Marcel Proust

Book review: In Search of Lost Time Volume VI: Time Regained

In Search of Lost Time Volume VI: Time Regained by Marcel Proust.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Well, I did it. I survived In Search of Lost Time. Admittedly, this is probably easier to do in a year where chunks were spent in mandatory lockdown than in a year when you can do … I dunno, anything. But here we are.

This review of the final volume of the Modern Library edition will probably serve as a review of the piece as a whole, as it’s difficult to view them as anything except interlinked, because the individual books don’t stand on their own merits – it’s only as part of this elephantine endeavour that they can be appreciated.

Yeah, you’re not the only one who needs a lie down mate.
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Book review: In Search of Lost Time Volume V: The Captive & The Fugitive

In Search of Lost Time Volume V: The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.

This review’s going to be shorter than my other Proust ones, which is amusing because, even with everything else going on this year, this book was an enormous fucking slog. I mean you’d think there was more to write about it, but ensuring I maintained the will to live seems to have taken precedence.

Oh Christ, not another fucking party.
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Book review: In Search of Lost Time Volume IV: Sodom & Gomorrah

In Search of Lost Time Volume IV: Sodom & Gomorrah by Marcel Proust.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

So, this is volume four of Proust’s epic, and it marks the point of no return, or at least where the presence of the sunk cost fallacy begins to make itself felt.

(I must admit that it was at this point I began to question whether I’d actually finish the text. But having cut through the first couple of volumes, I figured the only way out was through, so ONWARDS.)

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Book review: In Search of Lost Time Volume III: The Guermantes Way

In Search of Lost Time Volume III: The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Do you like parties? I don’t mean goon-in-the-backyard, sausage sandwich kind of parties. I mean the sort of parties which involve military officers, pomp and pecking order. You know, society wankfests that lumber on intolerably despite the apparent desire of everyone else to be anywhere else?

Nothing this fun occurs in this volume.
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Book review: In Search of Lost Time Volume II: Within a Budding Grove

In Search of Lost Time Volume II: Within a Budding Grove.In Search of Lost Time Volume II: Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Slowly, slowly. That’s how things go when you’re two books deep in Proust. Soporific, even – though given that a lot of the action in the second volume occurs beachside, where sex and surf combine.

Well, it’s not all thoughts of boning and brine.
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Book review: In Search of Lost Time Volume I: Swann’s Way

In Search of Lost Time Volume I: Swann's Way.In Search of Lost Time Volume I: Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

So with a pandemic raging and the world basically on fire, I figured it was as good a time as any to tackle what’s considered one of the world’s longest novels, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

I’m a fancy boy. 

It is, demonstrably, an indulgent fugue written by a mama’s boy with a fixation on minutiae and madeleines. But it’s also kind of perfect reading – escapism – for when you need a break from what’s going on outside. (more…)