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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Great performance, mediocre story

What did you like best about Thérèse Raquin? What did you like least?

I bought this to listen to Kate Winslet whom I adore. And the story sounded fairly interesting. Winslet did not disappoint, and I cannot imagine anyone else reading this book as well as she does. In the end, I think the story was an old fashioned potboiler, rather than a true classic. I've read Zola's explanation and defense of the book, at the time of its publication. Frankly, I think he tried too hard to be controversial, and to write a book that is less about believable people than about psychology and emotional excesses that take over human lives, when they least expect them.

Oddly, Zola disappointed me in this book. But Kate Winslet was as good as ever.

Would you ever listen to anything by Emile Zola again?

I have listened to Zola in the past, and appreciate him as a writer and as a figure in his period of history in France.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • LINDENHURST, NY, United States
  • 03-08-13

Great performance, terrible story

Other people seem to like this book. Not me. Perhaps this book is better in French, but this translation is terrible. Dull story, predictable, one- dimensional characters, obvious plot. WAY overblown themes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • United States
  • 04-26-18

Ok Story

Listening to Kate Winslet read to you for seven hours is delicious. I just wish it was a different story. This one was okay. I think it would have been better as a quick read. It seemed to drag on.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The classic novel you didn't know you missing!

One: Kate Winslet brings this story to life with such passion. It is such a pleasure to listen to her read.
Two: This story is dark and bonkers! It is a dark psychologically creepy novel that will have you completely engaged.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kate Winslet is superb

Kate Winslet is phenomenal, reading perfectly each charcaters voice and creating a wonderful picture to this exceptional story.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring!!!

The only good thing about this book was that it was narrated by the very talented Kate Winslet. The interesting parts of the book occurred in the first half, leaving the second half of the book to go on and on and on about the same things over and over. The characters were unlikable and the story was so repetitive and uninteresting. I would not recommend at all, even to someone who typically enjoys classic novels.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Great narration, miserable story

I bought this book mainly for Kate Winslet's narration, and because I figured that (supposedly) great literature by a famous author like Zola could not be too bad.

Kate Winslet is indeed a great narrator, so my five stars are for her.
However, the story is dismal. The characters are very one-dimensional, even if it's only a study of the ancient Greek four temperaments - Melancholic, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Sanguine - more than a psychological character study (which I only found out after having finished the story).

All characters are deeply egocentric and unsympathetic and I did not care for any of them. Moreover, these characters lead extremely boring lives and the author doesn't know what else to do with them except have them repeat actions and conversations and thoughts over and over and over and... To quote Laurent: "Bah!"

I kept waiting for a plot resolution or climax or any satisfying ending for the hours I invested in this dreary mud flat of a story, but was offered none.

If you would like to listen to Kate Winslet, I suggest you try another novel and SKIP this one.

Very unsatisfying waste of my time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

deliciously dark1

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it is an incredible murder story.

What did you like best about this story?

The evolution of the characters.

What about Kate Winslet’s performance did you like?

Very good, engaging and well read.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really, although it is easy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Superb writing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kate Winslet is pure narrative genius!

Had I not the pleasure of listening to the talented voice of Miss Winslet, I might not have loved this story as much having only read it on my own. The woman had me transfixed & her ability to create absolute differences of voice & bring each character to life, is unlike any other. What an absolute pleasure it was to enjoy her telling of such a story... I am only sad to see it end... THANK YOU, AUDIBLE!!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

If you like depressing books, this is yours

I chose this because I like to have some knowledge of the classics. I love Tomas Hardy and John Steinbeck. But Emile Zola is not on my list of read again. I don't need more hardship in my life. I read to escape my troubles not get into someone else's. so if you don't want to escape you will love this. Just not for me.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simone
  • 02-14-17

Well read

Kate Winslet read this book very well, she is indeed a good narrator. The story is also good and catchy, and it made remind me of the radio soap operas, we want the see how it's going to end.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Big Ears
  • 03-04-16

Absorbing

I chose this audiobook based on the reviews and also because Kate Winslet was the reader. She is one of the most talented actresses in her generation and I with my children have enjoyed immensely her readings of Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl so wanted to see how she fairs in a more dramatic setting. Her performance was engaging and absorbing. This is a book where dialogue is sparse but Ms. Winslet managed to effectively bring the characters out to life.

I certainly agree with many reviewers that the language was rich and can only imagine how intense it would be in its native language. However the translations became obvious and hard on the ear, especially towards the last quarter of the book where many out of place words were repeatedly used.

What I enjoyed the most was the story. Although every character was detestable and the tale gloomy and desperate (never was there a happy moment in the book) the story unfolded with indulgence. If Zola set out to create a tale and characters of despair he certainly succeeded. I never at any moment felt sorrow for Therese despite her unfortunately upbringing. Unlike many books with rich text and slow moving plots, this was book was intense both in language and scene. I especially enjoyed how Zola carried the bitter story to the very very end. It was the perfect ending to this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-15

Surprising and enjoyable

Struggled to start but once I got going it was a joy. Kate Winslet is a great narrator and the story is so rich.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • peter
  • 09-23-12

Therese and Kate

It was zola's first major work, before he began to shine. have not read anything by him since college, and now i got this tour-de-force of true french realism. some of the passages are thoroughly bone chilling. kate's narration is a literary ablution for the soul. oohh those beauteous women...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Regina
  • 09-10-12

Fantastic narration

This was my first read of a Zola novel and I wasn't disappointed. A really dark and mesmerising story of the consequences that love and passion can lead to. Really gets into the torment of the characters. The best of it for me though is the stunning narration of Kate Winslet. I got totally swept away with her beautiful reading. Listened to the whole book in a day.You can really tell that she has a love of this book. Totally recommend this to any fan of the classics. Superb.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Scotty Spark
  • 11-24-14

Dismal

What would have made Thérèse Raquin better?

Perhaps a different reader, but mostly I consider the story irredeemable. It starts dismally and becomes dire.

Would you ever listen to anything by Emile Zola again?

Yes, I would give him one more try: he presumably wrote other works that merit his fame.

Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Winslet’s performances?

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.

What character would you cut from Thérèse Raquin?

Perhaps it would all have been different if Mme Raquin, Camille's mother, hadn't been there to manipulate and ruin lives.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste time on this depressing book. Spend your money on something else.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alice
  • 07-26-15

Shame about the translation

You can either spend your time translating the translation into English in your head as you go along, or you can just enjoy the ride. A few samples: "Never had he experienced such poltroonery"; "This thought caused him to experience a delightful moisture all along his body"; "These eyes alone moved, rolling rapidly in their orbits"; "They did not know what countenance to put on".
Kate Winslet's professionalism is admirable. It's a pity they didn't find her a better translation to read.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Alan
  • 10-19-12

an illiterate reading

Did Ms Winslet perform this reading this before she went to drama school? She mangles the. Sense-of-what. She is reading to the point. Of making it impossible. To listen to. And what was the producer doing all the while? This does no credit to her, to Audible or to the publisher.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-21-18

enthralling listen

loved the narration and found the story a rollercoaster of emotions. Couldn't switch it off. A real bargain as a daily deal.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 04-09-16

superb

all round excellence.
the story, the narration, absolutely superb.
Kate Winslet brings this Zola classic right into the heart of you.
highly recommended - highly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful