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In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way, Vol. 1 Paperback – June 23, 1998


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In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way, Vol. 1 + In Search of Lost Time, Vol. II: Within a Budding Grove (Modern Library Classics) (v. 2) + In Search of Lost Time, Vol. III: The Guermantes Way (v. 3)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 606 pages
  • Publisher: The Modern Library; Modern Library edition (June 23, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375751548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375751547
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reading Swann's Way was a rapturous experience." - David Denby

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Rich and dense, this novel is beautifully written.
John P. Jones III
This is being sold as the Kindle version of the Penguin Classics edition/Lydia Davis translation - it's not!!.
Richard Ryan
I started reading and immediately was captivated by the book.
Fuat C. Baran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

198 of 202 people found the following review helpful By Zeldock on August 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Fortunately, I was never assigned Proust in school and, prior to picking up Swann's Way, knew of Proust mainly through a Monty Python sketch. I thus came to the book with almost no preconceptions. It was, without exaggerration, one of the best reading experiences I have ever had. Proust is unlike any other novelist, somehow looking at life with both incredible analytical detachment and, at the same time, a neurotic coloring that is all his own. But, to fully appreciate this work, you have to take it at the right time. That time, for me at least, is middle age, when you begin to accept your own neuroses, when your own life consists of 50% memories, and when you can appreciate the relentless dissecting of the immortal "types" who inhabit every society. I have gone on to read the next two novels in Proust's series and now have to force myself not to consume the remainder too hastily. Even if Proust turns you off the first time around, wait ten years and try again.
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
We apply "classic" and "masterpiece" too liberally, but regardless of how loosely or strictly we deploy the terms, Marcel's Proust's extraordinary novel belongs to the shortest of short lists deserving such description. At the risk of hyperbole (though I do not thing it is hyperbolic), Proust is the one writer of the 20th century who perhaps belongs to the ages more than to his own time, who belongs with Shakespeare and Dante and Homer.
Many are put off Proust by not understanding the structure of his work and his writing strategy. The book, to many, seems to have no point and no plot. The novel actually does have a plot, albeit a simple and not easy to discern one: Will the narrator (usually termed "Marcel") become a writer? Through seven long volumes, we watch Marcel variously resolve to write and then forsake his resolve, we see him even forget for enormous lengths of time his intent to write. Through love affairs, through events with his friends, through reflections on all matter of subjects and experiences of every kind, Marcel finally comes in the final volume to rediscover his vocation and the subject of his work.
This first volume in the series contains many of the most famous episodes in all of Proust. The famous passage in which the Narrator tells of his not being able to fall asleep as a child is found in the first pages. The most famous section in all of Proust, that of his eating as an adult a madeleine that first creates an inexplicable sense of joy and then engenders a plethora of involuntary memories of his childhood, is also found in this volume. The second half is the remarkable story of "Swann in Love," in which family friend Charles Swann falls in love, much to his surprise, with the courtesan Odette.
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96 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Warbird on June 14, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
Amazon has really confused things here. I am reviewing this Kindle e-book: In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1: Swann's Way by Marcel Proust. This is nothing more than the old, public-domain translation from the 1920s, yet it dishonestly appropriates the cover of the recent Penguin-Viking translation and links to another fairly recent updating of the 1920s translation, copyrighted by Random House / Modern Library. Stay away from this cheating publisher!

If you want the public-domain translation in Kindle format, you can get it here without cost: Swann's Way. It's also available free on the Gutenberg Project, which is almost certainly where this 'publisher' ripped off his text.

If you want a really good modern translation in Kindle format, then buy the Modern Library edition: In Search of Lost Time, Volume I: Swann's Way. It costs nine bucks, but it's far more enjoyable, and you're not dealing with bandits.

For more about the modern translations, see this Kindle short take: The Fourteen-Minute Marcel Proust: Everyone's guide to the greatest novel ever written. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Swann's Way is the gateway to the most beautifully written novel there is, that is, the whole of the "Search for Lost Time". Contrary to reputation, it is not "difficult" (in the way, say, Joyce or Faulkner can be) but it is not for people who prefer to skim across novels rather than immerse themselves in them. There is no use in my pulling out the superlatives; to do so would just invite redundancy to the books that have been written on him. But for anyone who loves reading (and who checking out this review does not) I would consider it a great loss to have gone through life, loving books as you do, and having missed out on Proust. It is an experience that will remind you of why you love to read and stay with you throughout your life.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Fuchsia on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
One of the most fascinating and beautiful books I've ever read, Proust had a knack for taking the smallest detail and making it meaningful and beautiful. His sentence structure is very different from anything I've ever read before and his writing style is very dense(somebody once told me that it was like swimming through mayonaise) He is one of most original writers of this century and certainly one of the most poetic. Reading Swanns Way has made me hungry to read more of Proust. I've looked everywhere for the whole set of In Search of Lost Time(or Rememberence of Things Past) luckily Amazon has the whole set. Everybody should at least try to read Swanns Way.
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