Known for its exploration of involuntary memory, this second part of the third volume of Marcel Proust's epic seven-volume Remembrance of Things Past. follows the narrator, Marcel, as he continues his ascent into the French aristocracy. Intrigue comes in the form of Albertine, whom Marcel seduces, and the Baron de Charlus, a licentious gay man who pursues Marcel. RADA-trained Shakespearean stage actor and audiobook narrator Neville Jason performs this volume of Proust's classic work with delicacy and grace, making for compelling listening.
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The Geurmantes Way is the third book of the seven-volume In Search of Lost Time / Rememberances. For audiobook purposes, it is divided into two parts, this being the second. As with this entire series, it is beautifully narrated by Neville Jason.
Warning: Although this particular book is short on helicopter explosions (in fact the whole series is regrettably lacking in this regard) there is a particularly delicious hissy fit that should compensate.
This particular section covers the death of the the beloved grandmother, the return of Albertine to Paris, and the role of these two events in the advancement of the narrator into adulthood. With bucketloads of society gossip, this book also contains the celebrated hissy fit between the narrator and M. de Charlus, who roars "Do you suppose that it is within your power to insult me? You evidently are not aware to whom you are speaking? Do you imagine that the envenomed spittle of five hundred little gentlemen of your type, heaped one upon another, would succeed in slobbering so much as the tips of my august toes?" culminating in the narrator tap-dancing in a rage on the new silk hat of the Baron. (My clumsy wording is an attempt to avoid the apostrophe, which seems not to translate well when uploading reviews)
As I have noted before, Proust is an unhurried author, who delights in ordinary events. If you like really wonderful writing, a relaxed pace, and are after a break from a diet of thrillers, you will really like this.
This is an unabridged version of The Guermantes Way, Part 2, and therefore not nearly compleate. This is a good story, but this audiobook will not help those who are studying Proust. I planed on using this audiobook to save me the time of reading it for one of my college classes. The unabridged version does not go indepth into the philosophical themes that Proust is famous for. It is however adequate if you are looking for an interesting story.
Neville Jason's narration is wonderful; Charlus, Mme de Guermantes, the Courvoisiers and all the characters are real, vibrant and memorable; to listen to this while out walking is to disapear into a different time and place and become intimate with a circle of compelling characters whom one hates to leave to return to now and here.
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