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Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time: A Reader's Guide to The Remembrance of Things Past

Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time: A Reader's Guide to The Remembrance of Things Past [Kindle Edition]

Patrick Alexander
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

An accessible, irreverent guide to one of the most admired—and entertaining—novels of the past century. There is no other guide like this; a user-friendly and enticing entry into the marvelously enjoyable world of Proust.

At seven volumes, three thousand pages, and more than four hundred characters, as well as a towering reputation as a literary classic, Proust’s novel can seem daunting. But though begun a century ago, in 1909, it is in fact as engaging and relevant to our times as ever. Patrick Alexander is passionate about Proust’s genius and appeal—he calls the work “outrageously bawdy and extremely funny”—and in his guide he makes it more accessible to the general reader through detailed plot summaries, historical and cultural background, a guide to the fifty most important characters, maps, family trees, illustrations, and a brief biography of Proust. Essential for readers and book groups currently reading Proust and who want help keeping track of the huge cast and intricate plot, this Reader’s Guide is also a wonderful introduction for students and new readers and a memory-refresher for long-time fans.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1434 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307472329
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (22 Sep 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002PXFYM4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #149,697 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Patrick Alexander-Lane is an English born writer who has raised his children in France, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland and California before settling in Miami, Florida. He has worked on four continents as, - an international financial consultant, a corporate executive and as a university professor and administrator. These wildly different experiences inspired a series of short stories published in the UK by Mainstream Publishing as "Recollections of a Racketeer".

Patrick's second book, 'Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time' was published by Vintage Books in New York in 2009 and will be followed by two other books on Proust: 'Marcel Proust on Twitter' and 'The Illustrated Proust' in collaboration with the Californian painter, David Richardson. Patrick is also engaged in re-writing all seven volumes of "In Search of Lost Time" on Twitter at 'ProustTweet'.

Patrick's first novel,'The Nigerian Letter' was released in March 2011. Apart from being an exciting page-turner of a thriller - it is also remarkable for having almost no references to Marcel Proust!

Currently Patrick is working on a Guide to Wine Appreciation based on the successful 6-week program that he has been teaching for the past several years.

When not visiting his grandchildren in France and Charleston S.C., Patrick and his wife Jude live in Miami where he teaches classes in Wine Appreciation, Creative Writing and Marcel Proust.

Patrick's website is:
His Proust website is:
His wine website is:

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Guide 14 May 2010
By Phil
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an immensely enjoyable read, written in clear, non-academic prose. The author's enthusiasm for Proust is clear from the outset and catching, too. If you've tackled Proust before, or if you intend to, this is a book you will need. In the first section Patrick Alexander elegantly summarises the plot of each volume, providing plenty of quotations. Next follows a guide to the (many) characters, and the book concludes with biographical and historical material to place 'A la recherche' in context. Just as Harry Blamires' guide is indispensable when tackling 'Ulysses', and Brian Boyd's 'Nabokov's Pale Fire' for understanding the complexities and hidden pleasures of that book, so too does this reader's guide make a roaring lion of a read seem more like an approachable pussy cat.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful but needs updating 22 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a very helpful guide to Proust. However, it is based upon an outdated edition. I am using the same translation as the author, but his edition arranges the volumes differently so that his page references are impossible to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In search of hidden Proust. 14 Aug 2014
Such a byword for pretentiousness that Monty Python had a 'Summarise Proust' skit - very funny it is too - his great novel certainly warrants a guide since even its admirers,( I am one), admit that it is not exactly an easy read. This is an indispensable little guide to it, signposting plot and themes and characters such that you will not likely get lost in the deliberately labyrinthine prose. Yes, Proust's chef d'oeuvre has its longueurs, asthma is being recapitulated for one thing, but it is a quite brilliant novel and the more people are encouraged to try it and helped to enjoy it, the better. Just to experience the last book is to learn - I did in 1984 - just a little about Time and its depredations; to enjoy the social set pieces is to experience one of the great comedians of manners in any language, as well to appreciate a moral critic as exacting as Chekhov. It may also help you to see how funny Proust can be; as well as one of the most profound writers on Love - for what it is worth I think him quite the best on this, if ,erm, chastening ("Dr Freud, the screens!"). A great help in reading a very great book, although I would not supplement it with de Botton whom I find facile; try the short essay by Frank Kermode is his 'Modern Essays' instead, it's a gem. With this and that, you are off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very welcome suport 9 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent book which is helping considerably my 2nd attempt at the great work. I had started making my own notes to keep things reasonably clear but realised I needed something which came at the task from several directions. This is it!
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