Title: Madame Bovary
Author: Gustave Flaubert
Narrator: Kate Reading
Pages: 384 pages
Year: Original – 1856 | Edition – 2010
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Source: Personal Collection
Book Rating: 1.5/5
Audio Rating: 4/5
Charles Bovary had a tough childhood but he eventually becomes a doctor anyway. Sort of. He gets married to a girl but he falls for another. Lucky for him, Madame Bovary number one dies and he can marry Madame Bovary number two. But, she’s not quite as crazy about him as he is about her. And she feels pretty stifled in her country life. So she cheats on him. A lot. And it doesn’t end well.
Ugh. This book. I don’t get it – why are we still reading this?
Perhaps I am not intelligent or cultured or patient enough to appreciate how amazing this novel is. The wikipedia entry for Madame Bovary states: “Long established as one of the greatest novels ever written, the book has often been described as a “perfect” work of fiction.”
I can understand why, at the time it was written, this book would have been shocking. But how can it still be so widely read and highly regarded 150 years later?
It’s boring. I actually have no idea how a book about adultery can be this boring. I was listening to this one when I was training for my 10k and it actually made my long runs even worse.
Beyond the fact that it is really boring and the characters were miserable companions for 14 hours of my life, I don’t have much else to say. If you want my opinion, find another classic to read. If you want an adulteress, go with Anna Karenina – it’s well worth the additional pages.
The audiobook was fine. I have no complaints. And I certainly wouldn’t have finished this thing in print.