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In Search of Lost Time: The Way by Swann's by [Proust, Marcel]
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In Search of Lost Time: The Way by Swann's Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product description

About the Author

Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is generally viewed as the greatest French novelist and perhaps the greatest European novelist of the 20th century. He lived much of his later life as a reclusive semi-invalid in a sound-proofed flat in Paris, giving himself over entirely to writing IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1663 KB
  • Print Length: 477 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0141180315
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (2 Oct. 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI97S4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,633 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know if it's the age I've reached (late 30s), or whether it's Lydia Davis's translation - but I can't put this book down.
I read it first in French when I was 19 (but it was too much for me to take in), then in English (but for some reason it was also too much for me to take in). I've re-tried a few times, but really got nowhere. I appreciated it aesthetically, but not emotionally, I found it trying despite my best intentions. Then, having found my love of fiction on the wane over the last few years (I don't know why) - but still desperate to read - I picked up this translation, but with little hope. However I find I'm cramming as much in as I can before bed, again in the morning over breakfast, at lunch if I can...if you'd told me one day that I was carrying Proust around everywhere with me, finding it very difficult to put down, I wouldn't have believed you!
Like someone who's had a religious epiphany, I want to share it with everyone, but the experience is so personal in some way that I can't find the words without sounding bonkers! I think it's absolutely wonderful.
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Format: Paperback
Notorious for both its difficulty and length, Proust’s serpentine seven volume novel, In Search of Lost Time, is arguably the greatest ever written and indisputably one of the masterpieces of world literature. There is so much to be said about this great masterpiece that it is indeed difficult to know where to start, so I would like to address just one question in my review. Containing more than a million words, why make the considerable investment of time and effort required to read the work at all? Isn’t life too short for such an undertaking? Now on my third reading, I would offer the following justification - read Proust not for the poetic evocativeness of his language, his wonderful humour, his profound reflections on the nature of society, politics, philosophy, Art and the passage of Time, his chronicling of historical events such as the Dreyfus case, the First World War, the introduction of the telephone, car and airplane or for his huge gallery of vividly painted characters – brilliant and compelling though all of these are, but rather read Proust in order to learn more about yourself. His insights into the nature of human experience and the human soul are timeless and universal. Whether discussing love (in both its romantic and platonic forms), sexual desire, jealousy, snobbery, bereavement and loss, kindness and cruelty, the power of money, social ambition, illness or the fear of death, there is virtually no aspect of human experience he does not explore with exceptional sensitivity and insight. Proust captures better than any other writer I know, with the exception of Shakespeare, just what it is like to be a human being and to exist in this confusing, perplexing and often difficult world.Read more ›
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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Mar. 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
I tried this because I thought that I really ought to read some Proust. A friend suggested that we read it at the same time and discuss it, which sounded like a good idea at the time. I have dutifully slogged my way through as much as I could bear.

Someone said of Wagner's Parsifal that it's the kind of opera that starts at six o'clock and after it has been going three hours you look at your watch and it says 6.20. Well, that's nothing to how I feel about Swann's Way. Endless, endless pages about what he thought as a child when trying to sleep, some reasonably well observed but incredibly laboured social comedy (I use the word comedy in its loosest sense), monumental quantities of minutiae about uninteresting characters (in which I include the narrator) and an overriding sense of someone utterly self-obsessed – and who is determined to visit the obsession mercilessly on everyone else. I was irritated and, frankly, bored witless; when I saw that, after a long, serious struggle through really quite a lot (it seemed to me), my Kindle said "8h 07m left in book" I heard Billy Connolly in my head saying, "Oh, d'ya bloody think so?"

I gave up. Seven volumes of this? *Seven*? Sheesh! Does anyone know the French for "For heavens' sake get over yourself"?

And now, following the effortful and emotionally enervating distress of having composed this piece, reminding me irresistibly of the long years of suffering in education (the subject of volumes 23-47 of my proposed masterwork), I feel the distressing stirrings of the need to go and do something else.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent translation of Proust's work.
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Format: Paperback
Having avoided Proust for 30+ years because of his reputation as the 'serious' writer to top all serious writers, I finally got round to reading this first volume ... and now I understand what all the fuss is and was about.

There's actually nothing `difficult' about his style (as perhaps there is with someone like Joyce or Faulkner). The experience is rather like sitting comfortably in an open boat being carried rapidly, but not too rapidly, along a river. The scenery is varied and exquisite. Occasionally, the boat enters a slower stretch of water. However, you are so relaxed that you accept the change readily. Eventually, you move back into the faster water, feeling even more receptive to your rich surroundings.

Of course, this feeble simile doesn't do the book justice. Let's just say it's an experience well worth having. Oh, and parts of the books are really quite funny. For example, the descriptions of M. and Mme. Verdurin. I'm looking forward to reading the other volumes.

October 2012 update: I'm on the sixth volume and my admiration for Proust is now boundless. Every paragraph seems to contain insight or wisdom about the human condition and how we frame and process ideas and memories of the people we love, both while they're living and after they're dead.

Here's a more or less random extract: "We exist only by virtue of what we possess, we possess only what is really present to us, and so many of our memories, our humours, or ideas set out to voyage far away from us, until they are lost to sight! Then we can no long make them enter into our reckoning of the total which is our personality. But they know of secret paths by which to return to us. And on certain nights ...
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