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Phillip Wells (Bermuda)

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In Search Of Lost Time Vol 1: Swann's Way: Swann's Way Vol 1 (Vintage Classics)
In Search Of Lost Time Vol 1: Swann's Way: Swann's Way Vol 1 (Vintage Classics)
by Marcel Proust
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, but be prepared!, 18 Jan. 2000
As someone unused to reading 'heavy' literature I approached the first volume of In Search of Lost Time with a certain amount of trepidation. The first half is indeed hard going, and I could see why Proust himself once referred to his work as a 'piece of indigestible nougat'. The sentences are long, with innumerable subordinate clauses, and I often found myself having to re-read them in order to grasp what was going on. In addition, Proust spends tens of pages describing topics such as the village church at Combray which, frankly, however original his description, was pretty boring. But persevere to part two, the description of Swann and Odette's love affair, and not only does the material become infinitely more interesting but, with the increase in the amount of direct speech, becomes easier to read.
If you're still feeling daunted, I'd recommend reading Alain de Botton's book 'How Proust can Change Your Life' first - a funny, sublime look at Proust and In Search of Lost Time. He gives you an idea what to expect in terms of Proust's style and points out things of interest to look out for along the way.
The ultimate test of how much you enjoy this book will be whether you want to carry on with the next 5 volumes. I'm already half-way through volume 2...

How Proust Can Change Your Life
How Proust Can Change Your Life
by Alain De Botton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 18 Jan. 2000
A sublime book, short and exceptionally easy to read. Yet despite that, de Botton's commentary on Proust's observations on life is well-observed, funny and true. Proust snobs may sniffily suggest this book has no insights to offer that you wouldn't be better getting from In Search Of Lost Time itself, but I would have never found the perseverance to get through the first volume of Proust's novel had I not read this book first. It prepares you for what to expect (the long, rambling sentences with innumerable subordinate clauses) and signals points of interest to watch out for along the way (for instance, the madeleine). After completing volume 1, I was still unsure about whether I wanted to persevere with the other 5 volumes, but re-reading de Botton's gem rekindled my enthusiasm and I'm now half-way through volume 2.
If you ever wanted to read Proust but have never been able to summon up the courage (or if you wondered where the plot for the movie 'Last Night' came from), read this. You'll love it.

The Man Who
The Man Who
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £2.41

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 29 Nov. 1999
This review is from: The Man Who (Audio CD)
Like Radiohead, but with a sound that's more melancholy than wrist-slittingly depressing. Quite possibly the finest album I've bought this year.

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