LE GRAND MEAULNES (The Wanderer)
Read by John Hollingworth
6 hours 57 minutes
He says little about his adventure on his return. But François eventually discovers that Meaulnes stumbled upon a strange party held at an unknown chateau, and became enmeshed in the lives of the beautiful young Yvonne de Galais and her brother Frantz. Love, confusion, the urgency of young passion propels these three along unpredictable paths, observed anxiously by François, who desperately wants to help solve and resolve the mysteries. But Meaulnes and Frantz are driven by their own emotions along a trajectory which is anything but simple and straight. Le Grand Meaulnes, regarded by John Fowles as ‘the greatest novel of adolescence in European literature’ has cast a remarkable spell on successive generations of readers. In turn elliptical, impressionist, hopeful, haunting, Le Grand Meaulnes made an immediate impression on the French public when it was first published in 1913 (a year before its author died in the First World War) and swiftly gained a permanent place in European literature. The translation by Françoise Delisle has been revised for this recording read with style by John Hollingworth.
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Hollingworth maintains a balance between the apparent closeness and the real distance between them. He also varies his tempo more than most narrators, and uses this powerfully. This is a wonderfully accessible introduction to a book that deserves a wider audience. For more reviews click here…