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)
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.
yes....performance was excellent, a classic
her expression, ability to change characters
no...never have time for that
Kate winslet has a great voice and a brilliant performance
Madame Raquin, paralyzed who has to listen to the murderer's confessions without being able to speak a world, nor to cry, or make a move.
first of all, let me say that i've read this book and found it a good read, an interesting story, even if it's not always easy to get excited or keep a straight face about a story set in a previous century.
i have no problem understanding british voices, since i've lived in new zealand for several decades, and new zealand is an english speaking country, if you didn't know. part of the british commonwealth, etc.
but kate winslet strikes me, nevertheless, as probably a famous movie actress, but not actually as an exciting voice performer. she manages to swallow entire chunks of words or sentences, usually the tail ends, so that i have to get out the headphones and listen to her under headphones, and still i ask: what? what was that? what did you say?
whether she ever had more than a tiny bit of high school french, i also can't tell, since all the french names and words appear to sound like some indefinite or undefinable nasal sound like "raw can" or "bomb bang" where you lose track of whether she is talking about a person, a place, or some other thing.
this whole thing could have been read by anybody else, just as well, i mean, it didn't call for a british sounding young female reader, an american sounding middle-aged male reader could have served just as well. or possibly better.
so i don't feel that winslet does anything for this classic. if you can read, read the book, yourself.
Kate Winslet did an excellent narration. But unfortunately I felt the story was drawn out. It started out interesting and I was drawn into the situation, but then on and on and on years go by with not much happening.
Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.
I couldn't finish this version of a book I enjoyed many years ago. If I had heard Kate Winslett mispronounce Camille as Cam-ee-ya one more time, I would have gone insane. It had driven me almost to screaming point. Didn't anyone in the course of production know how to pronounce Camille? If she didn't know enough French to get it right, she shouldn't have done the narration.
Even the great narration of Kate Winslet cannot make up for this long, overly detailed, depressing story. I never was able to gain much sympathy for the characters and felt like an observer of people I'd never met. I hope Kate will narrate another book as I truly enjoyed listening to her read.
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