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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.   

This Penguin Classic is performed by Fiona Glascott, star of Brooklyn, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Geoffrey Wall.   

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert's erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: 'Madame Bovary, c'est moi'.

Public Domain (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Madame Bovary

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Irritating French pronunciation

This is Flaubert’s greatest work, but I couldn’t enjoy it because of the way the reader paused before every French word of any length, then launched into an exaggerated pronunciation, clearing her throat on the “r”s - especially Rodolphe- (instead of making a gentle gurgle) and then being careless with how the vowels were pronounced, sometimes pronouncing using English pronunciation, e.g. “fricassEE” instead of “fricassay”. It drove me nuts.

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A powerful story

The reader is hard to hear. The story of course is an historical classic that demands more than one listen.

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  • Linton Edwards
  • 08-29-21

Horrible to listen to

Choose another version of this audible book to listen to. The narrator's possibly speaks French; to show off the authenticity of her accent, she takes a pause before each word in French (names, phrases, place names, money etc) - a brief space to say the word in her best French ; this wierd interruption becomes increasingly irritating and gives the words in French a weight which halts the narrative. Coupled with the way she does men's voices, her range of comic voices for the characters, a random click of her tongue at certain points, and her silly inflection when she is trying to sound serious or portentous - eventually you are listening just to her voice, and all of Flaubert's brilliantly constructed sentences, become a vessel for the way she speaks.

The book is irreproacheably a classic and truly brilliant

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  • San
  • 02-05-20

Too much acting can be annoying!

I find the reader has put in too much unnecessary and exaggerated acting which is distracting. I feel that the actor has injected her own interpretation, rather than leaving it to the listener.