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Madame Bovary: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Deckle Edge, October 4, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 1,524 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

National Bestseller
Winner of the French-American Foundation Translation Prize
One of New York magazine’s Ten Best Books of the Year
A Providence Journal Best Book of the Year
One of National Public Radios Favorite Books of the Year


“Lydia Davis’s Madame Bovary translation=perfect. She somehow pulls off a respectful translation with the readability of a contemporary novel.” —@lenadunham
 
"[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves." —Kathryn Harrison, The New York Times Book Review

"Invigorating . . . [Davis] has a finer ear for the natural cadences of English, in narrative and dialogue, than any of her predecessors." —Jonathan Raban, The New York Review of Books

"Dazzling . . . translated to perfect pitch . . . [Davis has] left us the richer with this translation. . . . I'd certainly say it is necessary to have hers." —Jacki Lyden, NPR.org, Favorite Books of the Year

"One of the most important books of the year . . . Flaubert's strict, elegant, rhythmic sentences come alive in Davis's English." —James Wood, The New Yorker's Book Bench

"I liked having a chance to find more nuances in Madame Bovary in the new Lydia Davis translation and read it blissfully as though floating, as Flaubert puts it in a different context, 'in a river of milk.'" —Paul Theroux, The Guardian (London), Books of the Year

"Madame Bovary reads like it was written yesterday. . . . Emma, with her visions of a grander life and resplendent passions, is me . . . and you, too, no doubt. . . . If you haven't happened to read Madame Bovary until now, I suggest you curl up with this edition . . . and allow yourself to get lost in another time and place that yet bears a curious resemblance to our own." —Daphne Merkin, Elle

"Davis is the best fiction writer ever to translate the novel. . . . [Her] work shares the Flaubertian virtues of compression, irony and an extreme sense of control." —Julian Barnes, London Review of Books

"A brilliant new translation." —Lee Siegel, The New York Observer

"I'm grateful to Davis for luring me back to Madame Bovary and for giving us a version which strikes me as elegant and alive." —Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"Flaubert's obsessive masterpiece finally gets the obsessive translation it deserves." New York magazine

About the Author

Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880) was born in Rouen, France, and was brought to popular attention when Madame Bovary was deemed immoral by the French government. 

Lydia Davis (translator) is a MacArthur Fellow, National Book Award finalist, and Officier of the Order of Arts and Letters and was awarded the 2011 French-American Foundation Translation Prize for her translation of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary and the 2003 French-American Foundation Translation Prize for her translation of Marcel Proust's Swann's Way. She lives near Albany, New York.

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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
1,524 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2020
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Top international reviews

Archyateaslug
5.0 out of 5 stars Lydia Davis's highly readable translation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2018
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normant
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst value ever
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 27, 2019
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Vixen
2.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2019
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A real diplomatic bag
1.0 out of 5 stars Good grief this is an abysmal translation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2016
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Mr. I. J. Randall
1.0 out of 5 stars Classic gobbledegook.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2019
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flamingo
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of errors
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2020
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CharliesAuntsHusband
1.0 out of 5 stars It may be free ... but it's free rubbish. An insult to Flaubert
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2015
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John Bland
3.0 out of 5 stars A great book, but this is not a good printing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and audio versions highly recommended
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2014
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CHARLOTTE HANKIN
4.0 out of 5 stars The destruction caused by love
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 10, 2017
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Blackadder
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Beautifully By Juliet Stevenson
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 23, 2015
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Ivan Proctor
1.0 out of 5 stars ** Incomplete text **
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2011
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T. Nolan
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious satire of provincial life - not bad for a book 'about nothing'!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 24, 2013
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clinton tyree
1.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2019
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Cynthia
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2016
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