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In Search Of Lost Time Vol 1: Swann's Way Paperback – 5 December 1996

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,011 ratings

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Product description

Review

My advice is to plunge straight into Volume 1, Swann's Way there are many who swear the experience has permanently enriched their lives ― Daily Mail

One of the cornerstones of the Western literary canon ― The Times

Surely the greatest novelist of the 20th century ― Sunday Telegraph

As close to being a definitive English version of the great novel as we are likely to get ― Scotsman

Proust isn't just the most profound of novelists, but the most entertaining, too. No reader ever forgets his most killingly funny scenes... Proust sinks deepest in readers because the book is so exhaustively analytical, so ceaselessly truthful. Not the least of it is the book's heavenly length, so that it inevitably takes over your life for a long stretch... the experience of reading it becomes, in itself, an unforgettable thing ― Independent

From the Inside Flap

Each volume contains notes, addenda and synopses, and the sixth and final volume also includes a guide to the complete work.

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Product details

  • ASIN : 009936221X
  • Publisher : RHUK (5 December 1996)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 544 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780099362210
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0099362210
  • Item Weight : 373 g
  • Dimensions : 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 1,011 ratings

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 20 July 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars In Search of Lost Time: Vol. 1
By Singh, R. on 20 July 2020
I have set myself to one of the most ambitious reading adventures by daring to start reading Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’. Having read the first book, which was slow to begin with but gained pace as I braved myself through the first 200 pages, the novel is an absolute delight. With rich prose, beautifully observed passing episodes of life and its sharp yet elegant analyses, the first volume opens with the narrator’s childhood life in Combray and his obsession with his family friend, Swann’s mysterious love life. Keeping the critique of French high society at the forefront, Proust has made symbolic use of art, painting, music, literature, that were accessible to the elites to showcase what goes on in those little, private circles, evening gatherings where one’s admission and omission is ephemeral like their wealth and their materialist appreciation of culture. The unfolding of two romances, one of Swann and the other of the young narrator, explores masculine desires that are constantly at loggerheads with what is real and what is experienced of it as memory, as imagination. Proust’s careful understanding of jealousy, obsession, love, friendship, and self is something which has mesmerised me and made his inspection of the duality of memory and reality sublime. Proust’s imagination that ran pages after pages on sleep, religion, family, of a man’s obsession with a woman, of a lover’s obsession with a failing love and with it the losing self and the candour with which he has dealt with unabiding masculinity and queer sexuality in the later 19th century aristocratic France is indicative of his broad conception of the reality! The volumes following this are enormous in size but I will still try my best to read and continue for I cannot contain my admiration for Proust’s writing. Moncrieff’s translation offers the intensity which the story rightly deserves.
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Reviewed in India on 6 October 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally I am reading - In search of lost time
By Mayank Goyal on 6 October 2018
It's a long long read. It is full of nuances of human behavior. I have fully enjoyed it.

The Proust's world is bit further from ours. But the humans are nonetheless the same.

A little warning it is a slow read.
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10 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 27 June 2018
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7 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 4 August 2020
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Reviewed in India on 28 September 2020
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Reviewed in India on 8 November 2017
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7 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 12 December 2020
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not upto the mark.
By Sruthi Sreekumar on 12 December 2020
Bad quality print and paper. Front cover is cheap quality There were pen marks all over the back cover.
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Reviewed in India on 14 September 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Bryn Griffith
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely worth the effort
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 December 2018
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59 people found this helpful
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Niah
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh my word, how wonderful.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 March 2014
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130 people found this helpful
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Bewildered Bee
4.0 out of 5 stars A Review for the Book, Not a Book Review
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 June 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Review for the Book, Not a Book Review
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 June 2020
As ever, I am writing a review for the physical book, not a book review on the content. Although there are exceptions, I do not think Amazon reviews are the best place to get informed opinions of literary merit, especially when so much information is now available online that is far more erudite and engaging. As such, this review considers the edition, focusing on the publisher, design, layout, and quality of the book. This is not a judgement on those who review books on Amazon (I do sometimes) but rather reflects what I want in a review when I am buying. (Although with Proust, as one of the most influential and celebrated writers of the twentieth century, surely there is already enough critical and literary commentary to satisfy any desire for further knowledge, making a review of his work somewhat redundant here?)

Anyway, Penguin Classics 2003 edition of The Way by Swann’s, part of the whole: In Search of Lost Time series by Marcel Proust. I chose this edition to start reading Proust after extensively researching the history of the translation of Proust into English, and was therefore extremely happy when I found I could buy the first book of the series on Amazon. It is sold much cheaper than the stated price on the back of the book, and considering the rich enjoyment Proust brings, represents excellent value for money. It has the usual quality one associates with Penguin although the text is rather small -- understandable due to the scale of the novel and the extra sections that need to be included with Proust, ie. Translator notes, general editor notes, general notes, synopsis etc.

One particularly pleasing aspect of these mint green Modern Classics editions is their methodical layout. The cover art is presented as a band across the book cover, leaving space for the individual title and series title, which for me personally, is a joy. It may seem fussy, but there is something rather fitting in the wordy organisation of the massive whole, that lends itself beautifully to Proust. I think taken together, these collected editions as In Search of Lost Time will look fantastic on the bookshelf. As I already mentioned, above, I had already done my research on the translations, so the fact that these books are also beautiful and a joy to read is just a fortuitous bonus; that they are also available on Amazon, and cheap, simply makes them perfect.

However, although seemingly perfect, should you consider buying this first volume, with a view to reading Proust in his entirety via this collection, then it is important to know that the second volume is not available on Amazon -- which I found out, much to my chagrin, after finishing the first. It is listed, but out of stock (and seemingly has been for a while). To compound this, unscrupulous sellers seem to be capitalising on this by offering second-hand copies at exorbitant prices. In the end, I managed to locate and buy a used copy from a book shop (peculiarly) in Paris for a reasonable price. However, it turns out that the Modern Classics editions sold here, are in fact, a reprint. The original 2003 Penguin Classics editions (which my copy of volume two is) are different in design. Though this in no way diminishes the joy of reading Proust it is a little annoying, and, more importantly, is something to bear in my mind when buying this edition. I have attached a picture comparing the editions in case anyone is interested.

If you enjoyed this review, and have similar literary tastes to me, then I have reviewed other works on Amazon in a similar manner.
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7 people found this helpful
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S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars In Search of Lost Time: The Way by Swann's
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 February 2015
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49 people found this helpful
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Justerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Mainly about the kindle version
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 June 2015
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9 people found this helpful
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