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The Guermantes Way Audiobook

The Guermantes Way: Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 3

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Publisher's Summary

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.

The Guermantes Way is the third of seven volumes. The narrator penetrates the inner sanctum of Paris high society and falls in love with the fascinating Duchesse de Guermantes. Proust describes vividly the struggles for political, social, and sexual supremacy played out beneath a veneer of elegant manners. He also finds himself pursued by the predatory Baron de Charlus.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain (P)2012 Naxos AudioBooks

What Members Say

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Performance


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  • Antti
    10/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect, Fantastical"

    Originally published in two parts, the third part of Proust's mammoth work is equally gigantic in its audiobook form (it's 28 hours long). Yet whereas I found the second part, "Within a Budding Grove", a step down in form, this is as brilliant as they come.

    Two things stand out. Firstly, The first part of the volume includes not only remarkably penetrating wit, which Proust has in abundance, but also the most devastasting tableau of sickness, withering and death. His wrenching clear-sightedness and the ability to verbalize borders on medically objective descriptiveness at times, and passionately emotional at others.

    Secondly, Monsieur de Charlus. He is a fantastically written character, a monomaniac of epic proportions with paroxysms of repressed aggression that transcend even Ahab's biblical ravings.

    I think it was Nabokov who described Proust's chief d'oeuvre as "fantasy" (again, I think he preferred to the first half of the seven-part work), a definition befitting Proust's fantastical sense of reality, not only his own but that of his contemporaries and characters. What makes Proust so wonderful a teacher of human character is his ability to see beyond this reality and reach to the conditional, the possible, as well as the impossible; imagined conversations that we project onto characters, conversations that never took place that still define social relations. In short, all the stuff human culpability in falsely attributing characteristics to other people based on misinterpretation, it's all here.

    Proust doesn't give any answers, that's for sure, but he's the most acutely clear-sighted observer of our condition in Western literature since Shakespeare has offered. Okay, fine praise and just the kind of name-dropping and hyperbole that says absolutely nothing other than emphasizing my enthusiasm for Proust. But I can't help it, the familiar memes that we recycle over and over again are the only things in my disposal that I can throw at you. I'll stop raving now and instead go listen the next volume, "Sodom and Gomorrah".

    [I finished listening to this in early September but only had time to post this review now]

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jo
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "The perfect narrator for the perfect book"

    Proust - coy, anxious, detached, waspish, flirtatious, prolix, detached, judgemental, effete, offhand, dreamy ... Audible have found the perfect narrator to capture that proustian voice and I'm looking forward to the full 150 hours of wandering sentences and tragic crushes. Having never managed to finish RTP on paper, having it as an audiobook fills up the next year very nicely for me.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Clementi
    3/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a journey!"
    Would you listen to The Guermantes Way again? Why?

    Yes, in fact I think much of Proust REQUIRES more than one listening to truly take in what he's saying.


    What other book might you compare The Guermantes Way to, and why?

    I don't honestly think one can compare Proust to anyone else! He is Proust. End of story!


    Have you listened to any of Neville Jason’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I'm a huge fan of Neville Jason's narration and have been known to buy books on spec just because he's narrating them. I love his voicing of the characters, his measured pace and his pronunciations are wonderful.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    These pre-set questions are a little idiotic about some books! This is Proust, not chick lit!


    Any additional comments?

    I had never gotten around to reading Proust previously but it had been on my 'to do' list for many years. Somehow, he always seemed like too much of a chore before now. But, searching for something very long to listen to while in hospital, and having listened to pretty much every other over 25 hour novel on Audible, I decided to go for the Proust.

    I began with The Guermantes Way as the subject matter appealed to me but it's very hard to stay on track with Proust I discovered as his obsession with involuntary memory is both beautifully lyrical and terribly distracting as I spent a great deal of time with my mind wandering down my own streams of consciousness and involuntary memory, entirely produced by Proust's inexorable desire to tap into this aspect of our psyche's.

    The concepts he shares are the type of concepts which leave you wanting to smack your forehead and exclaim "Yes! I know EXACTLY what you mean there" and, "Wow, someone else thinks in the same way I do!"

    I will definitely be purchasing all of the others in this great work now and would encourage anyone else, who has perhaps been put off in the past either by the length of the overall work, or maybe by the slightly ethereal nature of Proust's writing, to give it a go. Neville Jason adds massively to the overall enjoyment and understanding of Proust as he is an incredibly intelligent narrator in as much as he truly seems to understand both the characters and the part the author intends the characters to fill.

    Highly recommend to anyone.

    Go on, give it a go,you know you want to!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    4/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No need to count sheep"
    Would you try another book written by Marcel Proust or narrated by Neville Jason?

    Neville Jason's reading is uniformly unctuous and monotonous. A wonderful remedy for insomnia.


    What other book might you compare The Guermantes Way to, and why?

    Swann's Way


    Would you be willing to try another one of Neville Jason’s performances?

    No


    What character would you cut from The Guermantes Way?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    None

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful

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