Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th-century literature. Neville Jason’s widely praised abridged version has rightly become an audiobook landmark, and now, upon numerous requests, he is recording the whole work unabridged which, when complete, will run for some 140 hours.
Swann’s Way is the first of seven volumes and sets the scene with the narrator’s memories being famously provoked by the taste of that little cake, the madeleine, accompanied by a cup of lime-flowered tea. It is an unmatched portrait of fin-de-siècle France.
Public Domain (P)2012 Naxos AudioBooks
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
For years, I have put off reading Proust mainly because the size of In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past seemed intimidating. Now, having finished Swann's Way: Vol 1, I feel a compelling need to keep going.
This novel is preoccupied with all the details that surround time, desire, love, memory, happiness, life, truth, names and relationships. It is vivid, detailed and reminds the reader to look, feel, grab, smell, think, confess, and take big risks to grow that one perfect, mystic blossom of love.
Proust's prose is beautiful, his imagery is brilliant and he seems to swing for the fence on every page. This is not a book one reads, but one inhabits and floats through. But first one must find and dip your own Madeleine.
Neville's reading is brilliant.
Absolutely captivating and stunning. The narration is outstanding - a delight to listen to and extremely well modulated. Do not allow pre-conceived notions regrading Proust hinder your taking this most worthy journey...cannot wait to continue the series.
Yes - this is a story that is both easy to listen too and densely rich with detail. I read the entire Search of Lost Time over ten years ago and of course have forgotten much of it, so this audio version has been a great way to get reacquainted - and to discover meaning and significance that I overlooked the first time.
I know that each additional listen will reveal yet more meaning and connections between characters, places and events.
Neville Jason has perfect pace and delivery. And most importantly for a book of this size and complexity, he has the talent and vocal dexterity to give each character a unique and engaging voice.
The text is the earlier translation, so can seem a little precious at times, but Neville Jason's delivery is so good that it stays fresh and alive.
So this is beautiful. The language is beautiful. The structure is beautiful. The narration is beautiful. But it gets really, really boring to listen to. Like being fed constantly on perfectly ripe strawberry's dipped in rich cream. Lovely for a while but then it starts to wear thin after a few hours.
I set out on this thinking, "Great - another classic to get under the belt" but while I made my way all the way through this volume I gave in halfway through the next. "Rememberance..." is clearly not for me. I listened fo 7+ hours to the story of a mans life and realised that at the end of it I could not care less what happened to him. I just found myself thinking that Twain or Hemmingway would have given me just as much information and just as much pleasure in about half a page and 5 minutes of narration. And yes - I know that makes me a philistine but I don't care.
The narration is very clear and a pleasure to listen to but the text is just too windy for my tastes.
Up near the top
Thank you Neville Jason for giving us such a wonderful rendition. I look forward to the rest
of Proust as read by you
The narrator understands what he is saying and superbly navigates his way through Proust's endless sentences.
The dipping of the cake into the tea, of course. That is the "most memorable" because everybody who has head about the book knows about that scene already -- and almost nothing else about the 2,500,000 words in "In Search of Lost Time."
All are superb and not to be forgotten.
Surely you jest! It's very, very long.
Proust has much to say about relationships and the inner voice that so often guides one. He does so with beautiful writing and descriptions; however, I am discouraged from reading more at this time of the remaining books because it simply takes too much concentration, compared to what one learns. Tolstoy is more my taste. Great insights about Life and relationships, with excellent story telling. It is the later I certainly miss in Proust.
My encounter with Proust's great work commenced ten years or so ago, when I purchased a six-volume version in hardcopy. An acquaintance and I would commiserate with each other, from time to time, on our lack of progress; intimidated no doubt by Proust's reputation for long sentences.
Then at a sale I bought two volumes of a 12-volume (abridged) Naxos audiobook on CD. I fell in love with the audiobook and Neville Jason's narration. I was surprised to find that Proust is such a good writer that it was a good listening experience even with most of the book missing.
The next step I took was to subscribe to the audiobook online where I had to download the next section every ten minutes or so. I had access to the full abridged work and it was cheap. But it was very tedious.
An introductory offer ito Audible.com is allowing me to get the full unabridged version at a price I can afford and in a convenient MP3 format. Swann's Way is surely one of the great audiobooks; and that's just the first volume of seven.
Report Inappropriate Content