Published in 1913, Swann's Way is the first of the seven parts of Marcel Proust's masterpiece, Remembrance of Things Past, one of the major achievements of 20-century literature. The narrator discovers that an involuntary memory triggered by some casual action, say, eating a madeleine cake or stooping to remove one's shoe, has the power to recover large areas of the past; and he sets out to resurrect his past life and the people and places that most affected him. Swann's Way, which is offered here in the celebrated translation by C.K. Scott Moncrieff, focuses particularly on Charles Swann and his love for Odette.More
"If you've never got round to reading this famous philosophical Frenchman, Simon Callow's lively narration is an excellent introduction to Proust." (Daily Mail)
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A fantastic reading of a classic
This is probably the best read audiobook performance I've yet heard. The only thing that runs it close is Elliot Gould's readings of Raymond Chandler. As for the book itself, well, it's Proust. Just the first book of Montcrieff's translation. Proust and Montcrieff - the latter especially - are out of fashion, but Callow's performance... well, it doesn't bring it up to date, but it revels in the slight stuffiness, the starched awkward beauty of the prose. It fits. He makes it fit.
If you've been wondering about Proust, this is a great way to experience his work.
- Christopher Ferguson