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Within a Budding Grove: Part 1
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Within a Budding Grove: Part 1 (À la recherche du temps perdu #2.1)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
As the young narrator succumbs to the charms of the enchanting Gilberte, we are presented with an unparalleled account of the pangs of adolescent life. Following an illness, Marcel is sent to recuperate at the seaside resort of Balbec, together with his grandmother.
Audio CD, Abridged
Published July 1st 1996 by Naxos Audiobooks (first published January 1st 1918)
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This is a review of Autour de Mme Swann, the first part of A l’Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs, published separately in this Garnier-Flammarion edition.

This section of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu reminded me of the soldier who hid under the wide skirts of Oskar’s grandmother in Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum and who found pleasure there but who must have crawled out half suffocated at the end. The title itself, A l’ombre des Jeunes filles en fleurs conjures up a similar image for me: the narrat
Chris Walker
Much of Within a Budding Grove Part 1 I found dull and tedious. The highlights for me were the descriptions of the Swanns' life at home and how they entertained their guests and the descriptions of Madame Swann, her toilette and the variety of colourful crepe de chine wrappers she wore at home (which makes you want to chuck out your ill fitting cheap tracksuits immediately!). There is a description of the view into the house lit in the evenings as seen by the casual passer-by which is also memor ...more
Aug 26, 2016 Peony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
I loved Swann's Way and was really looking forward to reading this next one in the series. Proust still shines in those moments he's describing and commenting human behaviour and emotions. It was quite fascinating to read his honest narration of him trying to manipulate Gilberte Swann. But I have to admit I enjoyed Proust telling the story of Mr. Swann in the last book far better than talking about himself in this book. There were quite a lot of rambly bits (f.ex. do we have to talk about what s ...more
Stephen AB
Sep 01, 2016 Stephen AB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, proust-reading
17th Aug 2015: I've now returned in earnest to Remembrance of Things Past - getting stuck into Within a Budding Grove: young Marcel being in unrequited love, and again... sigh... so much is evoked from my heart - it's as if he has was drawn on my own experiences - again. I thought at one point it would have helped to have read this at the times in my life when I was entrapped in this sort of "love"; but on reflection, I probably wouldn't have avoided the heartbreak; it would have just made me fe ...more
Victor Carson
Nov 08, 2012 Victor Carson rated it it was ok
Although I loved Swann's Way, the first section of Proust's epic, Remembrance of Things Past, I was really bored by most of the second section, Within a Budding Grove. The new unabridged audiobook was lovingly produced, with flawless narration but, in an unabridged form, the material does not hold by interest. When the author described his life as a child, in Swann's Way, his imagery was beautiful and mesmerizing. The author's life as a young man is much less attractive, although his mind is ver ...more
Carol Harrison
I am a failure at Marcel Proust. Although I did get through part 1 of Swann's Way and kind of enjoyed it (but missed part 2),I gave up Part 1 of Within a Budding Grove at about the 3/4 mark. Reading it felt like being trapped in a room with a person who could not, would not, stop talking--a constant running commentary on everything, with no breaks in between topics, no stopping to check that the other person was still alive, just incessant talk. I couldn't stand it any more and decided there wer ...more
A writer in the true classic tradition with a plethora of metaphors and similes to guide you through the maze of feelings that make up the landscape of sentient beings. Now I know where Henry James gets his sentence structure and preciousness. I should note here that I did my thesis on James. I'm a glutton for verbal punishment. I'm also getting a lot of gardening done listening.
Pekka Ahonen
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Book Portrait
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Mar 15, 2012 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny. Better than Swann's Way. Vintage classics, 1970.
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French novelist, best known for his 3000 page masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time), a pseudo-autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream-of-consciousness style. Born in the first year of the Third Republic, the young Marcel, like his narrator, was a delicate child from a bourgeois family. He was active in Parisian high society during t ...more
More about Marcel Proust...

Other Books in the Series

À la recherche du temps perdu (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
  • In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (In Search of Lost Time, #2)
  • The Guermantes Way  (In Search of Lost Time, #3)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
  • La Prisonnière (À la recherche du temps perdu, #5)
  • Albertine disparue (À la recherche du temps perdu, #6)
  • Time Regained (In Search of Lost Time, #7)
  • In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1: Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove, Part 1
  • In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 2: Within a Budding Grove, Part 2 & The Guermantes' Way
  • In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 3: Sodom and Gomorrah & The Captive

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“In the case of the solitary, his seclusion, even when it is absolute and ends only with life itself, has often as its primary cause a disordered love of the crowd, which so far overruled every other feeling that, not being able to win, when he goes out, the admiration of his hall-porter, of the passers-by, of the cabman whom he hails, he prefers not to be seen by them at all, and with that object abandons every activity that would oblige him to go out of doors.” 3 likes
“I knew very well that this hope was chimerical. I was like a pauper who mingles fewer tears with his dry bread if he tells himself that at any moment a stranger will bequeath to him his fortune. We must all, in order to make reality more tolerable, keep alive in us a few little follies.” 3 likes
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