Juliet Stevenson brings the text to life. The book is long so a good audio book version is super important. With the free Librivox versions it's very hit and miss !
This beautiful book was cut back so drastically, it lost too much. A waste of time.
I realize this is considered one of the best books ever, but I just could not get into it. I only lasted about 30 minutes and dropped it.
For what is supposed to be one of France's most meaningful novel, I was not exceedingly impressed.
I assume that the popularity of this work was based more upon the time of its publication. Ushering in a new period of thought, the people of France were moving away from romantic novels that "took them away" from the worries of life, and Flaubert's appeal may have been it "realism" and accurate description of what life was actually like with its hardships, etc.
Much of the novel was a depressing story and an unhappy ending. I did enjoy a concurrent study of the author's life, which helped to explain his treatment of women in the novel and direction the book went.
Still, recommended. I would be interested in finding other novel of French background that are "classic works".