This exquisite novel tells the story of one of the most compelling heroines in modern literature: Emma Bovary. Unhappily married to a devoted, clumsy provincial doctor, Emma revolts against the ordinariness of her life by pursuing voluptuous dreams of ecstasy and love. But her sensuous and sentimental desires lead her only to suffering, corruption, and downfall.A brilliant psychological portrait, Madame Bovary searingly depicts the human mind in search of transcendence.More
Gustave Flaubert’s salacious story of an adulterous doctor’s wife, Emma Bovary, continues to stir controversy over 150 years after its initial publication. Actress Donada Peters adds authenticity and humanity to the heroine’s plight, capturing Emma’s yearning desire to live beyond the empty roles of wife and mother. The madame’s idle longing and restless boredom give way to a crushing emotional burden, as she grapples with the consequences of her marital infidelity. Nevertheless, Peters avoids the ignominious treatment of Emma so frequently favored by her real life critics. Rather, the Golden Voice recipient imbues the heroine with gracious wonderment, playful wit, and an endearing thirst for life.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.