Thérèse Raquin is the story of a young woman forced into an unhappy marriage to her dull, sickly cousin and smothered by her overbearing aunt. When her husband’s childhood friend enters her life, it leads to a torrid affair that sets her spirit free for the first time, but with shattering consequences. Steeped in the atmosphere of 19th-century France and with a darkly rich foreboding, it is a story that brings out the best of its narrator’s incomparable talents.
“It is challenging, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun as well,” said Ms. Winslet of the recording experience. "As a listener, being able to tune out and be taken into another world, an atmosphere, an environment that is being created entirely for you by somebody else’s voice is really a wonderful, magical thing.”
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Rebecca on 08-04-12
gripping and vivid
I've read three of the Zola books before so knew this was going to be gritty and harrowing. As my first audible book though I was blown away at how moving and shocking the narrative is. I gasped out loud several times in horror - Zola certainly knows how to get into ones head with his graphic descriptions of outer desolation and inner torment. Kate Winslet does a tremendous job and really relishes some of his most vivid adjectives - "sanguine, vile, grotesque" to name but a few. Must be riproaring in the original language. Highly recommended and especially as an introduction to Zola who can be heavy going.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful
By R on 22-06-12
Kate Winslet is a very acceptable companion trudging the muddy lanes in an early English 'summer'. Her voice is even and pleasant, and she doesn't attempt the appalling voice caricatures of some readers. Have read criticisms of her French accent, but that's to be picky. Given that Zola's characters lead drab lives - picture Degas' 'Absinthe Drinker' - she manages to bring out the drama in what is a pretty bleak tale. I'd listen to her again, and the 4 stars are for her rendition. I've read the book in French and English and would give the story a 3.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kindle Customer on 18-03-12
worth a listen
"Be careful what you wish for" would make a better title for this book.
I was wondering why Kate Winslet chose this book, published in 1865, to narrate. I now understand that the movie version is due out in 2013. Kate Winslet was attached for a long time to star in the lead role. Then Eva Green replaced her with Gerard Butler as Laurent. In the fall of 2011, Elisabeth Olsen was announced as a replacement in the lead role with Glenn Close as Madame Raquin and Tom Felton. This book has been adapted on film many times and in several languages, going as far back as a silent film adaptation in 1915. That must have been interesting. I'm really looking forward to Glenn Close's eyes burning into Thérèse after Madame Raquin becomes mute and learns the truth.
The French author, Emile Zola, intended to study temperaments and not characters. His main characters were assigned various humors according to Galen's Four Temperaments: Thérèse is melancholic, Laurent is sanguine, and Camille is phlegmatic. The characters are often given animalistic tendencies, every one of them almost entirely consumed by self-interest. Thérèse and Laurent are often rightly described as brutes.
I don't generally finish a book in which I don't actually like ANY of the characters. After all, why should I spend time with them if I don't like them? But Kate Winslet's excellent narration kept holding my attention until I began to understand and better appreciate the story. I'm glad I listened to it, and I can now see its significance and influence on other later works of literature. Stick with it to the end and you'll appreciate the overall story and the style of writing as well. It must have been amazing when they performed this on stage in an opera, which lends itself so well to the drama. An interesting story on many levels.
59 of 64 people found this review helpful
By FanB14 on 29-06-12
Wonderful Winslet, Satisfactory Story
Kate Winslet is a gifted actress and she can add talented narrator/story teller to her list of accomplishments. She is reason alone to partake of this audiobook. Zola is a solid writer who delves deeply into flawed characters' motivations and obsessions. However, the writing is not even close to Henry James or D. H. Lawrence as I was hoping for at the start of the book. Definitely worth a listen, just don't expect a classic masterpiece.
27 of 30 people found this review helpful