Before marrying, Emma Bovary believed she would enter a life of luxury and passion like the sentimental stories she'd read in her novels and magazines. Now married to an ordinary country doctor her life is not the romantic ideal she imagined and seeks an escape through having extra-marital affairs. This devastating spiral into deceit and despair leads to catastrophic consequences.
Emma Bovary continues to be enjoyed to this day because of its profound humanity, still as fresh today as when it was first written. But when first released in instalments in the Revue de Paris, the French government accused Flaubert of obscenity. However, the trial that followed and Flaubert's acquittal, only served to increase interest in the story when released as a book, leading to it becoming a best seller in 1857.
Considered Flaubert's masterpiece, the audiobook is an important piece of literary realism and one of the most influential literary works in history. It remains unsurpassed in its unveiling of character and society with its wonderfully subtle understanding of human emotions.
Translated by Gerard Hopkins.
Ronald Pickup has been in over 150 films and television series. His films include The Time of Their Lives, The Have-Nots, Schadenfreude, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Prince of Persia, Sands of Time, and Greyfriars Bobby. His television includes The Crown, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Atlantis, Coronation Street, Pram Face, Parade's End, Lewis, Midsomer Murders, Holby City, Foyle's War, Cambridge Spies, and Orwell on Jura (nominated Best Actor BAFTA).
Ronald Pickup's theatrical credits include Heartbreak House (Chichester Festival Theatre), Waiting For Godot (Haymarket Theatre, West End), Uncle Vanya (The Rose Theatre, Kingston), Look Back in Anger (Theatre Royal, Bath), Proof (Donmar Warehouse), and Amy's View (National Theatre and NY- nominated Best Supporting Actor Olivier).
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Peter on 22-11-12
First class performance
Ronald Pickup gives an absolutely first class performance - clear engaging reading, wonderful characterisation of the dialogue, and authentic french pronounciation when necessary. A real pleasure to listen to. And the book itself - it's hard to like, let alone admire, any of the characters, and the unfolding of Emma's married life is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. But it's so gripping, and the characters are so real, so fully human. Their individual psychologies are so honestly written and so resonant for a 21st century reader that it was always something of surprise (as a first time reader of Madame Bovary) to recall that it was written more than 150 years ago. Highly recommended.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Christina on 02-04-11
Cr?me de la cr?me :)
An animated and charming narration which sweeps you way back to the novel's nineteenth century contextual setting, vividly evoked from beginning to end.
Ronald Pickup is a talented storyteller and a pleasure to listen to!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By A. Laprade-velasco on 18-07-10
I don't always prefer audiobooks, but I prefer the classics on audiobook, I feel like good narration helps bring you back to that time and suspend disbelief. This is a perfect example.
This is a great story, with great characters, but that aside, this narrator really brings it out. If you're like me where a narrator makes or breaks an audiobook, you won't be disappointed with this one. I was surprised to see that he has a short list of audiobooks to his name.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
By Barbara on 21-09-10
Somewhere in the universe, Flaubert is smiling...
...to hear the sound of Ronald Pickup's deft Bovary character interpretations, whose cadence, rhythm, and intonation are nothing short of masterful. My only regret is that no other Flaubert offerings are entrusted to him. This one is a must-listen!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful