Library Ed. BBC Audiobooks America 2008
CD ISBN 978-0-7927-5260-8 $110.95 Twelve CDs
DD ISBN multiple sources
There’s much to admire in this production, yet it’s difficult to recommend. Its pace, more leaden than leisurely, is only the most obvious problem. Narrator Ronald Pickup skillfully distinguishes each character, but he invests the same energy in describing the agricultural fair as he does in delivering Emma's intimate conversations. Madame Bovary is considered a masterpiece in part because of Flaubert's command of detail, but here Pickup is so entranced with the minutiae that he loses his balance. His main characters are crudely drawn, especially the manipulative Rodolphe, in sad contrast to the lovely miniatures he so deftly paints of the village inhabitants. After a while, a mere coatrack can seem heavy with portent, and the listener feels the storyteller has lost sight of Emma's story—perhaps even of Emma herself. J.L.B. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2008]
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