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Swanns Way [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Marcel Proust , Neville Jason
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 25.17 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

July 1 1995 Remembrance of Things Past (Naxos Audiobooks)
The introduction of a highly sensitive and imaginative child; the mother he loved, and from whom to be parted was such agony; and the father who, although loving in his own way, was incapable of understanding the emotional behavior of his delicate child.

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"Cover to Cover's unabridged readings of classic novels are in a class of their own." -- Sunday Telegraph

"For classic literature, check out the new "Cover to Cover" series. All are 19th and 20th century works produced in England. They are handsomely packaged in sturdy, decorative cardboard boxes. The series carries the exclusive Royal Warrant from Charles, Prince of Wales." -- The Boston Globe, January 1999

"I think its spell is cast more absolutely through listening than through reading ... John Rowe's narration is perfectly in line with the text." -- Gramophone

"These Cover to Cover tapes offer up a delectable feast for fans of the spoken word. We're talking class act here - from the elegant covers to the accomplished readers." -- Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY, December 3, 1998 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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“Reading Swann’s Way was a rapturous experience.”—David Denby --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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For a long time I would go to bed early. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being devoid of inspiration, my title is "TITLE" June 2 2004
By Cat Lin
Format:Hardcover
Many things have been said about Marcel Proust to myself as the sarrounding adults gushed over the fact that a teenager was reading literature. That said, many of these people confessed they had never finished Proust all the way through; one went all the way to say he had found it too "subjective." If you are reading literature to read literture STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK! If you want to read an incredible novel, then go ahead; you will not desecrate Proust's grave.
Many times as I read this book, I found myself pausing, almost pained at the beauty of the language. I have read many authors, and have never read such beautiful words; his descriptions seem so divine, and yet he spends the first part of the book saying that he himself can't write! It's one of those moments where you want to shake the author with mental fists, but it's okay; it adds flavour.
Proust is probably among the greatest novelists of history (probably one down after Dostoevsky). The title of the series "In Search of Lost Time," immediately gives you the clue of what the theme shall be; moments of wasted time, moments of bliss that you wish to recapture, memories long gone that you wish you could recapture. But, that is the essense of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a victory of form over substance Oct. 30 2000
Format:Paperback
What a remarkable book! The characters are pathetic; their society is pathetic; their attitudes, motivations, interactions and miriad self-deceptions are hopelessly pathetic. Considering this, how can I possibly like the book? There are two reasons. First, the writing is often exquisite: the writer is clearly a master of this chaotic pathos. Second, in some undeniable way, this same pathos resonates with my personal experience. Readers who do not experience this resonance are not necessarily lacking. Rather, they may have had the good fortune of a more civilized society than the one Proust caricatures. For them, it is unlikely that the beauty of the language is sufficient to elevate the content beyond the pitiful fare that it is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Aug. 8 2014
By Daffy Bibliophile TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is different from any other book I've read. There is no plot to speak of, the characters are seen through the eyes of the narrator (or, more precisely, the memory of the narrator) and the narrator himself is struggling with his childhood memories in a way that I've never encountered in literature. The book was at times fascinating, tedious and infuriating - I put it down and didn't read it for weeks at a time. But I always went back to it. I was sad to get to the end; "Swann's Way" had become a part of me and I wanted that part of my existence to continue. I'm still not sure exactly what Proust had in mind when writing this book. My interpretation of "Swann's Way" is as an exploration of how time relates to the reality we have in our minds, i.e., our memories, and how it's sometimes better not to return to places in the expectation that the reality which is there today will match what is in our mind. Perhaps it's better to simply hold on to our memories, cherish them, and not sully them with the reality of the present. Right or wrong, that's how I will remember "Swann's Way".
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5.0 out of 5 stars The pleasure of reading Proust (Volume I). March 27 2004
Format:Paperback
Having just finished reading SWANN'S WAY for the fourth time, it remains at the top of my short list of favorite novels. Influenced by John Ruskin, Henri Bergson, Wagner and the fiction of Anatole France, Proust (1871-1922), in his "universality and deep awareness of human nature," is considered by Harold Bloom to be "as primordial as Tolstoy," and "as wise as Shakespeare" (Bloom, GENIUS, p. 218).
Most recently, I re-experienced SWANN'S WAY through the Modern Library's new, 2003 revision of the Montcrieff/Kilmartin translation of Proust's IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME, Volumes I through VI. Through an illuminating series of what Walter Pater has called "privileged moments," or what James Joyce might call "epiphanies," the narrative in SWANN'S WAY tells a dual story of unrequited love. The taste of a madeleine pastry brings with it a flood of childhood memories from the narrator's youth spent in Combray and Paris, mostly relating to his infatuation with Charles Swann's daughter, Gilberte, and Swann's obsessive affair with a courtesan, Odette de Crecy. Although Swann realizes Odette is not his type (p. 543) and suspects she is a liar, his jealous love for her consumes him. Odette is unsophisticated, has lesbian tendencies, and is rumored to be a prostitute. Even after he acknowledges he has "wasted years of [his] life" on Odette (p. 543), Swann is nevertheless powerless to end their turbulent relationship. For Proust, human love becomes synonymous with suffering, failure, exhaustion, ruin, and despair (p. xviii) except, that is, for the love between a mother and son (symbolized in SWANN'S WAY by a memorable goodnight kiss, which leaves the young narrarator longing to tell his mother, "Kiss me just once more")(p. 15).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive and profound... Sept. 19 2003
Format:Paperback
Proust plunges the reader into the world of his vivid imagination, traversing between memory, image and objective reality. His work is truly a reflection or refraction of perception, to then be reconstructed in descriptive prose that conjures enchanting visuals of paradisaical landscapes, childhood wishes and dreams, and a time forgotten or lost as the modern age came crashing in with the arrival of the twentieth century. In the last pages of ~Swann's Way~, one cannot help but feel his lament of times passed, when women dressed with unconscious elegance, the French countryside remained pure, and the sheer simplicity and sophistication of the horse drawn carriage. These times are truly lost, however the narrator speculates, '...remembrance of a particular form is but regret for a particular moment...held between the contiguous impressions that composed our life.' When the narrator remembers, he realises that what he has known no longer exists, or possibly never existed, but they most certainly exist in his memories.
This constant play between perception through the senses, the idealized image, and their interaction, and the character's responses to this constant flux of the real and the imagined, is the central theme of this text. The central character of the second chapter, Swann in Love, is hopelessly seduced by the coquettish, Odette. She draws Swann into her world and, over time, her indifference and listlessness, her unpredictable irritability and at times chilly manner towards him, causes Swann to suffer. But the reader gets the impression that Swann tends towards masochism, and in a perverse way, enjoys the pain. Swann's taste in women has always tended towards those below his social station - the shopgirl, the worker's daughter or the prostitute.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Proust's way
I wish I hadn't waited so long to experience Proust, for now having read "Swann's Way," I see that his deeply sensitive prose is a reference point for almost all of the... Read more
Published on June 18 2003 by A.J.
5.0 out of 5 stars search with Marcel
This is the first of the seven volumes of the widely known but not always read "A la recherche du temps perdu". Read more
Published on June 14 2003 by C. Mejía
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great masterworks of world literature
We apply "classic" and "masterpiece" too liberally, but regardless of how loosely or strictly we deploy the terms, Marcel's Proust's extraordinary novel belongs... Read more
Published on April 24 2003 by Robert Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Proust's Virtual Reality
This book is the entrance into another world, as finely detailed and exquisitely convoluted as a Mandelbrot Set. Read more
Published on March 5 2003 by D. R. Greenfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Well Spent
I approached this book with some trepidation. Did I really want to start a 6-volume project? Was it as inaccessible as some have said it is? Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2003 by Fuat C. Baran
4.0 out of 5 stars Which version is recommended?
I have read that there are better translations out there and would like some feedback on which is the most accessible while retaining Proust's qualities and style. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2002 by Geoffrey P. Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars Life, cut apart and caressed
I tried 3 times in my twenties to read "Swann's Way", the first volume in Proust's 4000-page epic novel, "In Search of Lost Time", and could not do it. No patience. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2002 by bruce hutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Proust Lite
A word about this particular edition. It's the easiest of the Moncrieff/Kilmartin editions to carry with you. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2002 by xlamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
Proust is not brief but I shall be. This is one of the most stunning, sustained performances imaginable. It is unabridged, so you get all of SWANN'S WAY. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2002 by JOSEPH LAPENTA
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