The Complete Essays of Montaigne

  • by Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Donald M. Frame (translator)
  • Narrated by Christopher Lane
  • 49 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

“A faithful translation is rare; a translation which preserves intact the original text is very rare; a perfect translation of Montaigne appears impossible. Yet Donald Frame has realized this feat. One does not seem to be reading a translation, so smooth and easy is the style; at each moment, one seems to be listening to Montaigne himself - the freshness of his ideas, the unexpected choice of words. Frame has kept everything.” (Andre Maurois, The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A lifetime companion

I do not advise making this your only book for a while. Download the essays chapter by chapter, listen to one here, one there. They are great contemplations, full of spice, and wonder, and charm, and folk stories. I am still greatly adoring to know that French school girls were told not to play hopscotch or their inner manhood equipment might fall out of their lady regions and they would be boys- wow! People were so inventive with their bullplop. Our quacks should take lessons, the crap our senators and health wonder pill spinsters come out with is so tedious and common by comparison! Montaigne is great to relax to, great to muse over, and the narrator simply feels like the man himself, conjured by seance. I cannot praise him highly enough. A masterful, perfect production from all sides and accounts. I have more to go through, and some of the essays are tedious or stray, but hey, the man invented the essay and this sort of book. Certainly something any ponderer or intelligent person should take time to peruse a little at the very least in their lifetime. Let's not make a dali lhama of Montaigne though. He was not a world-altering genius or anything. This will enrich your life, probably not change it.
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- andrew

Spend some enjoyable time with Michel de Montaigne

If you could sum up The Complete Essays of Montaigne in three words, what would they be?

Meet yourself here.


What other book might you compare The Complete Essays of Montaigne to and why?

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

Both are long, basically autobiographical works. Though Proust is writing a novel, and Montaigne essays (the form he is credited with initiating), both move through the lives, experiences and reflections of the writers referencing contemporary historical events and social environments. The books share a fearless intimacy relative to personal habits, tastes and psychological states as well as generalizations about the nature of humankind.

Surprising to me, both works are quite funny in parts.


What does Christopher Lane bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Christopher Lane is an excellent reader. It's great to listen to the essays while doing menial tasks or relaxing at the end of the day.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

An utter delight for fans of eight hour films


Any additional comments?

Experts seem to concur that Donald Frame's is the best English language translation.

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- Rooby

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2011
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio