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Extended Audio Sample Swann’s Way Audiobook, by Marcel Proust Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 5 3.63 (43 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marcel Proust Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781400186150
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Swann’s Way is the first novel of Marcel Proust’s seven-volume magnum opus, In Search of Lost Time. Following the narrator’s opening ruminations about the nature of sleep is one of twentieth-century literature’s most famous scenes: the eating of the Madeleine soaked in a “decoction of lime-flowers,” the associative act from which the remainder of the narrative unfurls. After elaborate reminiscences about his childhood with relatives in rural Combray and in urban Paris, Proust’s narrator recalls a story regarding Charles Swann, a major figure in his Combray childhood and his escapades in nineteenth-century privileged Parisian society revolving around his obsessive love for young socialite Odette de Crécy.

Filled with searing, insightful, and humorous criticisms of French society, this novel showcases Proust’s innovative prose style. With narration that alternates between first and third person, Swann’s Way unconventionally introduces Proust’s recurring themes of memory, love, art, and the human experience—and for nearly a century, audiences have deliciously savored each moment.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annaclover | 2/3/2014

    " This is like eating slices of a very rich fruit cake. Dense and rich and full of raisins, you need to set some time aside with a cup of tea, taking your time over each bite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 1/31/2014

    " Some exquisite prose. Unsure of the significance of Swann's story in the grand scheme of things but presumably the next five volumes will make that clear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gibbinsj | 1/17/2014

    " It is a long slog through French wordiness, but worth it. I will finish the whole three volumes by the end of 2009, AS GOD IS MY WITNESS. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teri | 1/6/2014

    " I always have excellent posture when I read Proust. Even my body is at full attention; this is no casual read. Nevertheless, it is well worth the effort. Proust attains an excruciating precision in mapping both external and internal landscapes. Like Artaud, Proust articulates neurosis/obsession/madness with such detail that the reader feels privy to the narrator's psyche. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina Manolescu | 1/5/2014

    " Read each word carefully, each passage more than once, with a French dictionary as a last resort. Dedicate a year to each volume; Proust dedicated his entire life to the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clifford | 1/5/2014

    " Read the entire 3000 pages and then take a few months break and read it again. The second time is much better than the first and the first will leave you breathless and gasping in WONDER. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 12/27/2013

    " It is worth reading several times "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan Saunders | 12/22/2013

    " I tried for half a year to read this. I tried and failed. I read to page 178 and finally told myself to give it up. I found the novel enchanting at first, but for me it fell into a rut that I couldn't get out off. Probably if I had a guide I would garner more appreciation for it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ginger Hallett | 12/19/2013

    " Elegant, evocative and entertaining! I'm torn between a strong desire to start re-reading this volume and an equally strong desire to continue on to volume two. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clair | 10/3/2013

    " Thick writing, but beautiful passages. I've been reading it off and on since last year...eep. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geoffrey | 2/28/2013

    " The big question: will I ever be enough of a literary badass to finish Proust? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David | 12/26/2012

    " Dull, dull, dull. I tried but I just could not read these books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Moshe | 10/8/2012

    " Nothing like it - long, endlessly eloquent meditations on art and subjectivity. I like Proust best when he offers up his characters in wonderfully concise little vignettes of a situation. His regard for the idiosyncracies of humanity has a loving humor in it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karin Dodson | 9/23/2012

    " Actually, I have a different edition and ready Swann's Way a couple of years ago which I loved. I'm tempted to go back and reread but I'm afraid if I do I'll never progress to the other volumes. So I just picked up Within a Budding Grove an dived in. And YES - I'm reading them in English. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David | 4/7/2012

    " Dull, dull, dull. I tried but I just could not read these books. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Miranda Davis | 3/29/2012

    " Eat the damn cookie, stop whining and go to bed, Marcel! I am a philistine. I don't care. Recommended for insomniacs and masochists. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thomas | 11/25/2011

    " I tried. I really did. But I finally had to hide this, unfinished, between the mattress and the boxspring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stray | 10/11/2011

    " Proust. 'nuff said. Funny, sad, no novelist has ever portrayed the range of male emotions, from lovestruck to starstruck, adolescent to adult, so well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 10/11/2011

    " Exquisite, refined, profound, insightful, endlessly varied, an astonishing memoir. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David | 9/8/2011

    " Dull, dull, dull. I tried but I just could not read these books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 9/1/2011

    " Is there a way to add a sixth star? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elsa | 8/30/2011

    " I listened to this while walking. It's the best way to enjoy such a slow moving narrative and appreciate its brilliance. There are many delights. So glad I got a chance to experience it, but I'm not running to get more of his books ... not just yet.

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lilly | 8/30/2011

    " Like this translation better than Moncrieff's "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Daniel | 4/30/2011

    " This was interesting, but not my thing. I enjoy and prefer novels. This was more the result of a writing workshop exercise turned manuscript. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua | 4/29/2011

    " Slowly, slowly sinking into the astonishingly sensual memory-world of Proust. At forty, I think I'm finally old enough to appreciate it. Reading the Moncrief but I'd like to check out the Lydia Davis translation as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 4/18/2011

    " That famous description of the madeleine pretty much sums it up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Riodelmartians | 4/11/2011

    " Got the through this one. Five more to go. A magical time machine. "

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

    " There were many interesting descriptions that may be perceived as cliche now.

    Some parts bored me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lemar | 3/24/2011

    " This is a book whose ideas can transcend translation. that said the translation by Lydia Davis is a thing of beauty. This is the first of the books that comprise In Search Of Lost Time and I strongly encourage readers to go chronologically through as the payoff is well worth the effort. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wendy | 3/20/2011

    " Omg, I hated reading this. I could tell you why, like a real book review, but I can't even deal. I'm just glad I'm finally done. Freedom!!!!
    Book dish: madeleine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 3/13/2011

    " Fabulous translation, but why isnt her translation of Madame Bovary also listed online? Get it if you can. [OK, now added] "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pwilczewski | 3/6/2011

    " Another book that I didn't actually finish reading, there were parts that were brilliant but I found the pace insufferable and the themes uninteresting - sorry Proust. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally Anne | 3/6/2011

    " It is amazing. Which is not to say that I always liked it. "

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About the Author
Author Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust (1871–1922) was a French novelist, essayist, and critic, best known as the author of Remembrance of Things Past, a monumental work of fiction published in seven parts from 1913 to 1927.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.