Customer Reviews for

Madame Bovary: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Average Rating 3.5
( 126 )
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(42)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Tragic and Passionate

Madame Bovary is a story of passion, adventure, and desire as Emma Bovary is a young woman filled with romantic fantasies and in need of great excitement however she finds herself bored in a dull relationship. She takes these desires and indulges them in a series of af...
Madame Bovary is a story of passion, adventure, and desire as Emma Bovary is a young woman filled with romantic fantasies and in need of great excitement however she finds herself bored in a dull relationship. She takes these desires and indulges them in a series of affairs. Gustave Flaubert¿s imagery and symbolism throughout the novel characterize Emma, and the tone of the book changes as much as Emma¿s personality and mood. Towards the beginning of the novel, the reader will feel sympathy for Emma due to the lack of attention from her husband, Charles however, one cannot help but to grow a disliking and annoyance of Emma as she desperately throws herself at other men for attention and treats her caring, kind husband harshly. Flaubert emphasizes the importance of the choices one makes and how they will affect you sooner or later, whether it be lying to a spouse or pushing away the one¿s that truly love you. Emma finds herself alone, desperate, and full of melancholy as her tangled web of lies create more problems, getting her deeper and deeper into trouble. Though the ending is depressing, it brings an uplifting feeling that shows Charles¿s never ending love for Emma and warns the reader of the hardships deceit can bring. Madame Bovary is interesting and full of an excitement that keep the pages turning, and though it isn¿t my favorite book, it is good novel that gives an insight in life and teaches a great lesson of human folly.

posted by Anonymous on November 7, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Good for the wrong reasons

I have put off reading this for years, having listened to others absolutely salivate over it. I find the heroine devoid of anything that commands interest or respect. People comment on how controversial Flaubert was on writing about adultery the way he does-however, ho...
I have put off reading this for years, having listened to others absolutely salivate over it. I find the heroine devoid of anything that commands interest or respect. People comment on how controversial Flaubert was on writing about adultery the way he does-however, how dangerous is it really to give a character come-uppance by poisoning her for her two affairs? Ooh! Flaubert, if you wanted to really frighten people, how about making one of her affairs into a happy relationship with no regrets and let Charles die anyway? It's a cautionary tale however you look at it-working people, get above your station and this is what happens... Emma, get over it. You don't have to rise at 5 to plough the land and milk the cows, as would have been your fate as a farm girl. You have a secure home, a little girl, (although you show pathological indifference, you sometimes show flashes that you care for her),and a husband that adores you. Channel your imagination into something other than wasted fantasies. No matter how pathetic a woman is,and we've all met them, she inevitably finds something to do with her life. This is not a convincing portrayal of depression either, if that's what the defenders of this novel would argue. However, I was utterly charmed by the minutiae of country life, the petty things upon which people placed importance, the pictures of the land, the food, the traditions. Truly the highlight of the book. Also flawed is the way that the reader is catapulted into how the heroine feels-we are expected to understand and if not sympathise, at least relate. there is no slow build-up. The reminiscings about the convent are wasted too-so, she refinds religion later, as a nod to her forgotten childhood? Weak.

posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2007

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Don't bother with other translations...

    I have read "Madame Bovary" in the original more than once, and have read two other translations of the text. Lydia Davis's is by far the best. She makes available to the reader of English what Flaubert's intent--not just his words. Wonderful and eye-opening!

    "Madame Bovary" is a true world classic and deserves every reader's attention.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    Tragic and Passionate

    Madame Bovary is a story of passion, adventure, and desire as Emma Bovary is a young woman filled with romantic fantasies and in need of great excitement however she finds herself bored in a dull relationship. She takes these desires and indulges them in a series of affairs. Gustave Flaubert¿s imagery and symbolism throughout the novel characterize Emma, and the tone of the book changes as much as Emma¿s personality and mood. Towards the beginning of the novel, the reader will feel sympathy for Emma due to the lack of attention from her husband, Charles however, one cannot help but to grow a disliking and annoyance of Emma as she desperately throws herself at other men for attention and treats her caring, kind husband harshly. Flaubert emphasizes the importance of the choices one makes and how they will affect you sooner or later, whether it be lying to a spouse or pushing away the one¿s that truly love you. Emma finds herself alone, desperate, and full of melancholy as her tangled web of lies create more problems, getting her deeper and deeper into trouble. Though the ending is depressing, it brings an uplifting feeling that shows Charles¿s never ending love for Emma and warns the reader of the hardships deceit can bring. Madame Bovary is interesting and full of an excitement that keep the pages turning, and though it isn¿t my favorite book, it is good novel that gives an insight in life and teaches a great lesson of human folly.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Classic

    Emma Bovary believes love and marriage are supposed to be like a flowery romance novel, and is she in for disappointment! She expects marriage to a doctor to provide her with all the adoration and frivolities she desires, but finds that real life can never live up to her fantasies. She involves herself in affairs to fill the emptiness at the expense of a man who truly adores her. She is an actress, the stage is her actual life, and her end is like a tragic heroine...just like she wanted! Amazing cautionary tale, even in the 21st century!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    Anon

    Do not download!! Book is incomplete.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2007

    Good for the wrong reasons

    I have put off reading this for years, having listened to others absolutely salivate over it. I find the heroine devoid of anything that commands interest or respect. People comment on how controversial Flaubert was on writing about adultery the way he does-however, how dangerous is it really to give a character come-uppance by poisoning her for her two affairs? Ooh! Flaubert, if you wanted to really frighten people, how about making one of her affairs into a happy relationship with no regrets and let Charles die anyway? It's a cautionary tale however you look at it-working people, get above your station and this is what happens... Emma, get over it. You don't have to rise at 5 to plough the land and milk the cows, as would have been your fate as a farm girl. You have a secure home, a little girl, (although you show pathological indifference, you sometimes show flashes that you care for her),and a husband that adores you. Channel your imagination into something other than wasted fantasies. No matter how pathetic a woman is,and we've all met them, she inevitably finds something to do with her life. This is not a convincing portrayal of depression either, if that's what the defenders of this novel would argue. However, I was utterly charmed by the minutiae of country life, the petty things upon which people placed importance, the pictures of the land, the food, the traditions. Truly the highlight of the book. Also flawed is the way that the reader is catapulted into how the heroine feels-we are expected to understand and if not sympathise, at least relate. there is no slow build-up. The reminiscings about the convent are wasted too-so, she refinds religion later, as a nod to her forgotten childhood? Weak.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2013

    Phenomenal Translation

    I was reading a free (or nearly free) public domain version of this classic novel on my Nook but got tired of the stilted and awkward translation. I eventually switched to the Lydia Davis translation and am very glad I did. This translation really makes the novel come alive for readers in English. Flaubert was a groundbreaking novelist whose work still resonates today - this translation makes that clear.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    Read this on college

    Read this book years ago and quite frankly detested the book. I almost gave up but i persevered and the ending was most satisfying in that it was over.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Make sure you get either the Geoffrey Wall translation or the la

    Make sure you get either the Geoffrey Wall translation or the latest, Lydia Davis'. I don't see why Barnes & Noble makes it so difficult to find different versions of the same book. I added them as recommendations so you should be able to click on the image to the left to find the better translations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Loved on a 2nd Chance

    I read this my sophomore year and hated it, but I read it again my junior year and was surprisingly impressed. Flaubert paints an excellent portrait of a woman spiraling out of control on her own terms, in a sense, empowering women. Emma Bovary is her own decision maker and suffers her own consequences for it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Hey faith

    Can you write about jb having sex and blojobs and stuff with brooklyn?please?:)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Hi fath

    Can u write one about having sex

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Not the full book

    This is just a sample of the novel and not the full book--was not advertised as sample only.

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    A strong woman before they were allowed to be strong

    I read this in high school and again I love reading tales of strong women although her tale is not wholesome it allowed her an unhear of freedom most were not allowed to experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Boring

    You'd think a bpok about adultery would be more interesting. This book is like 30% adultery and drama, 70% boring descriptions of rural life and long drawn out conversations that have nothing to do with anything. I'm literally counting down the pages until i'm done with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    better than the awakening

    good read worth your time

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    highly recommended

    arrived on time and in great condition

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Do not buy

    An unreadable translation

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    Student Review

    Madame Bovary, written by Gustave Flaubert, tells the story of a young woman, Emma Rouault, who is in search of a romantic life of love and luxurious material wealth. The novel follows Emma from her life on the family farm, to her marriage to Doctor Charles Bovary. At first Emma feels that she has realized her dream life when marrying Charles, but after attending a high society ball she was exposed to a lofty style of living and came to find her married life insufficient. In search of her fantasy life, Emma began frivolously spending money and giving in to passionate lovers neglecting both her husband and daughter, Brethe.

    Overall this novel was a stimulating and enjoyable read. The story of Emma is tragic, but the selfishness she exhibited throughout the novel caused me to dislike her. The fact that she knowingly caused harm to her husband and child in order to fulfill her personal whims is atrocious and irresponsible. However, Emma's egotistical acts kept me intrigued and made it difficult to stop reading.

    Flaubert's writing style increased my enjoyment of the novel, with deep figurative language used to depict the settings within the story. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2004

    Outstanding literature

    I was surprised by the mixed reviews of this classic novel. A beautifully written, character driven story, about a woman who searches in vain for the happiness and fulfillment she feels has eluded her. It's quite possibly one of the best novels that I've ever read. If you're a 'fast' reader, you may need to keep a slow and steady pace to fully enjoy the story, however, you won't be sorry for it. Flawless, amazing, a novel not to be missed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2004

    Don't Bother

    This book wasn't even worth it there are better books than this to spend your time reading. I always give books a fair shot in case they get better as they go along, but this one went absolutely nowhere. In truth, there were only one or two decent worthwile lines in the whole book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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