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Within a Budding Grove: Pt. 1 (Modern Classics) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks; abridged edition edition (July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626340886
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626340882
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 14.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,057,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It is marvelously about life." --Terence Kilmartin

" It is marvelously about life." -- Terence Kilmartin

It is marvelously about life. Terence Kilmartin" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The definitive translation of the greatest French novel of the twentieth century --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Picking up where Swann's Way left off, this is the enthralling, equisitely poetical second instalment of Proust's masterpiece. If - like me - you struggled through the first volume to adjust to the Proustian technique by which sentences can, and frequently do, occupy an entire page of script, by the time you pick up the second volume the language seems as natural and fluent as it once felt awkward and clumsy.
The Author spends the first part of the novel dealing with love and obsession in his formative years - his emotions fluttering between Gilberte and her mother, the notorious Mme Swann. Whilst the first half of Within a Budding Grove offers a delightful insight into the workings of human love and, more touchingly, the anguish from which it is unseparable in the heart of the author, the volume really comes to live when we reach Balbec.
In the latter half of the novel we are treated to Proust at his best: using the characters of Elstir, Albertine and Saint-Loup the author treats us to splendid discussions on what are, in descending order of value, his most cherished themes of art, love and friendship respectively.
In short, Swann's way was a splendid prologue to the rest of the novel which reaches new heights in this its second volume. If you were thinking about leaving it a while before attempting part two, don't - do it now.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Within a Budding Grove" is the second volume of, "In Search of Lost Time," the rambling masterpiece by Marcel Proust. Assuming you are considering this, second volume, you have probably already read volume one, "Swann's Way." If not, then please go back and start there - although there is not a `plot' as such, this is the story of a life and it needs to be read in order. If you enjoyed volume one, then, presumably you are now comfortable with the meandering sentence structure and pace of this work. Indeed, I find these books to be something I like to read late at night, when it is quiet and I can concentrate. Then, Proust's story telling is almost therapeutic. Try to read this while commuting, when I cannot concentrate fully, and I find I end up having to re-read parts. So, although it may seem to some that `nothing happens' in this work - indeed, there is a lot going on, often beneath the surface, and it requires the reader to give full attention to what is on the page. There are two main parts in volume two: the first deals with `Madame Swann at Home' and the second with our narrator's trip to Balbec with his grandmother and the faithful Francoise.

This book begins with the narrator still very much infatuated with Gilberte Swann, daughter of M. Swann and his wife, Odette, who we met in "Swann's Way." He is also under pressure to think of some kind of career. His father wishes for him to be a diplomat, but he hates the thought of being ambassador to capitals where there is no Gilberte.... He desires to be a writer, although his father is opposed initially to this plan. However, the main theme of this part of the book is his desire to be introduced to the Swann's and become a visitor to their home.
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By A Customer on 7 Mar. 2000
Format: Paperback
Firstly, congratulations to anyone who has got this far and completed the first volume of Prousts epic tale. With the hard work done, you can now enjoy the fruits of your labour - this book contains a delicate, haunting account of romance which is both imaginative and highly readable. The characters are both newly introduced, and drawn from "Swanns Way", and are believable in a way that is rarely found in literature. Motives, emotions and the "human condition" are all analysed in such unflinching detail that you find yourself associating with the narrator and sharing his frustration at his own failings. Along with occasional flashes of humour, the tight storyline moves the book along far more quickly than the first volume. A superb read that will leave you wanting more (and don't worry - there are still four volumes to go!)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Proust... being himself and very selfish. Rather fun for the people observations... but he is sooo wrapped up in himself it does make for heavy reading. One gets fed up with his attention seeking, so ... but it is ongoing.. Like War and Peace, Proust does HAVE to have been achieved!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The above is, of course, a paraphrase of Marcel's remark about great writing not necessarily coinciding with zeal.

The good news is that Volume 2 of In Search Of Lost Time is much more engaging than its predecessor, despite the similarities. Where in Vol.1 the main was taken up with M. Swann eating his heart out over the behaviour of his lover, the courtesan Odette, her loving indifference and really imagined infidelities (if one may call them that), within the budding grove it is Marcel's turn to wrack his brains over Odette's daughter, the charming young Gilberte. The narrator's visits to the Swann's residence, his admiration for Madame Swann and her daughter, these take up the first third of the volume; thereafter the novel almost morphs into travel writing, describing Marcel's vacation at Balbec with his grandmother, their new circle of acquaintance there and the fleeting possibilities of erotic encounters with other holidaymakers.

Congratulations on making it past Vol.1 because now you can savour to an even greater degree the wit, the perspicacity of this most observant of authors. The number of passages that will have you nodding with recognition, perhaps a little pained, replete with Proust's insights into human psychology, are legion; and for the rest, there are his loving evocations of sunlight, depictions of nature, paeans to elegance and charm, delineations of social rank and the manners and follies pertaining to each group at whatever level. If there is one overriding theme to this novel, so far, it appears to be regret. Perhaps regret goes with the territory.
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