Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “La Prisonnière (À la recherche du temps perdu, #5)” as Want to Read:
La Prisonnière (À la recherche du temps perdu, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

La Prisonnière

(À la recherche du temps perdu #5)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,246 ratings  ·  183 reviews
Volume 5 of À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past), Proust's series of 7 novels. French language edition.
Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Published January 10th 2000 by Folio (first published 1923)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about La Prisonnière, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about La Prisonnière

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,246 ratings  ·  183 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of La Prisonnière (À la recherche du temps perdu, #5)
It will soon be a year since I read this book so writing a review of it now seems almost impossible. How can I ever retrieve all the thoughts I had about the fifth book in Proust’s seven-volume series (actually the eight in my ten-volume edition). It begins to seem like a sadly futile recherche du temps perdu.

And yet, the urge to write something, I often wonder for whom I write my reviews, of course for myself most definitely, it bothers me a lot to leave a book unreviewed now that I have adopte
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I didn't already know from previous volumes that our narrator tells us everything, all of his emotions and thoughts, flitting and fleeting, I might've been thinking at the start of this that he's a psychopath. He anticipates that, as he seems to anticipate everything, by later telling us:
If the reader has no more than a faint impression of these, that is because, as narrator, I reveal my sentiments to him at the same time as I repeat my words. But if I concealed the former and he were acq
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“We remember the truth because it has a name, is rooted in the past, but a makeshift lie is quickly forgotten.”
― Marcel Proust, The Captive or perhaps The Fugitive (I have now forgotten which)


This is the fifth volume of Proust's In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past. In the Captive, Proust's narrator is concerned about who Obama is in love with. The ardor of Speaker Boehner is face-to-face with the serenity of the House's hatred. The happiness that Congress knows is impossible, the
The genius of Proust reaches its peak in The Captive. The complexity of the narrator's feelings for Albertine, her jealousy, her fears, her lies, her initial wishes and the need for reconciliations described with such depth that the reader finds himself seized in the brain tortured. Maniac and sensitive to the extreme of a lost by dint of trying to understand himself. In parallel, we witness the terrible fall of Charlus, assassinated by the stupidity and the idiotic pride of Verdurins and Morel, ...more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More than a commentary on Swann’s jealousy or M. Charlus’s homosexuality or the frivolity of the Guermantes’ sorties, Marcel Proust’s monumental work In Search of Lost Time paints the unsuccessful reconstruction of a forgone world and a lost existence from fickle memories, which like morning mists would fade with the rising sun. The narrator Marcel, longing for a past that didn’t exist but must be created, sought to experience Bergson’s continuous time rather than the fragmented and still-framed ...more
This is the only volume of the series (that I've read thus far) t0 take on a singular issue: a doomed relationship between our narrator (Proust) and Albertine as they share the Paris apartment of Proust's parents. He only wants, physically, a kiss from Albertine after he climbs into bed but before she proceeds to her own bedroom: in his childhood, he couldn't get to sleep until his mother kissed him goodnight. He is extremely jealous of Albertine's affection for anyone else, particularly her gir ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
In this book, we see dissected like a frog in a laboratory, the obsessive possessive behaviour of the narrator who is hopelessly in love with Albertine and wished to capture her and hold her prisonner but does not seem to realize that Albertine is not just a bird in a cage but a free spirit needing release (he will learn this very painfully later one.) It is the shortest book of La Recherche I believe and there was a beautiful French movie made from it with Romain Duris. It ends in tragedy which ...more
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
On through the next installment of Marcel Proust's opus. In this book the reader is finally given the narrator's name, or possibly given it since he only makes a side mention that it might be the same as the author, and that for the sake of the passage he's writing to think of it as Marcel. It's a little weird that possibly a couple of thousand pages went by before him having to even give cause to use his name. The lack of names for anyone in his family is something that I keep finding interesti ...more
albertine, marcel,
love or lust or jealousy,
captive or captor?
Relatively speaking there was a lot of suspense in this volume. There are the usual themes: the self, especially during the moment between sleeping and waking, art, time, eternity, happiness, etc.

But there are also moments of high drama, carefully prepared. Will the wily yet transparent Monsieur de Charlus gain ascendancy over the domineering and manipulative Madame Verdurin? Will the narrator tame the seemingly docile yet wilful Albertine? More importantly will he ever do anything of significan
classic reverie
As I continue to read Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time, I become more addicted and want to see how it all ends because really though you could read each book and not read another, you are really missing out in many ways, which makes this puzzle more complete. In book 1, you find out about Charlus being a friend to Swann and Odette but in book 5, a revelation which is kind of shocking, or at least it was to me, is revealed.

Also once again but not as much in the prior books but Proust does g
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Writing about boring tedious self absorb people can lead to an excruciating dull rendering world of self reflection separated by space and time and differentiated by the distinctions inherent within all language and separated by the dialects we all possess as we reflect on our own reflections about our reflections even when they force us to remember our own remembrances about our own well received reflections on eating a Madeline or the sudden celebratory status of our very own recently created ...more
Mike Clinton
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This fifth volume of Proust's A la recherche opus left me with mixed feelings. At times the repeated rounds of unhinged jealousy, intense ardor, reassurance and indifference that the Narrator describes struck me as tedious and predictable. His mercurial emotional character and manipulative possessiveness also made him unlikable in a way that I hadn't found him to be in the previous volumes. Still, it's such a pleasure to read that my occasional irritation with these aspects don't eclipse my enjo ...more
Volume 5 goes deep into creepy territory and dispels all remaining doubts that the narrator has any chance of ever passing a psychological evaluation. As much as he tries to hide under an umbrella of “universal truths”, his jealousy and possessiveness aren’t solely displeasing, common human traits. They are alarming and pathological. He says things like “Jealousy is often only an anxious need to be tyrannical applied to matters of love.“ and we nod approvingly. What level of tyranny are we talki ...more
When I was about midway through A la Recherche I read that Nabokov said it that the first half was one of the four (or three or five or whatever) best books of the 20th century. I'm not in that camp quite yet, but leaning toward it. Things are definitely slowing down in the second half. When Proust takes out his palette to talk about the wider Parisian society, and sometimes when he writes about memory, time, etc he is wonderful. But the endless pages on love and obsession are too much. I have s ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Part 5 of "in search of lost time". Albertine is the central character, until the relationship breaks off. Beautiful passages, like the death of Bergotte. But in general, not only the sentences, also the story really begins to meander.

It's hard to believe this is my third time through this thing (ISOLT). I swear that I am never reading it again (though I suppose I'm not the first person to say that while reading this particular volume). Thank god that "Time Regained" is just around the corner.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A whole volume on stalking and jealousy. What more could one possibly wish for.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life is too short, and Proust is too long. - Anatole France (attributed, likely apocryphal)

With La Prisonnière (The Captive or The Prisoner), Proust's literary epic takes an unfortunate behind-the-scenes turn. The author had died in 1922, before he could finish the editing and revision of the last three volumes. It is one of those great literary tragedies, that we can never truly reconstruct the climaxes of his work, even if a century of scholarly pursuit has at least got us closer to understand
Tamar Nagel
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With each volume, my understanding of Proust deepens and my appreciation for the vastness of his talent grows. I loved the passage towards the end of this book about repeated phrases, in particular the phrase from Vintiuel’s sonata and septet and the identification of the unchanging message from artists or authors expressed in different iterations throughout the canon of their works. It is a kind of essential truth unique to each person that they are able to share with the world: that one messag ...more
Ana Rmz
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a cliffhanger, Marcel, you’ve done it again, crazy son of a bitch. The description of Albertine’s imprisonment of and the mystery of her secret life, along with the state of mind of the narrator, struggling between jealousy, indifference and the fear of being betrayed without never been certain, (a parallel of his beloved tale of Swann and Odette) were one of the most vivid parts of the novel: a deep dive into relationships and love an how it wears out and ends, or survives, for the pain of ...more
While Proust's style will never be a favorite of mine (what with the extremely long sentences & long digressions), I do find that the further I get in the series, the more interesting I find the books even though (or perhaps because of) Marcel, the narrator, is getting increasingly disturbing in his behaviour.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Proust is a challenging read, but if the reader allows themselves the space and time to read him there are fantastic rewards... i was saddened when i learned it would be so many years between the fourth and fifth books of the Penguin Classics Deluxe "in Search of Lost Time" due to the "Sonny Bono Law" (yep, it is referred to that way, look it up!)... i was concerned i would lose the tale in the 6+ yeas between this book and "Sodom and Gomorrah"... not the case! i was immediately drawn back to th ...more
Stephen Baker
May 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This one took me months, almost as long as the previous four combined. I'm thinking that I do better with Proust in cold weather, where I don't mind sitting inside and reading in the afternoon. In any case, it was a claustrophobic read, much of it taking place in the narrator's Paris apartment, where he was keeping his lover (of sorts), Albertine, a captive. The reason for this captivity, absurd as it sounds coming from Proust, was to keep Albertine from having sex with other women. He loves Alb ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Captive is the most notorious volume of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time for both its strangeness and complexity. Through its focus on the obssessive and forbidden nature of desire it could be likened to novels such as Nabakov's Lolita, though without being as readable. This is because The Captive is intermingled with the narrators memories from the previous four volumes, which also act as a build up to the downfall and escape of the two main characters Albertine (the narrator's lover) ...more
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This may be my favorite volume. Although the other volumes are just as beautifully written, The Captive had way more tension - was way more plot driven, almost - than the other volumes. The entirety of chapter 2, during the Verdurin gathering with de Charlus infuriating Mme. Verdurin more and more as the evening went on, was practically unputdownable for me. And the climactic exit of de Charlus on the arm of the Queen of Naples was positively exhilarating!

I enjoyed reading about the mind games t
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
proust died before the last three volumes could be thoroughly revised, so a few odd editorial seams start to show here. doesn't really affect the quality too much, but something that is noticed in a few places, especially when the narrator breaks the fourth wall and makes a meta-reference to swann's way (as in writing the first book). here we get another extended drawing room party at the verduins', where their cruelty is amped up for comedic value, which is bookended by the dysfunctional relati ...more
Sean Kottke
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
So you say you enjoyed "Swann in Love" but wish it had more jealousy? Or that it had been written in first-person from the point of view of the jealous one? Well, have I got a book for you! It's everything you ever wanted in Proust but were afraid to ask for more of: jealousy, the leisure class, parties, debates about Dreyfus and homosexuality, and discourses on the power of art, the mysteries of memory and waking up. Plus some deaths. And airplanes! Proust shoots fish in a barrel when comparing ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More in depth analysis of jealousy, and thinking you know what's going in in other people's minds and lives but which you are totally wrong about and are completely taken aback when you learn the truth. Get out of your own head. Interact a little bit with the people you mix with and maybe you'd actually get to know them more truly.
« previous 1 3 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Proust and Signs: The Complete Text
  • Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp
  • Sentimental Education
  • Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to In Search of Lost Time
  • Diceria dell'untore
  • فانوس جادویی زمان
  • Proust
  • پروست و من
  • مایده‌های زمینی
  • Chavirer
  • War and Peace, V1
  • Watt
  • Les caves du Vatican
  • فریدون سه پسر داشت
  • Journey to the End of the Night
  • Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human
  • The Rise of the Novel, Updated Edition
  • The Charterhouse of Parma
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

À la recherche du temps perdu (7 books)
  • Swann's Way
  • In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
  • The Guermantes Way
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • La fugitiva (En busca del tiempo perdido, #6)
  • Time Regained (In Search of Lost Time, #7)

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
48 likes · 21 comments
“وأدركتُ المجال الذى يصطدم به الحب، إننا نتخيل كموضوع له، كائناً يمكن أن يتمدّد أمامنا، منغلقاً ضمن جسد، يا للحسرة، ان امتداد هذا الكائن إلى كل النقط فى الزمان والمكان هو ما شغله ويشغله. وإن لم نتملك صلته بهذا المكان أو ذاك بهذه الساعة أو تلك، فنحن لا نتملّك الكائن. إلا أننا لا نستطيع لمس كل هذه النقط. لو تم تعيينها لنا فقط، لربما وجدنا وسيلة للوصول إليها، إلا أننا نتلمس الطريق إليها ولا نجدها. من هنا الشك والغيرة والمضايقات. إننا نبدد وقتاً ثميناً فى البحث عن أدلة غير معقولة، ونمر بجانب الحقيقة من دون أن ندرك وجودها” 7 likes
“Le seul véritable voyage, le seul bain de Jouvence, ce ne serait pas d'aller vers de nouveaux paysages, mais d'avoir d'autres yeux, de voir l'univers avec les yeux d'un autre, de cent autres, de voir les cent univers que chacun d'eux voit, que chacun d'eux est;” 5 likes
More quotes…