Madame Bovary [Audiobook Review]

Title: Madame Bovary
Author: Gustave Flaubert
Narrator: Kate Reading
Genre: Classic
Pages: 384 pages
Audio: 13.8
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.

My Thoughts:

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 disagree.


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.

Audiobook Thoughts:

The audiobook was fine. I have no complaints. And I certainly wouldn’t have finished this thing in print.

3 thoughts on “Madame Bovary [Audiobook Review]

  1. Iris June 12, 2014 / 4:22 pm

    I am sorry for being superficial but I love that the narrator of this book is called “Kate Reading”. I don’t dislike Madame Bovary but have never *loved* it as many do. I always feel I am the one at fault though.. And so it is a constant on the list of books that I feel I must try again..


  2. chrisbookarama June 12, 2014 / 8:30 pm

    I read this but I can’t remember much other than Emma was annoying and shallow, And pretty stupid. And the way she ended…ugh.


  3. Vishy June 14, 2014 / 3:36 am

    Sorry to know that you didn’t like ‘Madame Bovary’, Michelle. 1.5 stars – I have never seen you rate a book so low. It must have been a really disappointing reading experience. I have always wanted to read this book and I hope to read it one day. Whenever I do, I will come back and read your review again and see whether I agree with you. Hope you enjoy your next book more.


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