Customer Reviews for

Madame Bovary: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Average Rating 3.5
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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.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 September 25, 2003

    I recommend it

    If you are interested in people and why they do what they do this book lets you observe, and analyze. There is a reason why this is a classic and why so many movies had been made based on the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2003

    Madame Bovary -- Not Such An Innocent Woman

    I attempted to read Madame Bovary twice before my initial reading of the entire novel; I was on vacation on a small island off of Massachusetts coast. None of Flaubert's novels are vacation novels, let me inform you. They are well written, thought out, and don't fail to hide anything. All is revealed in Madame Bovary, as is the same for many other Flaubert novels. I loved the English version of Madame Bovary so much I picked up the French version and read it in its entirety, too. Furthermore, Madame Bovary is considered a 'classic' novel simply because Gustave Flaubert was one of the first in European History to expose to the public the 'real issues' in society -- hence his labeling as a realist. He, among other realists, didn't fail to present literature exposing poverty, depression, suicide, adultery, and other 'issues' previous writers had chose to keep hidden. Flaubert's writing is real. It's genuine. I suggest reading Madame Bovary with a clear head and heart. It may appear challening, but it is well worth the time and energy. I read it over six months ago, for pure leisure, and it still sticks with me today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2002

    Bovary rules

    I simply can't believe me eyes when I read some of the other reviews. One reader gives Flaubert's masterpiece one star, and then recommends a Nabokov novel, stating that this book is "utterly unrelated" to Madame Bovary. Nabokov once called Bovary "the unsurpassed star of French literature". Since we're quotating here, let me give you one of Oscar Wilde: "There are no such things as moral or immoral books, books are well written, or not well written". This, dear readers, is the whole point. If one says the story of Emma's lovelife is quite dull, I can fully agree on that..but again, this is the whole point! In his correspondance, Flaubert made clear he played with the idea of writing a book about 'nothing', a book that would only survive thanks to the suberb style. Bovary stands as a giant because of the style in which it's written. Furthermore, another reason why this book is my favourite of all times, is that the writer draws no conclusions. Homeros didn't draw conclusions, Goethe didn't, Flaubert didn't, even the Bible didn't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2000

    A Suggestion for readers!

    For the readers who have enjoyed this book, I urge you to read the Awakening by Kate Chopin. It is like this book, also leaving you glued to it, yet the ending is kind sad.

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