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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend this version. It is very clearly read, and it is easy to follow the story, to make sense of Emma Bovary's situation in a way that I found more difficult when reading the book silently.
What other book might you compare Madame Bovary to and why?
Without doubt I thought of Anna Karenina. There are many similarities in the positions in which these women find themselves. Both of them admirably highlight the plight of married women in the times in which they lived.
However the similarities are only part of the picture - there are also many differences that add piquancy to the comparisons possible. Indeed there are many reviews and scholarly papers that discuss Anna and Emma.
What about Donada Peters’s performance did you like?
I particularly liked the manner in which she differentiated the characters. Her use of accent was very exact.
Her own voice worked well with the story and she moved it along without any feeling of being rushed.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I found it too complex to listen to in more than 30 - 60 minute sittings. There is a lot of detail in Flaubert's writing and I wanted to savour it as I listened. This meant that I could feel overwhelmed by too much of the text.
Any additional comments?
This is such a classic and yet it has such a simple presentation. It was a remarkable book in its time, given that it was about a married woman's adultery in its basic premise.
But it also exposed the ways that some of the main characters think and feel, which is also a new concept in novel writing in the 19th century.
This is a sordid tale. Madame Bovary's death scene goes on for pages. How do I know how many pages? Because I bailed on the narrator before the end. Ms. Peters reads well, but has a brassy voice that doesn't do justice to Madame Bovary's flights of romantic fantasy, which are her only sympathetic feature. The book is otherwise an excruciating read, full of self-promoting and self-deceiving characters, with subplots often juxtaposed in ways that are very funny and very painful. Flaubert is smart and ruthless. I'm glad I read the book though it's hard for me to say that I enjoyed it.
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