Customer Reviews for

Madame Bovary (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Genius Work Exposing Human Frailty & Cautionary Tale of Poor Judgement

Charles, Madame Bovary's husband, is not the brightest of creatures, but he dearly loves his wife, puts her on a pedastal, and indulges her by giving her whatever she wants. Although she repays his loyalty and quiet devotion with emotional, financial and physical ruin,...
Charles, Madame Bovary's husband, is not the brightest of creatures, but he dearly loves his wife, puts her on a pedastal, and indulges her by giving her whatever she wants. Although she repays his loyalty and quiet devotion with emotional, financial and physical ruin, his love is steadfast, pure and true. The title is 'Madame Bovary' but the real hero is her sweet kind husband Charles and, to a lesser extent her child, Berthe, who loves her mother unconditionally despite the fact that her mother hardly seems to truly care about anyone but herself. I have heard that one mark of great literature is that its value changes with a reader in direct relationship to the reader's life circumstances and experience. To a very young reader growing up in a time when cell phones, the Internet, and Nintendo are all old school inventions, this book may seem irrelevant. It makes sense that the very young may have extreme difficulty relating. However, given the maturity, serious study and reflection on human interactions, emotions, and the ability to foresee consequences, a more experienced reader and lifelong student will find themes that transcend the test of time. (Such as self-control, generosity of heart, the consequences of infidelity and other forms of impulsivity, loneliness, boredom, what makes a person ordinary vs. extraordinary, etc.) Which brings me to another point I understand about great literature: it stands the test of time. Written in 1857, then banned in France for 'offenses against public morals and religion' then later considered brilliant by his peers and great writers that followed, this book very easily fits into the category of 'great literature.' Like others have said, if one will only SLOW DOWN and deeply consider each event and how it relates to other events both in the book and in present-day reality, one can find great lessons on morality and the human condition that transcend time. (These same things may be said about many other great works, such as any number of those by Shakespeare.) Yes, one can learn a great deal about humanity in this book, if it is given the fair chance it deserves. And hey, if you get little from it now, don't write it off forever--revisit it in 5 or 10 years and see if this book says something different to you then. A marvelous classic!!! Flaubert was a genius!

posted by Anonymous on October 6, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Madame Boring

I don't see how this book can be deemed one of the best novels ever written. It was a long snooze fest until about half way through the book. So if you can make it to half way you will start liking it! However, even past the half way point I found this book dull and som...
I don't see how this book can be deemed one of the best novels ever written. It was a long snooze fest until about half way through the book. So if you can make it to half way you will start liking it! However, even past the half way point I found this book dull and sometimes predictable. It's not really about anything except a wife who cheats on her husband with different 'lovers'. The only thing I'm happy about is that I get to check this off my list of classics to read, but this is definitely not one I'll be re-reading!

posted by readingissexy23 on May 3, 2010

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