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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

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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Wonderful Winslet, Satisfactory Story

Kate Winslet is a gifted actress and she can add talented narrator/story teller to her list of accomplishments. She is reason alone to partake of this audiobook. Zola is a solid writer who delves deeply into flawed characters' motivations and obsessions. However, the writing is not even close to Henry James or D. H. Lawrence as I was hoping for at the start of the book. Definitely worth a listen, just don't expect a classic masterpiece.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • T
  • Charlotte, NC, United States
  • 05-07-12

Wonderful reading, but long ... boring story

Kate Winslet delivers an outstanding reading of Thérèse Raquin. However, the story is so dark, repetitive, and long that it eventually becomes tiring. I enjoyed it at first, but the final chapters were painful. You know how this sad tale will end and by those last chapters, you just wish it would!

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • Appleton, WI, United States
  • 03-13-12

Great Narration--Crazy Story!

What did you love best about Thérèse Raquin?

I loved the way Zola delves deeply into the psychology of his characters and not just the two main characters, but others as well.

What did you like best about this story?

It is dark, brooding and cynical, but not overbearingly so. I found I enjoyed it as a horror story and as a commentary on French society of the nineteenth century--it works wonderfully as one or the other or both!

What about Kate Winslet’s performance did you like?

To be honest I bought the book for her narration--I was not disappointed! Her voice and inflection are incredible and very easy to follow. She reads with emotion but not obnoxiously--her narration is subtle and she is also wonderful with the French names and places in the story.

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

It was disturbing and dark--but in a good way. It makes you think about the way human minds work with the added benefit of seeing how the nineteenth century's view of moral choices is portrayed in the book and how that plays out in the plot.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Great Narration, Poor Story

As another reviewer said, the narration of Kate Winslet was wonderful and I enjoyed listening to her, I just wish I had enjoyed the story more. I understand it is a study in jealousy and in how people handle guilt and remorse, but the writing style just failed to keep me interested. The idea behind this reminded me very much of Poe's Tell-Tale Heart.

Of course it is a matter of personal preference, but for me I found the story extremely boring and the characters so flawed that I didn't care what happened to any of them. In fact, most every character is so flawed that they become cookie cutter "bad," like the proverbial villian in the black clothing of old movies.

As much as I love listeining to Kate Winslet, the story just didn't catch my interest.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Val
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 03-24-12

Long, long, long

Maybe I just don't enjoy listening to a couple's reptitive and obsessive fretting . Neither character was sympathetic enough for me to care. I do enjoy character intense novels, but this couple never developed any nuanced anything!
Beautiful reading, but, boy, I'd sure like to know what Kate Winslett enjoyed in the novel

28 of 33 people found this review helpful

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Depressing

The book is well-written and Kate Winslet is wonderful as a narrator which is why I downloaded the book, but even a good narrator couldn't make the plot less of a downer. Warning: The story is depressing.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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there's nothing like being read to by Kate Winslet

The story isn't quite my type of book, but I ended up finding it more engaging than I expected. But, I love Kate Winslet and would be happy to listen to anything she wants to read for as long as she will continue reading! She is an amazing actress so it's no surprise that she is also an excellent narrator.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Heather
  • St. Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 03-12-12

What a fantastic story!

The story was really gripping from beginning to end. Full of tragedy, lust and human emotion. Kate does an amazing job of narrating. I will be recommending this to my friends and family. Outstanding! I would absolutely listen to Therese Raquin again.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Not a Fan of Naturalism School of Lit


I Love Nature & Natural, but No More Novels of Naturalism

In my voracity for reading most of the so-called classic novels, I read this short one without knowing much about it, nor did I read (until later) the preface in which Zola says this is a study of temperaments and not characters, the basis of which is the now-discounted Galen's Four Temperaments. Apparently, this is a novel characterized as "naturalism," due to its scientific or detached narrative.

The four temperaments are represented by Therese Raquin, an unhappily married young woman (melancholic), Madame Raquin, her overbearing and selfish aunt (choleric), Camille Raquin, her sickly, self-centered husband, who is also her 1st cousin (phlegmatic) all of whom all live together, and Laurent, interloping friend of the husband (sanguine). You might guess what happens. If so, great. If not, I don't wanna spoil all your insidious fun.

Love Nature, All for the Naturals; No, Please, No More Naturalism.

The actress Kate Winslet did a fantastic job with the narration though.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Horrible people doing horrible things, boringly

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

An alternate title could be "Lazy, Paranoid Murderers." Therese Raquin is longer than it needs to be. Even so, there are a few great scenes and wry details that more than justify this mostly bland book's existence.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I don't want to ruin those few plot points that left me with a smile on my face, but they're there.

What about Kate Winslet’s performance did you like?

If it weren't Kate Winselt's lovely voice, I never would have finished this book.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes! The movie version (which is in the works) will have to be condensed, which will benefit the plodding parts of the story. Also, those excruciating details will be even more powerful to watch, I think.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Hawfinch
  • 10-25-12

Well read

Not all actors make good readers (and not all readers make good actors) but Kate Winslet does a fine job with this tale. There are a few occasions where she misplaces the emphasis in a sentence, and her French pronunciation sometimes seems a bit off: her way of pronouncing Camille as an elongated "Cameeeya" sounded odd to my ears. But on the whole this is an elegantly read audiobook of Zola's harrowing novel.



Minus one star because Audible chose to use a Victorian English translation in the public domain, rather than a better, modern translation such as that by Robin Buss for Penguin.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 04-08-12

gripping and vivid

I've read three of the Zola books before so knew this was going to be gritty and harrowing. As my first audible book though I was blown away at how moving and shocking the narrative is. I gasped out loud several times in horror - Zola certainly knows how to get into ones head with his graphic descriptions of outer desolation and inner torment. Kate Winslet does a tremendous job and really relishes some of his most vivid adjectives - "sanguine, vile, grotesque" to name but a few. Must be riproaring in the original language. Highly recommended and especially as an introduction to Zola who can be heavy going.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • MsRanPan
  • 12-28-12

Interesting

Not my usual thing but its a haunting little tale and beautifully read by KW. It's an interesting look at love and relationships, it took a while for me to get into it and want to listen as I don't think anyone is likeable at all but I eventually intrigued me (along with the language) and is worth a listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • R
  • 06-22-12

walking companion

Kate Winslet is a very acceptable companion trudging the muddy lanes in an early English 'summer'. Her voice is even and pleasant, and she doesn't attempt the appalling voice caricatures of some readers. Have read criticisms of her French accent, but that's to be picky. Given that Zola's characters lead drab lives - picture Degas' 'Absinthe Drinker' - she manages to bring out the drama in what is a pretty bleak tale. I'd listen to her again, and the 4 stars are for her rendition. I've read the book in French and English and would give the story a 3.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • janien
  • 04-20-14

A classic page turner

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

Absolutely, I already have. Brilliant classic story and excellent production.

What other book might you compare Thérèse Raquin to, and why?

Im reading Suskind's Perfume currently and am struck by the similarities of the two.

What does Kate Winslet bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She's an amazing narrator.

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

Absolutely.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-06-12

Dark story, beautifully read

I would have loved to have read the paper version of this book myself but Kate Winslet's reading was the next best thing. The story is mesmerising and the narration drags you into a dark, suffocating atmosphere steadily descending into terrifying madness.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine lee
  • 03-22-15

Therese Racquin

Would you listen to Thérèse Raquin again? Why?

There is a new translation by Adam Thorpe that is out that I would like to read. Audible doesn't seem to credit translators but this would be helpful. My next look at the textwill be this translation.

What other book might you compare Thérèse Raquin to, and why?

Not my usual genre. As a story of passion and violence I have trouble thinking of a better one. Someonecompared it to "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (film). Crime and Punishment?

What about Kate Winslet’s performance did you like?

Her lovely diction and crisp vowels. . Wonderful voice to listen to for hours on end.Unimaginative in some spots and she needed to have read it a little more closely in a few places

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

It's not ful of laughs. I wondered at Zola's own history with violence in relationshipsas it was so full of pyschological insights as well as what felt like first hand experience. Wild fight scenes of great abuse betweenLaurent and Therese were completely amazing. The ebb and flow of their despair and their need for psychological escape were breathtaking.

Any additional comments?

It is a contemporary book in its message. It will most likely, sadly, never goout of fashion as a study of the limits of human tolerance for dealing with guilt andwith "cognitive dissonance". .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • caroline
  • 05-16-12

Fantastic

This is a fantastic listen...so dark and grim and painful! I, as with one of the other reviewers, found myself gasping throughout. The narration is perfect. Loved it....

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • graeme
  • 04-09-13

Therese Raquin

Zola's novel charts the Rake's Progress of the heroine as her actions reap their consequences. Kate Winslet's narration evokes a sense of the excitement and despair, the dank, dark recesses of the shop and the horror and eventual haunting of the principal characters. This audio book deserves it's place on the Audible 100 classics to 'read'.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • 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 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LC
  • 06-21-16

Dark dark dark... but oh so good

**SPOILERS**


It's awful to watch these characters descend into self inflicted neurosis... but also deeply satisfying you watch karma served up to these awful people with such prompt and unyielding relish.

This is not a tale of redemption or genuine remorse - regret and self pity, perhaps, (maybe even a little bit of revenge from Madame Raquin's perspective) - but if you were hoping to come out the other side feeling like your faith in justice and all that is good and right has been restored... I'm putting it out there - this ain't the book you're looking for.

Kate Winslet's narration has a quiet, implacable, almost cold and unemotional edge to it - perfectly appropriate for the novel and its empty souled characters. Her deliberately detached and distant narration approach is very well matched to the novel and Zola's writing style.

While Therese Raquin is not exactly the most uplifting novel you're going to read/hear - this version is certainly worth a listen....If for no other reason than to remind yourself to work harder at being a better person than the characters in this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-09-17

great narrator

bit to weird & full on for me, what a horrible way to have to live.