about approaching a work known as a landmark of twentieth-century fiction. After all, are not twentieth-century landmarks marked by denseness, complexity, obscurity? A la Joyce, Faulkner, Beckett? Imagine my surprise to find Remembrance fully and easily appproachable; and beyond its mere approachability, it is also a book that satisfies on every level.

    For me, the work is marked by the details with which Proust fills every scene, describes every emotion. In a lesser writer, these details might become tedious; in Proust, they are the stuff of life itself. In his hands, turn-of-the-century France, the characters he populates it with, and most important, his own emotional landscape, come fully alive.

    Add to this Neville Jason, perhaps the best narrator I've ever heard. His impeccable diction is a pleasure to listen to; and the distinct voice with which he interprets each character is simply amazing acting. All in all, the best recorded book I?ve ever heard. If only we had the complete book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Chevlen Youngstown, Ohio USA 03-29-05
    Eric Chevlen Youngstown, Ohio USA 03-29-05 Listener Since 1999
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    "Don't settle for the abridged version"

    This was my first exposure to Proust. I had mixed feelings. His writing was so finely done, the characters so realistically etched--but the plot seemed to go nowhere at all. I could not even identify the central question of the fiction--clearly a bad sign. Then the book ended abruptly, with no sense of closure. I realize the fault is not that of Proust nor the superb narrator. Rather, this is not a book to be read abridged, or at least not in this abridgement. I recommend skipping this abridged version, and listening to the unabridged.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adele Beeman Culver City, CA, US 07-31-04
    Adele Beeman Culver City, CA, US 07-31-04 Member Since 2013
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    "YES, YES, YES!"

    I could not keep the smile off of my face while listening to this book. The narrator WAS THE BEST. He reminded me of when I was a child and watched the wonderful black and white classics on TV that you just don't see today. This was the most innovative, entertaining, and refreshingly old style listen I have had so far. But the way it lifted my spirit was what impressed me the most.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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