“I had so many moments of recognition where I felt myself in the same mental state that the narrator is trying to decipher. That feeling of discovering a moment from your past in the present, but unable to place it's source until finally surrendering and giving up, it comes flooding back to you. The whole piece is a book end, starting with a dream memory and waking. The temporality of Proust's world shifts as quickly as his memories but he picks the most important points to elaborate as you see how they connect; Proust's Madeleines to childhood, his experience seeing Odette and Vinteuil's daughter's illicit affair, to Swann's obsession to Vinteuil's musical phrase which represents his whole relationship with Odette. It's a lucid yet coherent piece, beautiful in it's descriptions and stunning with it's empathy of it's reader. ”Rawson wrote this review 8 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Page 251ish?”Hannah K wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“catching up on a classic. nice.”Soren Kerk wrote this review Saturday, November 16, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Holy Long Freaking Book of Beautiful Prose but Not Much Happening. This is a book to read if you want to spend 5 minutes reading a page and 10 minutes digesting the small idea beautifully (but lengthily) described therein. It is a story about memory, nostalgia, love requited and then lost, and how our mind tends to make the Idea of a thing even better than its Reality. So if you're up for a long, winding, gorgeous romp through thoughtful reminiscences about such things in 1800s France then this will be a delightful read for you. If you're looking for a thoughtful book with a great plot of any kind you should pass this book by for now!”April D wrote this review Thursday, October 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This novel is a time commitment to read, one of those books where I wanted to do a victory-touchdown dance each time I finished another page and put myself closer to the ending. That said, for literary fiction, this novel is far, far better than many I have read, and the middle section, Swann in Love, gave me plenty of opportunities to laugh out loud. I especially loved how the ending tied all three sections of the book together, and did so in a way that carried a huge reader payoff. This is a book that I could see myself reading again in ten years, knowing ahead of time what the story is, and just reading to enjoy the beautiful prose. This translation is especially good. ”Booklover Zen wrote this review Wednesday, October 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The inner life of invalids.”Ichabod wrote this review Tuesday, August 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Because almost every sentence in this classic is a remarkably beautiful construction of words, this book flowed like a short novel to me, despite the fact that it is almost 1000 pages long. I realize some people don't like Proust, but I love him.”Housequake wrote this review Friday, July 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I must confess that I don’t feel I can review Swann’s Way wholeheartedly as I certainly did not read it with much enthusiasm so I may not be giving it its due here. With the lengthy opening consisting of a boy’s wish to have his mother kiss him goodnight and stay at his bedside, which continued for many pages ad infinitum, I was initially turned off. While recovering from this and focusing on Proust’s beautiful writing, I began to hope and did so for a bit, however, I again lost interest, much to my dismay and wonder that this is a book to be lingered over for a length of time without any thoughts towards its conclusion.
The narrator, Marcel, fondly recalls his younger years at home and his difficulties in sleeping. Another (and much more interesting story) involves the love affair between Swann and Odette. I’m tempted to say put this kid to bed and let Swann tell his own story.
Charles Swann, a family friend, is a stockbroker who falls for a woman he sees as someone other than she truly is. His obsession causes him to lose friends as well as to lose sight of his dignity. Known to be a womanizer, he treats his new love more like an object than a living person and fails to see the red flags before him warning him of his one-sided relationship. A man who should open his eyes and truly look around him.
The object of Swann’s desires, Odette, is known for her sexual proclivities with both men and women. Not considered attractive nor interesting, she nonetheless manages to exude that sex appeal many find hard to resist. When she grows bored with Swann, she treats him disdainfully and carries on without regard for his feelings. Not a very nice lady.
Suddenly I stood still, unable to move, as happens when something appears that requires not only our eyes to take it in, but involves a deeper kind of perception and takes possession of the whole of our being.
Mme Verdurin, seeing that Swann was within earshot, assumed that expression in which the two-fold desire to make the speaker be quiet and to preserve, oneself, an appearance of guilelessness in the eyes of the listener, is neutralised in an intense vacuity; in which the unflinching signs of intelligent complicity are overlaid by the smiles of innocence, an expression invariably adopted by anyone who has noticed a blunder, the enormity of which is thereby at once revealed if not to those who have made it, at any rate to him in whose hearing it ought not to have been made.
There are in the music of the violin–if one does not see the instrument itself, and so cannot related what one hears to its form, which modifies the fullness of the sound–accents which are so closely akin to those of certain contralto voices, that one has the illusion that a singer has taken her place amid the orchestra.
In speaking with Monsieur Proust, I would steer clear of any discussions of his mother and would instead ask how he was able to write while battling pain and chronic illness. In the company of such a brilliant writer, I’d be tempted to jot down all words that flowed across his lips, but would contain myself and rather focus on the pleasure of his company.
My rating for Swann’s Way is a 7 out of 10.”
“Incredible dreamy reconstruction of childhood memories by an invalid. This book is not for anyone who lacks drive or attention span. Even the quickest mind goes wandering, but that is as goes dreams. ”Brian Seiler wrote this review Tuesday, June 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No