Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it but . ., 15 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: A Year of Reading Proust (Paperback)
Actually, that's wrong. I enjoyed it immensely. However, there were one or two bits that I found annoying. Why call the bibliography "Recommended Reading" as if the readers are still in school and need advice? I also found the way that famous names -- Salman Rushdie, Edmund White -- and old Joe Bloggs (sorry, I can't remember the exact names) from down the road got exactly the same treatment -- democratic and PC to a fault, I grant you, but the amount of time I invested in trying to work out if I should have heard of "Joe" was SO irritating.
But the main thing, which left a somewhat nasty taste, was the author's seeming inability to really tell us about what happened when she had an affair with a married man in France (the husband of a friend) and her role in the break-up of his marriage. We're told about the advice from a friend -- that if you meet the man of your dreams and he is "the one", go for it, whatever the cost -- as if that gave her right to do anything, including giving him an ultimatum that if he didn't leave his wife and follow her to the US she would never see him again. We're told she felt anger towards the rival whose life she was destroying. And later, when she finally meets her new brother-in-law and she tells him how much she has suffered and he forgives her, she is outraged to find that she is thought of as a person who needs to be forgiven! Where's the analysis, where's the self-knowledge? This may be carping about an otherwise fascinating book, but I felt this destroyed somewhat the reason for, and lessons learned, from reading Proust in the first place
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