Released amid critical outrage due to its sexually suggestive content, Claudine at School has since garnered due praise for its witty but mordant depiction of a young woman’s coming-of-age experience at a girls’ secondary school in provincial France. Claudine relies on her sharp tongue and rebellious exploits to cope with the stifling privation, jealous backbiting, and sexual mistreatment that define her teenage years. Prolific actress Barbara McCulloch shines as the impish 15-year-old, capturing the sprightly wit and curious intellect that belies Claudine’s rejection of propriety, servility, and other supposedly feminine virtues.
Claudine is the prettiest, smartest and wildest girl in her class. A mischievous 15-year-old who delights in rollicking through the dusty corridors of a parochial school in provincial France, Claudine manipulates her less-astute classmates and her feeble-minded professors. This vivid, honest portrait of adolescent life in turn-of-the-century Montigny was shocking to some readers when it first appeared. Today the novel still sparkles with the freshness and edge that excited readers almost 100 years ago.
This is a great recording of a classic story of turn-of-the-(20th) Century life. It is fast-paced and full of wit and very human situations. Colette seems the natural extension of Guy du Maupassant and Balzac (not so much Zola) as French Literature reached into the last century.
True, this book is not as "erotic" as some people make it out to be. Indeed, the three sequels to this novel are far more nasty than this one. It is important to remember, however, that what was erotic in 1905 is a little different than what is erotic today. So if you're coming to Colette to find something raunchy, you're not going to succeed.
So pick this one up if you like human stories even if they aren't full of trash and tragedy. Hey, Audible, how about the rest of the series?
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
If your definition of erotic includes how 15 year old French girls learn to sew, figure "sums" and trick their teachers, this is the listen for you. However if you are into more lusty and descriptive Victorian prose such as "The Pearl" series, this book will do little more than cure insomnia.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful