I read this entire opus in the summer of 1975, while lounging around the local pool and tennis courts, as a young seeker of wisdom and truth. I had read Mann (MAGIC MOUNTAIN),Musil (MAN WITHOUT QUALITIES), WAS AMAZED, GAVE THIS ONE A SHOT. A lot is very slow going,but it's true this is a book that really makes you appreciate beauty, and frankly be glad that you (I) have eyes and ears. Most people, it seems, go thru life without really bothering to appreciate the everyday beauties that are all around us,corny as that seems. Walk around your neighborhood some evening.How many people will be strolling outside enchanted at the the stars/heavens? For every one,there are probably a thousand watching an obnoxious sit-com with canned laughter. You see, a great artist like Proust makes us look at the world in this way. Walk into even a do-it-yourself clothing shop,and notice all the patterns. Most of us barely pay attention. Proust' ways of seeing,and describing are like any great painter. He often invokes Vermeer, a fair comparison.He is awed by cathedrals,landscapes,you name it. And his discussions of the Great War, including some admiration for German soldiers, are a surprise. Yes, it goes on and on,and I could not make the effort now,except to browse thru it. BTW, I prefer Mann and Musil, who seem to have a better story line,and stringer narrative. Marcel's mother complex,and all the super-long interrelationships and descriptions may put you off, for good reason,but even just browsing thru this shows you this fellow had phenomenal powers of observation,even forgetting all the rest of the greatness of this wondrous, if boring at times, work of art.