Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.
Thérèse Raquin is the story of a young woman forced into an unhappy marriage to her dull, sickly cousin and smothered by her overbearing aunt. When her husband’s childhood friend enters her life, it leads to a torrid affair that sets her spirit free for the first time, but with shattering consequences. Steeped in the atmosphere of 19th-century France and with a darkly rich foreboding, it is a story that brings out the best of its narrator’s incomparable talents.
“It is challenging, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun as well,” said Ms. Winslet of the recording experience. "As a listener, being able to tune out and be taken into another world, an atmosphere, an environment that is being created entirely for you by somebody else’s voice is really a wonderful, magical thing.”
Thérèse Raquin is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star had a hand in selecting. For more great books performed by Hollywood’s finest, click here.
Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“Kate Winslet reads as though she is relishing every morsel of the drama…She clearly loves the book, and her pleasure in the text is infectious…she grabs listeners and doesn’t let go.” (AudioFile)
have not read this book so don't know
I have not read other Emile Zola books
Kate Winslet was terrific with her narration and her narration was what kept my interest in this book
no extreme reactions
I think this is probably a great book and I would have been more satisfied with it if I had read it. I just did not have much appreciation for Emile Zola's style of writing. the story is very good and engaging, the narration just seems to be too much in a number of places.
Reap then sow.
I want to read more books by this auteur
Yes, each character was developed well. The story was a moral tale.
I did not.
I would recommend this book.
I can see why this book was considered scandalous in 1867. It contains violence, adultery, domestic abuse, and many other disturbing facets in a relationship that was supposed to be loving. The main characters' descent into their own level of madness was masterfully portrayed by the author by switching viewpoints between all the main characters. This allowed you to see through each character's eyes as well as see how others view them.
I cannot say this is a book that I wanted to listen to all in one sitting. It was necessary for me to take breaks due to the intensity of the story. Kate Winslet's performance made the experience even more spectacular. Her inflections and characterizations brought the tale to life. I will be looking for more of her narrations.
The story is gripping and difficult to stop listening to. This was a near perfect character study. Nothing says I love you like murder.
Kate Winslet reads this book perfectly. Her voice is lovely and becomes a great foil for the grim unfolding story. She was a perfect selection for this book.
This was my first audio book in a very long time. The production was flawless and Kate Winslet was a perfect fit. I am not hooked to audio books!
Perhaps lovers of Zola’s writings would enjoy this book.
Too verbose and slow for my liking.
With Kate Winslet reading it, I'm sure that it is! I have not read the print version.
The originality of Emile Zolde's take on the world's oldest tale of passion and obsession gone bad. You feel yourself going mad with the characters...(or was that Kate Winslet's doing?)
I had three....the opening stage of Mother/Aunt and cousins and her determination to stay
The interplay between characters. The psychological build up between the 3 main characters
It was an unusual dramatic story.
The murder scene and the moment when the mother hears what Therese and her lover did to her son.
Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows, Particle man.
I would never have listened to this book had I not heard the sample of Kate Winslet's reading. Just those few minutes gave a sense of the depth of her talents and so I decided to take a chance. I had feared that I would be hearing Madame Bovary all over again, a book that I appreciated but did not actually enjoy when I read it. This was far from that. Yes the details Zola uses to describe his characters and their world brought them to life in my mind, and Winslet's reading make such pleasure of it all. Still, it would have been merely a delightful read had not the story taken such a wildly perverse turn.
The consequences of bad choices made out of love are taken to depths that caught me by surprise. I thought I was reading a tragic romance at first and only gradually realized I was caught up in a nightmare, and a fantastic one at that. The characters by the end of the story bear no resemblance whatsoever to those at the beginning and little in common with any decent human being, but the transition played out so smoothly for me that I marveled at it. I became both utterly repulsed by them as I was simultaneously drawn more into the story. To enjoy this story I think it takes sheer interest in literature of this period, in stories of love gone wrong, or just fascination with the twisted lengths to which the human condition can be pushed. The first two maybe still require the later. I can only say this story deeply appealed to my darker side.
I picked the book because of Kate Winslet but was also interested in Zola. An oddly contemporary feel because of the isolation of the characters. Kate rocked it.
"gripping and vivid"
I've read three of the Zola books before so knew this was going to be gritty and harrowing. As my first audible book though I was blown away at how moving and shocking the narrative is. I gasped out loud several times in horror - Zola certainly knows how to get into ones head with his graphic descriptions of outer desolation and inner torment. Kate Winslet does a tremendous job and really relishes some of his most vivid adjectives - "sanguine, vile, grotesque" to name but a few. Must be riproaring in the original language. Highly recommended and especially as an introduction to Zola who can be heavy going.
"Dark story, beautifully read"
I would have loved to have read the paper version of this book myself but Kate Winslet's reading was the next best thing. The story is mesmerising and the narration drags you into a dark, suffocating atmosphere steadily descending into terrifying madness.
Not all actors make good readers (and not all readers make good actors) but Kate Winslet does a fine job with this tale. There are a few occasions where she misplaces the emphasis in a sentence, and her French pronunciation sometimes seems a bit off: her way of pronouncing Camille as an elongated "Cameeeya" sounded odd to my ears. But on the whole this is an elegantly read audiobook of Zola's harrowing novel.
Minus one star because Audible chose to use a Victorian English translation in the public domain, rather than a better, modern translation such as that by Robin Buss for Penguin.
Kate Winslet is a very acceptable companion trudging the muddy lanes in an early English 'summer'. Her voice is even and pleasant, and she doesn't attempt the appalling voice caricatures of some readers. Have read criticisms of her French accent, but that's to be picky. Given that Zola's characters lead drab lives - picture Degas' 'Absinthe Drinker' - she manages to bring out the drama in what is a pretty bleak tale. I'd listen to her again, and the 4 stars are for her rendition. I've read the book in French and English and would give the story a 3.
This is a fantastic listen...so dark and grim and painful! I, as with one of the other reviewers, found myself gasping throughout. The narration is perfect. Loved it....
There is a new translation by Adam Thorpe that is out that I would like to read. Audible doesn't seem to credit translators but this would be helpful. My next look at the textwill be this translation.
Not my usual genre. As a story of passion and violence I have trouble thinking of a better one. Someonecompared it to "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (film). Crime and Punishment?
Her lovely diction and crisp vowels. . Wonderful voice to listen to for hours on end.Unimaginative in some spots and she needed to have read it a little more closely in a few places
It's not ful of laughs. I wondered at Zola's own history with violence in relationshipsas it was so full of pyschological insights as well as what felt like first hand experience. Wild fight scenes of great abuse betweenLaurent and Therese were completely amazing. The ebb and flow of their despair and their need for psychological escape were breathtaking.
It is a contemporary book in its message. It will most likely, sadly, never goout of fashion as a study of the limits of human tolerance for dealing with guilt andwith "cognitive dissonance". .
Perhaps a different reader, but mostly I consider the story irredeemable. It starts dismally and becomes dire.
Yes, I would give him one more try: he presumably wrote other works that merit his fame.
No. I thoroughly disliked her reading style . She seemed to be reading on auto-pilot and often emphasised the wrong word in the sentence, in my opinion. Most uncomfortable.
Perhaps it would all have been different if Mme Raquin, Camille's mother, hadn't been there to manipulate and ruin lives.
Don't waste time on this depressing book. Spend your money on something else.
"A classic page turner"
Absolutely, I already have. Brilliant classic story and excellent production.
Im reading Suskind's Perfume currently and am struck by the similarities of the two.
She's an amazing narrator.
Zola's novel charts the Rake's Progress of the heroine as her actions reap their consequences. Kate Winslet's narration evokes a sense of the excitement and despair, the dank, dark recesses of the shop and the horror and eventual haunting of the principal characters. This audio book deserves it's place on the Audible 100 classics to 'read'.
Not my usual thing but its a haunting little tale and beautifully read by KW. It's an interesting look at love and relationships, it took a while for me to get into it and want to listen as I don't think anyone is likeable at all but I eventually intrigued me (along with the language) and is worth a listen.
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