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In Search Of Lost Time, Vol 2: Within a Budding Grove: Within a Budding Grove Vol 2 (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 5 Dec 1996


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Frequently Bought Together

In Search Of Lost Time, Vol 2: Within a Budding Grove: Within a Budding Grove Vol 2 (Vintage Classics) + In Search Of Lost Time, Vol 3: The Guermantes Way: Guermantes Way v. 3 (Vintage classics) + In Search of Lost Time: Sodom and Gomorrah: Sodom and Gomorrah Vol 4 (In Search of Lost Time 4)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (5 Dec 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099362317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099362319
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "excellentsteve" on 18 Mar 2005
Format: Paperback
Picking up where Swann's Way left off, this is the enthralling, equisitely poetical second instalment of Proust's masterpiece. If - like me - you struggled through the first volume to adjust to the Proustian technique by which sentences can, and frequently do, occupy an entire page of script, by the time you pick up the second volume the language seems as natural and fluent as it once felt awkward and clumsy.
The Author spends the first part of the novel dealing with love and obsession in his formative years - his emotions fluttering between Gilberte and her mother, the notorious Mme Swann. Whilst the first half of Within a Budding Grove offers a delightful insight into the workings of human love and, more touchingly, the anguish from which it is unseparable in the heart of the author, the volume really comes to live when we reach Balbec.
In the latter half of the novel we are treated to Proust at his best: using the characters of Elstir, Albertine and Saint-Loup the author treats us to splendid discussions on what are, in descending order of value, his most cherished themes of art, love and friendship respectively.
In short, Swann's way was a splendid prologue to the rest of the novel which reaches new heights in this its second volume. If you were thinking about leaving it a while before attempting part two, don't - do it now.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Mar 2000
Format: Paperback
Firstly, congratulations to anyone who has got this far and completed the first volume of Prousts epic tale. With the hard work done, you can now enjoy the fruits of your labour - this book contains a delicate, haunting account of romance which is both imaginative and highly readable. The characters are both newly introduced, and drawn from "Swanns Way", and are believable in a way that is rarely found in literature. Motives, emotions and the "human condition" are all analysed in such unflinching detail that you find yourself associating with the narrator and sharing his frustration at his own failings. Along with occasional flashes of humour, the tight storyline moves the book along far more quickly than the first volume. A superb read that will leave you wanting more (and don't worry - there are still four volumes to go!)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback
...and that rush of memories. I read the first volume of "In Search of Lost Time" which is normally titled in English, (Swann's Way) some 25 years ago. Truly great literature should impact one's life, and certainly the first volume did. I vowed to visit the town depicted, which has hyphenated its name, Illiers-Combray, in honor of this masterpiece. I've done so, at least five times, visited Aunt Leonie's home, and literally taken the "Swann's Way" walk, the relatively short distance from her home to the lovely and normally unoccupied Pré Catelan park, which should be an essential part of anyone's memory of this work. It can become a place of "pilgrimage." I reviewed (Swann's Way) in early 2012; in doing so I did a straight line project based on reading one volume of the six, every 25 years, and readily realized I would not complete the entire novel unless I changed my pace. And I did, finishing this volume just under the wire in 2012, and committing to read volume three in the first part of 2013... this novel really is such an essential read.

Reading Marcel Proust seems to call out for a special venue. I kept thinking of a hot-tub. Relaxed and soothing, certainly unhurried. His style of endless run-on sentences, with 10 and 20 qualifying phrases, seems to demand a leisurely read. I would have hated to think I had a deadline and a paper due on the book, as in a school assignment. Some passages I read two and three times, just for the sheer joy of his uniquely descriptive prose. And no doubt I'll pick up the book in the future, and read those passages again.

The novel is set in the era commonly called "La Belle Epoque," in France, just before the truly man-made, with the emphasis on that gender, catastrophe of World War I.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Le Pere Nickety on 18 Feb 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a minor technical complaint from someone who is greatly enjoying reading the second volume of A la recherche du Temps Perdu in English on his new Kindle. The text on Kindle is littered with typographical errors, in this case even more than were in Swann in love's Kindle version. Francoise the maid is frequently consistently to as "Franchise" to give but one example. This is offputting as it disrupts the magical flow of the prose. Can it be remedied?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The above is, of course, a paraphrase of Marcel's remark about great writing not necessarily coinciding with zeal.

The good news is that Volume 2 of In Search Of Lost Time is much more engaging than its predecessor, despite the similarities. Where in Vol.1 the main was taken up with M. Swann eating his heart out over the behaviour of his lover, the courtesan Odette, her loving indifference and really imagined infidelities (if one may call them that), within the budding grove it is Marcel's turn to wrack his brains over Odette's daughter, the charming young Gilberte. The narrator's visits to the Swann's residence, his admiration for Madame Swann and her daughter, these take up the first third of the volume; thereafter the novel almost morphs into travel writing, describing Marcel's vacation at Balbec with his grandmother, their new circle of acquaintance there and the fleeting possibilities of erotic encounters with other holidaymakers.

Congratulations on making it past Vol.1 because now you can savour to an even greater degree the wit, the perspicacity of this most observant of authors. The number of passages that will have you nodding with recognition, perhaps a little pained, replete with Proust's insights into human psychology, are legion; and for the rest, there are his loving evocations of sunlight, depictions of nature, paeans to elegance and charm, delineations of social rank and the manners and follies pertaining to each group at whatever level. If there is one overriding theme to this novel, so far, it appears to be regret. Perhaps regret goes with the territory.
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