Swann's Way is the first novel of Marcel Proust's seven-volume magnum opus In Search of Lost Time. Following the narrator's opening ruminations about the nature of sleep is one of 20th-century literature's most famous scenes: the eating of the madeleine soaked in a "decoction of lime-flowers", the associative act from which the remainder of the narrative unfurls.
After elaborate reminiscences about his childhood with relatives in rural Combray and in urban Paris, Proust's narrator recalls a story regarding Charles Swann, a major figure in his Combray childhood, and his escapades in 19th-century privileged Parisian society, revolving around his obsessive love for young socialite Odette de Creacy.
Filled with searing, insightful, and humorous criticisms of French society, this novel showcases Proust's innovative prose style. With narration that alternates between first and third person, Swann's Way unconventionally introduces Proust's recurring themes of memory, love, art, and the human experience - and for nearly a century, audiences have deliciously savored each moment.
Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor
This is Proust at a gallop. Simon Vance has a pleasant voice and articulates beautifully, but reads far too fast. No time to relish the words or enjoy the thought; the narrative has already left me behind. Don't buy this version. It's exhausting.
"Like that madeleine..."
I listen to a LOT of audiobooks -- daily. I often listen as I go about tasks -- gardening, driving, needlework, etc. This production of Swann's Way stopped me in my tracks. It is so rich, so engaging that it requires my full attention and engages my feelings and thoughts wholly. If you thought Proust perhaps less than accessible, dip in to this. Mr. Vance's narration will lead you to that place of memory, longing and insight that may have been Proust's best intention for his work. Savor it. Roll it around on the tongue of your mind. Enjoy.
"Not the newer, far better translation"
Because the Audible "release date" is 9-10, I thought this "new" recording must be the Lydia Davis translation. If you glance at the old Moncrief version (this recording, it turns out), youi can see why everyone has said for years, "you've got to read the French to get Proust." But the critics unanimously have praised the new translations for "In Search of Lost Time" series. And Davis' Swann's Way (from 2002!) has had hymns composed in praise.
Yet here we have a "new" release in the old Victorian Moncrief mess that has put so many English readers to sleep. Though I paid for book in December, I didn't start listening until recently and feel deceived and ripped off by Audible's lack of description. Of course, shame on me for thinking recent should mean up to date.
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