In the second of the seven novels that make up Remembrance of Things Past, the young narrator, Marcel, and his grandmother visit the seaside resort of Balbec for his health. Neville Jason seamlessly portrays the parade of characters with subtle changes in inflection - whether Robert de Saint-Loup or Albertine Simenon. In addition to selecting the lyrical piano interludes, Jason has shaped each scene in his clear, measured presentation so the irony, humor and richness of Proust's observations engage the listener intimately.
© and (P)1997 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.
Within a Budding Grove is the second 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. This particular section covers the first visit of the narrator to the seaside town of Balbec. At first he is very much in the company of his grandmother and her friends and acquaintances, but he later forms three significant friendships. The first is with the astonishingly good-looking (and finely dressed) Marquis de Saint-Loup. The second is with the painter, Elstir. The third, and most intriguing, is with Albertine Simonet, one of the little band of seemingly wild young girls holidaying in Balbec. Proust is an unhurried author, who delights in ordinary events, and this book is no exception. If you like really wonderful writing, a relaxed pace, and are after a break from a diet of thrillers, you will really like this.
I vainly seek out superlatives with which to describe this masterpiece, and Neville Jason's rendition of this masterpiece. This part of this book is, quite simply, the best work I've ever read (or have had read to me). It is so moving, the writing so powerful, that it left me speechless every time I listened to it, and I couldn't wait till the next time I could get to it.
In this volume, the author reaches adolescence, and like every young man, is moved by the wonder and beauty and mystery of young women. This volume tells of the author's early experiences, and sometimes surprising success, in seeking the companionship of the objects of his heart's desire. It is charming, lovely, funny, surprising, sometimes thrilling, satisfying on every level.
And as for the narration of Mr. Jason -- this rendition is so good that I had to get the book, but when I started reading, I realized in the first paragraph how much I missed Mr. Jason's narration, how much he adds to the experience.
For those who love life, literature, and the finest that writing has to offer.
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