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Le Grand Meaulnes (Essential Penguin) Paperback – 25 Feb 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition (25 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014028270X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140282702
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,278,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Ian Thumwood on 17 April 2004
Format: Paperback
Sometimes you will read a book that is so good it will leave an impression that will remain with you long after you have finished the last page. Alain-Fournier's "Le Grand Meaulnes is one such book.
Set around the turn of the last century, this story is part romance, part mystery and part a nostalgic evocation of youth and centres around the story of Meaulnes who stumbles upon a party held within an enchanting chateau that neither the hero nor the narrator are able to find again.It is at this party that Meaulnes meets a girl who, whilst beguiling him, remains as elusive as the chateau. All these events take place within the mysterious countryside of The Berry in France, an area readers of Gillian Tindells' excellent "Celestine" will be very familiar with and will know as having the same ambience as such remote parts of England as Dartmoor.
Having read many translations of French literature, there is no other book that so beautifully captures village life and childhood as this book. The book is full of nostalgia and paints a vivd picture of everyday life in a small village, particularly it's school. Tragically, the author was killed in action during 1914, one year after "Le Grand Meaulnes" was published and, unfortunately,remained the only book that he wrote. It very much captures the tragedy of that generation, rather like Housman's "Shropshire Lad" poems do in English literature.
"Le Grand Meaulnes" is one of my favourite books of all time and I would unreservedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted and poetic read. An absolute classic.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Sep 2000
Format: Paperback
Le Grand Meulnes is the larger-than-life school boy who falls in love with a girl from a strange "domain". He spends much of the book trying to get back to this place. The story is an odd mixture of realism and fantasy. You are never quite sure whether the fantastic elements are simply the results of the school boys yearning imagination. In the end it is the narrator, the friend of le grand Meulnes, who haunted me. He is so ordinary and boring that he makes le grand Meulnes seem even more impossible and glamourous. And yet it is the narrator who we all probably most resemble. Perhaps with flashes of Meulnes if we are lucky. John Fowles descibed "Le Grand Meulnes" as a novel that "has haunted the european mind since it first appeared in 1913. It is a novel one never quite forgets, a book like a secret garden..." .
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
Once in a blue moon you'll read a book and it hurts! It hurts because you realise that you can never ever read that book again for the first time! It is almost like finding out how a magic trick is done. this is one of those books. It has that special factor which so few books have. I will forever be caught up in the nostalgia created by this wonderful book and will always think back with fond memories to the time i read it first and look forawrd to reading it many more times. The loss of this brilliant author is equal to the loss of Meaulnes's lost domain!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert Parsons on 23 Jun 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hello,

I know that enthusiastic reviews of products can become tiresome but, please, persevere with this.

I was introduced, reluctantly, to 'Le Grand Meaulnes' at school by an energetic French master at 16 - I loathed the book. I read it again at 17, 18 and for most years since then and I am now a 45-year-old doctor. I know of no other novel that captures that exquisite, fleeting madness of adolescent love and infatuation, when ones love becomes everything and leads one to absurd extremes - of that mystic realm where reason is meaningless. Please read it. You may hate it and castigate Meaulnes or the narrator for their idiocies, but open your heart and ask if, in their position, you would have done otherwise? A shining work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Burin on 11 Mar 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the classics of 20th century literature, a powerful tale of magical youth and troubled adolescence, I fell in love with this book instantly. The fact that it turned out to be Alain-Fournier's only work adds to the aura of mystery surrounding it. This edition is attractive and well presented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J.V. Pule on 21 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Terrible translation, seems to have been made electronically. here is an excerpt:
"My father, whom I called Mr. Seurel, like other students, including managing both the higher courts, where they were preparing the patent teacher, and the average price. My mother was the small class."

Doesn't make sense. I am deleting it from my Kindle immediately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 19 Nov 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the original French version of Alain-Fournier's exquisite novel. Opening in the 1890s in rural France, this deals in romantic obsession: with a lost past, a lost love, an always elusive ideal.

Written in 1912 and published in 1913, a year before Alain-Fournier died in WW1, this is a deeply Romantic novel in lots of ways, drawing on European traditions such as those of Petrarch, Keats, and Goethe - yet is also `modern' in its attention to memory and desire, and it is no coincidence that it was published in the same year as the first part of Proust's A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. The central episode at the mysterious chateau seems to look back, especially, to the poems of Verlaine (Fêtes Galantes).

There are various English translations of this book but I've recently read the new translation by Frank Davison published by Oxford University Press which is excellent: The Lost Domain.

For a haunting, spellbinding, tender and deeply, yet satisfyingly, melancholic read, this is highly recommended.
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