Within a Budding Grove: Pt. 1 (Modern Classics) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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"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.
The definitive translation of the greatest French novel of the twentieth century --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm still reading it, as are most people I've discussed it with! Being a lowbrow, I find its meanderings rather self-indulgent.Published 20 months ago by W G Wilkinson
Bought as a requested present for my sons growing collection of books, he's very happy as far as i'm awarePublished on 28 April 2013 by RAJAVU
...and that rush of memories. I read the first volume of "In Search of Lost Time" which is normally titled in English, (Swann's Way) some 25 years ago. Read morePublished on 4 Jan. 2013 by John P. Jones III
A few years ago I read the first volume which makes up Proust's epic: 'A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu', Swann's Way. I found it incredibly hard work and extremely unrewarding. Read morePublished on 15 May 2012 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
The second volume of Proust's In Search of Lost Time, but whereas the first was genius here the mask slips and Proust is revealed as a master essayist and observer whilst the great... Read morePublished on 6 Aug. 2011 by Brownbear101