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Extended Audio Sample Madame Bovary Audiobook, by Gustave Flaubert Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.08 out of 53.08 out of 53.08 out of 53.08 out of 53.08 out of 5 3.08 (120 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gustave Flaubert Narrator: Claire Bloom Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2008 ISBN: 9781598876949
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Set amid the stifling atmosphere of nineteenth-century bourgeois France, Madame Bovary is at once an unsparing depiction of a woman’s gradual corruption and a savagely ironic study of human shallowness and stupidity. Neither Emma, nor her lovers, nor Homais, the man of science, escapes the author’s searing castigation; and it is the book’s final profound irony that only Charles, Emma’s oxlike, eternally deceived husband, emerges with a measure of human grace through his stubborn and selfless love. With its rare formal perfection, Madame Bovary represents, as Frank O’Connor has declared, “possibly the most beautifully written book ever composed; undoubtedly the most beautifully written novel—a book that invites superlatives—the most important novel of the century.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Teddy | 2/19/2014

    " I understand this is, and should be, one of the all time classics that everyone should read, but in terms of enjoyment I didn't get much from this book. It was well structured, well written, and leaps and bounds ahead of its time, but when I finished the last page I found I did not like ANY of the characters! I had very little sympathy for any of them and frankly it left me a little depressed. I'd prefer to spend my time on a much happier book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Yaso | 2/19/2014

    " It is a very gloomy and heavy book. I finished it very difficultly and I didn't want to remember any of the events that happened in the book later. Don't recommend it . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grazi | 2/18/2014

    " Madame Bovary is a novel drenched in ruin. Contentment is only glimpsed, never fully grasped. The main character carries a deep resentment at the impossibility of equalling men, which blended with a capricious nature leads to a journey tainted with false hopes and bitter outcomes. Predatory human nature gorges on the weaknesses of the most vulnerable. Fatalism is rampant - targeted characters are inevitably set on the path of destruction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy Fowler | 2/18/2014

    " I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. Emma Bovary was just annoying. I understand that she had a boring husband, but her insistence on making her romantic fantasies real was completely narcissistic and unnecessary. On the other hand, Flaubert's language was brilliant, descriptive, and insightful. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sue. Leonard | 2/16/2014

    " I usually adore the classics and wanted to like this book but unfortunately the main character of Madame Bovary prevented me from doing that. In fact I was so turned off by it I abandoned it about a third of the way through. Madame Bovary is another one of these literary characters who spends her time feeling sorry for herself and we are treated to long descriptions of this as well as long description for fields and villages which have little impact on the story and give us more background that we really need.I won't give anything away as to how Madame Bovary attempts to cope with her sorrow but I can honestly say I think she was a fool to do it. i won't be completing this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sadia Reza | 2/12/2014

    " Although I condemn Emma Bovary herself, Gustave Flaubert, on the other hand, I must admit is a genius when it comes to the art of writing. Therefore, although I was not entirely sure if Flaubert himself wrote the story in order to condemn Bovary and such a character - which can be a possible speculation considering the conclusion - if this was the case, I would say I like the book and its ULTIMATE ideas somewhat. But in regards to the actual storyline and Emma's mentality and decisions, I wanted to just give her a good punch in the face. When I read Kate Chopin's The Awakening, 4 years later, mind you, Edna Pontellier actually reminded me of Madame Bovary a bit. But by the time I finished The Awakening and had a chance to kind of reconsider the ideas ingrained in it, I found redeeming qualities within it that actually changed my initial perception of it entirely...Emma Bovary, on the other hand, did not possess any such redeeming qualities whatsoever. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa Mahle | 2/11/2014

    " This was on my list of 100-classics-must-read. I didn't hate it, but I hated all the characters. I decided that I didn't even like Flaubert because he must have set back the image of womenkind for about 200 years. I finished the book, regretting every page of time lost on a depressing story, pathetic characters and painfully slow plot. Maybe I did hate it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 2/10/2014

    " I had a difficult time giving this book a rating. It is a beautifully written book. I don't know that I've ever finished a book simply for the sake of its writing. I wouldn't have finished this one otherwise. Emma Bovary is one of the most hideous protagonists I've ever spent 300 pages on. I could develop absolutely no sympathy for her which is rare for me. The adultery doesn't bother me, it's the excuses she has for going through with it. And then she runs away from the mess she's created and leaves her husband and child to suffer. Bah! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa Bilodeau | 2/10/2014

    " This book was painful to read. The times were different and the writing was different than I am used to, but the main character was deeply flawed and difficult. I often enjoy flawed characters, but I spent the whole book just wanting to smack her for being so incredibly ridiculous. I didn't mind that she was unhappy but felt she could not leave her marriage. But I did find her lack ability to enjoy anything extremely tiresome. Not sure why I even finished reading this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thordis | 2/9/2014

    " Unbeliveable in its slowness Beutiful book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dreamer.richa | 2/7/2014

    " Apparently by the time Flaubert was writing the final passages, he had broken down and was crying. so was i. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharron | 2/7/2014

    " Difficult to read despite this being the "most readable" translation. Did not flow and at time confusing. I was able to read the heart of the story which was good but there was so much extraneous description that took away from the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 2/6/2014

    " Motivated to read this book because I thought I would "read a book of substance," this surely was! Written in 1851, it had much too much detail for my taste and moved very slowly. But in retrospect, it strikes me how astute this writer at this time in history was in understanding a stereotypical behavior of women - a desperate woman looking outside her marriage for more - and being used by men for their own pleasure and financial gain. The book reflects how temporary life is and how the attachments of the heart hold us and bind us. So in that regard, it was a good book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Johnson | 2/5/2014

    " I read this book with anticipation of explicit sextual titilation. The French govenment brought action against the author on a charge of immorality and, as in other more current books - i.e. Peyton Place published in the 50s which was banned because of its immoral content - I found this to be a very well written story and very tame in respect to the sexual novels written today. It is the story of a wife who wishes more romance and adventure in her marriage, she is seduced and tumbles into deceipt, financial ruin and ultimately death because of her continued infidelities. I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bijo Mathew Philip | 2/1/2014

    " found it boring after a few pages "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Esme Lorraine | 1/29/2014

    " Scandalous... She played with fire and got burned big time. There were long intensely detailed parts of the book that were rough to get through, but the juicy parts kept me reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Mcmanus | 1/29/2014

    " Read this a few months after I read Anna Karenina and there were many similarities, but the overrall story line was intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Weirdoh | 1/29/2014

    " At first found it hard to get into - and it was difficult to like any of the characters... Then they came alive and I don't know when or why - read Kelly's review ... She says it all :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alanna Kellogg | 1/26/2014

    " Be sure to get the new Lydia Davis translation - so lovely and lyrical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Santosh Kashyap | 1/26/2014

    " Though not as descriptive as Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, neither as exotic as Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, Madam Bovary has its own place and cannot be directly compared with. Of course it is the story of a girl Emma who marries a doctor who loves her dearly but her wistful action, extravagance and elicit relations only brings an early doom to the entire family. Beside the main plot the author has touched the culture and science in its time and more importantly the simmering discontent on political front which was to erupt into the French Revolution in the years to come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 1/22/2014

    " a bit boring with all unnecessary side stories. or maybe it's just me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mel | 1/20/2014

    " It was quite easy to read, I realy enjoyed the naturalistic style, and the interplay in the some of the scenes, the seduction scene at the fair in particular. It did rather seem as if Flaubert was writing a novel about a woman from a novel who got stuck in real life, and as she was in real life and not a novel ended up suffering horrendously for it. I got the impression if she were in Jane Austen, or Thackery she would have enjoyed herself much more. As it was she was a woman in a time, without any freedom or hope. She also reminded me a little of what I dislike about "modern" women, with her obsession with fashion magazines, society and fashion. So I managed to quiet enjoy the book, without caring much about the characters in the story. It some ways it reminded me quite a bit of Hardy or Zola. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Coco | 1/18/2014

    " Oh my god, this shit dragged. I was thrilled when there was a suicide because it was either one of the characters in the book or me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Mccarrick | 1/18/2014

    " This book was a telling depiction of middle-class people going bad because of boredom. The death of romanticism. When she dies, romanticism dies. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jodi | 1/16/2014

    " could not finish it....dull, dull, dull. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philip Lane | 1/15/2014

    " Very, very realistic description of how great romances are really more mundane. This book, whilst well known by reputation, was a total revelation to me in content when I read it just recently for the first time. The story is perhaps not so well known because of the rather everyday tone which must have been quite a shock after the likes of Hugo and Dumas, also probably not very popular in Hollywood circles although I imagine the French will have made a film of it. This fits in with my general appreciation of books about small things cf The Elegance of the Hedgehog. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fiona Robson | 1/14/2014

    " I didn't really enjoy this book, because I had absolutely no sympathy whatsoever with the main character and instead felt very sorry for her husband! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita Wallace | 1/9/2014

    " Bored housewives shags a few chaps then dies. Did I miss anything? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Arlie | 1/8/2014

    " Just finished this book and found it to be a rather dull misadventure of an annoyingly self-centered woman. It's well written, and I would probably try reading another book by Flaubert, given the opportunity. I simply could not identify with the lead characters, and so I found it difficult to care what happened to them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany W | 1/8/2014

    " Madame Bovary is a selfish woman. She falls in deep depressions and has many love affairs. Her husband is a doctor who is devoted to his wife. Madame Bovary takes him for granted through the whole book. When her love affairs end she falls into a depression where she can't live a normal life. She can't even take care of her children. This book taught me that not everyone has the same values and opinions. I also learned that I must not judge people at first glance. I might not know the whole story behind what they are going through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lia Lopez | 1/8/2014

    " This used to be my favorite book when I was 13, which is strange. For some reason I still love Emma. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Callsign222 | 1/7/2014

    " I have a tough time getting excited by classic books like these, but I trudge on regardless. If I view it in its historical context of groundbreaking/banned book position in the 1800's, then sweet, otherwise it carries on with the usual predictability of bored housewives in the 19th century. Better than Anna Karenina in that there is less proselytizing and a more tragic fin. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Abigail Allen | 1/5/2014

    " Brilliantly written, but I only gave it two stars because I did not enjoy reading it at all. A depressing read, with long plodding sections of nothing happening. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Indrani | 1/5/2014

    " Did not like it at all. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christine Wyatt | 1/3/2014

    " This is one of the most depressing and annoying books I've read in a long time. I'm sure there are some themes here that I'm supposed to appreciate, but I'm not sure how this one has stood the test of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marnie Meisner | 12/31/2013

    " Quite an interesting story. A woman who has affairs and spends all of her husband's money. And yet, he loves her unconditionally. Dummy!! A good classic overall. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny Kitchens | 12/24/2013

    " This is my absolute favorite book of all time. Flaubert really captures life, despeation, love in all its twists turns and failures, it is hands down the best book I have ever read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen Derosa | 12/21/2013

    " I need to revisit this book. I read Madame Bovary in the midst of my severe case of high school Senioritis. Yet I still loved it! Go figure! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathleen | 12/16/2013

    " It was long and dragged out. I guess it was scandalous when it was written, but now it's not. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jen | 12/9/2013

    " What a snooze! I only managed about a third of the book before I began to look for housework to do, so i wouldn't have to keep reading it. Sorry Flaubert - but I got Flau-bored. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 12/8/2013

    " One of the best and funniest and saddest novels I have ever read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Meredith | 12/4/2013

    " Emma should have eaten arsenic in the first half of the book! Too whiny!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Euridice | 12/3/2013

    " hardly ever felt so mixed-up while reading. Haunting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David Walford | 11/27/2013

    " Struggled with this. Too slow for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 11/26/2013

    " I'm not sure why this book is on the "Best 100 Books" list. A little boring. No characters to cheer for or really care about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy0584 | 11/24/2013

    " If I hadn't listened to a lecture on Flaubert before I read this, I would not have appreciated some of the dark humour and irony Flaubert used. Given that background beforehand, I enjoyed this book more than I probably would have otherwise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 11/23/2013

    " I was slow starting this, however it was a terrific read with a contemporary feel that at times scared me due to the period! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Timothy Munro | 11/20/2013

    " Fascinating. Full of perfect, clear prose, some funny/ironic set-pieces and of course a lot of l rather melodramatic hysterics, the Madame slowly drew me in...I positively inhaled the last 150 pages. Next: Flaubert's Parrot! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zoe | 11/14/2013

    " I loved the way this book was written but i found it hard to take that someone would be so selfish and cruel. Not a favorite and slightly slow but glad I read it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon Helfrich | 11/3/2013

    " I was dreading reading this classic but ended up enjoying it. Can't wait to discuss it in book club next week. It was amazing how Flaubert captured the angst of a woman who is never satisfied. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neil Bomberg | 10/13/2013

    " Beautiful, depressing, and sad are some of the adjectives that come to mind to describe this book which so beautiful tells the story of middle class aspirations in 19th century France, and of the limitations that women faced then as they tried to have some freedom. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 10/1/2013

    " Least enjoyable masterpiece ever. Flaubert gets a 5 for smarts, and a 1 for pleasure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronald Barba | 9/29/2013

    " Spotted: Emma getting down and dirty. I think 'Madame Bovary' is the 19th century version of what an extra season of 'Gossip Girl' would resemble (years down the road or some shit). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marnie Meisner | 9/18/2013

    " Quite an interesting story. A woman who has affairs and spends all of her husband's money. And yet, he loves her unconditionally. Dummy!! A good classic overall. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Moira | 9/7/2013

    " Absolutely masterful. Brilliantly sardonic and satirical, Flaubert is a true master of writing and really proves that less is more. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ema | 9/1/2013

    " Very, very dense. And slightly anti-climactic. At first, I felt like I could really relate to Emma, but, as the story progressed, I felt less and less sympathy toward her plight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 8/11/2013

    " Love the dialogue, internal thoughts, great story until the end. the end leaves me asking whatwas the point of this book and the very last line really explains why i dont like the end. wont spoil it, though i doubt anyone reads my reviews lol. PS. loved the chemist character. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/27/2013

    " Really couldn't care about Emma. Tried, but couldn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marina | 7/6/2013

    " Boring. Yet may be interesting from the history of literature perspective. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 William Herbst | 6/19/2013

    " Classic French novel - I listened to this on audiobook rather than read it. Richly composed setting and masterful characterization. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita Wallace | 6/6/2013

    " Bored housewives shags a few chaps then dies. Did I miss anything? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara Hailer | 5/5/2013

    " Despite the star-rating, I didn't enjoy reading it. But the writing was fantastic. And REAL. Just terribly tragic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kali | 4/15/2013

    " Was the character of Madame Bovary written to give warning to all whimsical avidly-reading women? It made me self-reflect - and feel a just a little bit nervous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 2/26/2013

    " This book was twisted in so many ways, and it kind of seemed to drag on. This woman was only concerned for herself. We typically called her Madame Ovary in my class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colin | 1/14/2013

    " How can evil be allowed to triumph only to fall, brought down by the most simple impulse, I want more? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryjmetz | 12/29/2012

    " Much better than I'd remembered which I think says something about how the reader changes the reading experience. Also, "Flaubert's Parrot" was an excellent prequel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shirley Evans | 12/29/2012

    " Hated it. What a silly woman! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chelsea Rectanus | 11/26/2012

    " Whopping fail. Barely dragged myself through it. Emma. So self-centered it's astounding. Like listening to a sorority biddy regale you with her endless exploits and dining hall dramas. Can't even finish my sentences anymore. Woof. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marion Hill | 10/17/2012

    " A beautifully written, dull classic about the consequences of a woman's adulterous ways. It was okay and definitely belongs to the time that Flaubert wrote it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fiona Robson | 10/7/2012

    " I didn't really enjoy this book, because I had absolutely no sympathy whatsoever with the main character and instead felt very sorry for her husband! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 10/6/2012

    " A not entirely convincing case for adutery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ames | 10/5/2012

    " An interesting story but it was very difficult to empathise with the main character. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carla Terry | 9/22/2012

    " ACK! So depressing. I'm done with foreign classics! Even harder to stay with than Anna Karenina! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Mogilefsky | 9/6/2012

    " We read this classic for our book club. What a great read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carrie Padian | 9/2/2012

    " All of the characters need a good punch in the face. This review refers to the Lydia Davis translation "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Jones | 9/2/2012

    " Very tragic....quite sad in parts. Not for everyone, but I really did enjoy it immensely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 8/29/2012

    " One of my favorite books of all time. Flaubert is a genius and his prose is nearly as beautiful in English as it is in French. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindy | 7/11/2012

    " Not a fan of Madame Bovary; she should have stuck with her original lot in life instead of cheating on her husband; tiresome woman, adequate story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim Opitz | 7/11/2012

    " Beautiful and elegant writing, but what a wimpy and whiny character! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emmett | 6/20/2012

    " Not very used to Flaubert's impersonal style, I'm afraid, since this is my first time reading something of his. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mjsmout | 5/25/2012

    " This is a woman who never learns what real life is about. She continues to imagine life as a romantic novel, very sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olivia | 5/14/2012

    " Infuriating, riveting, heart-breaking, hilarious, beautiful. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leilani | 3/17/2012

    " This book was interesting to read, it didn't keep my interest in some parts and it's taken me awhile to read it. Over all it was alright. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ke Huang | 2/17/2012

    " In contrast to "Sentimental Education," "Madame Bovary" did not go enough into depth of the main character. Even if Flaubert said "Madame Bovary c'est moi," it is more like "Frederic Moreau, c'est Flaubert." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dena Rash | 2/10/2012

    " Flaubert gave the girl the shaft. Well written, (though I have not read it in French) but really, only Mrs. Robinson had to take it harder than this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerin | 2/4/2012

    " Easy to read, lots of detail. I thought Emma did exactly what she wanted to do, people in my book group thought she could not do what she wanted to do because she married a boring man. Francis Steegmuller translation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Warren | 1/5/2012

    " I don't get it, but the chemist was fun. I guess I should finally finish learning French. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ema | 12/30/2011

    " Very, very dense. And slightly anti-climactic. At first, I felt like I could really relate to Emma, but, as the story progressed, I felt less and less sympathy toward her plight. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica Marie | 12/28/2011

    " It drags... even though I have to admit it's very well written. It really drags. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon Helfrich | 11/29/2011

    " I was dreading reading this classic but ended up enjoying it. Can't wait to discuss it in book club next week. It was amazing how Flaubert captured the angst of a woman who is never satisfied. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken Hall | 11/7/2011

    " Wonderfully written and lyrical. Would love to read it in the original language. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Teresa Ibanez | 11/4/2011

    " As a piece of literature, it was great but I was not very fond of the characters. They angered me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ingrid | 10/26/2011

    " In a boring afternoon I found this book in my mother's house and I am very glad to read this book. I love they way Flaubert wrote this book, and how he makes me feel when I finished to read Emma's history. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 10/23/2011

    " For me this was a very slow read. Glad I made it to the end, but wouldn't read it again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 10/21/2011

    " A little slow at first, but truly admired Emma's character. This has to be one of the first truly feminist novels. Girl Power! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yu Ran | 10/16/2011

    " Absolutely loved it! Not only because it describes the French society of that time but also showed the different perspectives of a marriage, which was interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaycie | 10/15/2011

    " I loved Madame Bovary, but I will definitely need to reread it. My French vocabulary isn't advanced enough to pick up on all of the subtle perfections of Flaubert's style, so though I got the plot, I still think I missed out a bit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bronwen | 10/14/2011

    " Finished... that took me a while. It is very well written and the story surprisingly contemporary, but at the end of the day I lost sympathy with Emma and just found her irritating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kara | 10/14/2011

    " Strenuous read, did not live up to expectations "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laila511 | 10/12/2011

    " A bit slow at start as i got a bit bored,but as i got through it was very entertaining and saucy,i dont know why it was so shocking when first puplished as situations like that wre common in that era and still are now a days. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 10/8/2011

    " the descriptions of people, interactions, and scenes defy description "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 10/5/2011

    " Read on my ALA trip to Boston "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elalma | 9/30/2011

    " Capisco che sia considerato un capolavoro, ma come si fa a descrivere appieno l'animo di una donna, quando donna non sei? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ilona | 9/28/2011

    " One of my favorite books of all time. More comments to be added later... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clare | 8/9/2011

    " Decided I better read this after watching the TV adaptation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Jones | 7/6/2011

    " Very tragic....quite sad in parts. Not for everyone, but I really did enjoy it immensely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie D | 6/19/2011

    " Read this in my 20s and I loved it. A tragic story, and I loved the character development and emotional reactions I had while reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Merri Su | 5/20/2011

    " One of only two books I didn't finish in high school English classes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 5/17/2011

    " The book is written beautifully-- just the way he uses words to describe everything from feelings to nature is really lovely to read. The actual story part of it was just ok for me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 John | 5/16/2011

    " It was an awful book! But the county fair scene was hilarious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 5/4/2011

    " Beautiful translation...but is it bad that I was looking forward to the death scene for most of the book? Good grief is Emma a horrid person... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vollha | 5/3/2011

    " Very good read, very enjoyable. "

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About the Author
Author Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880), French novelist and one of the masters of nineteenth-century fiction, was born in Rouen, the second son of a noted physician. Beset by ill health and personal misfortune, he led a solitary life of rigid discipline, which was reflected in his writing by his obsession with finding le mot juste (exactly the right word). His first published novel was Madame Bovary (1857). When certain passages in Madame Bovarywere judged to be offensive to public morals, Flaubert, his publisher, and his printer were tried but acquitted.

About the Narrator

Claire Bloom, CBE, is an English film and stage actress, known for leading roles in plays such as Streetcar Named Desire, A Doll’s House, and Long Day’s Journey into Night, along with nearly sixty films and countless television roles, during a career spanning over six decades. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 Queen’s birthday honors for services to drama.