Madame Bovary

  • by Gustave Flaubert
  • Narrated by Davina Porter
  • 13 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Emma Bovary is not content to be the mere dutiful wife of a French country doctor. She yearns for excitement and a sense of romance that pulls at her so strongly she is powerless to resist, even though pursuing her dreams will exact a terrible price. Learn why Gustave Flaubert's compelling heroine has enchanted and puzzled readers for centuries.


What the Critics Say

"If one were to ask, 'World, which is the most perfect novel ever written?,' the world would immediately answer: Madame Bovary." (Washington Post's Book World)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Now Here's a Story

Divina Porter gave so much life to Madame Bovary, and of course with no small contribution by its author, the book has a permanent position in my mental book shelf. Hours and hours of listening feeling like I was watching Emma coming apart and taking down the entire cast with her. So well written, you love and pity Emma, feel sorry for Charles and loathe the symbolic money lender for giving her the ability to do it all.

At the end all the tragic, tortured revelations, one glaring irony has a woman coming to collect a debt for Emma's lessons (lessons never taken but used as a cover up to her husband). The 'teacher' approaches poor Emma's suffering husband for a year of "lessons" not taken.

Ah the turn of the screw, the turn of the phrase. On the surface you can read a tale of a "Scarlet O'Hara" in reverse, a woman with everything who longs for a perfect love in a perfect and handsome man. She has all the "things" she needs, but belives she is without love. Her doting husband loves and trusts her, too simple a man to suspect her betrayals. In the end he drinks with one of her lovers proclaiming no bad feelings toward the man. Until the end, his love for her, the very love she sought in every wrong situation, honored her and maintained his belief in her perfection, even as her old love letters fell from his hands. The effect of her never finding what she wants costs him all that his small medical practice provided. (There's no place like home. She had the slippers on all the time!)

The side stories and political, religious and social commentary retell the trysts and errors that Emma commits on her road to ruin. The author uses Emma as the symbol of excess and the outcome as predictions of the future. Emma stands for the cost of immoral actions. Whether God or the taxman, someone gets paid. A compendium of archetypal characters we know and love, dressed in 3D emotion, vivid characterization; speaking words precise and poetic. Pretty near perfect!
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- P. Giorgio "TheWriter"

Good narrator, terrible recording

The story is tried-and-true, filled with lust, greed, bad choices, and decay. Davina Porter is a wonderful narrator, and does well with the French language. However, this sounds like someone converted an ancient 8-track to digital, complete with squeaks, dragging, hisses, etc. At some points it was unlistenable. This classic deserves a fresh, new update!
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- Cynthia K

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-07-1999
  • Publisher: Recorded Books