The 14-Minute Marcel Proust
For the paperback, go here; for the Kindle e-book, go here (also available at Amazon's European and Japanese stores)

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Presque magique!

A la recherche du temps perdu cover As a monoglot American, I'm naturally more interested in the quality of the dueling translations of A la recherche du temps perdu, but this particular book caught my eye. For anyone with a Kindle reader (or willing to download one of the free Kindle apps), it's a reasonably priced, French-language, digital edition of Proust's masterwork that wasn't simply ripped from the Gutenberg Project. The work was done by Luc Deborde, who operates a very fine digital publishing enterprise on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia. Ain't it a wonderful world we live in? The book is available on some other platforms, but they are mostly unfamiliar to me, so I will limit my links to the various Amazon stores. The price in the U.S. is an incredible $3.50, a bit higher elsewhere.

  • United States

  • Britain

  • Japan

  • Germany and some other German-speaking countries

  • France

  • Spain

  • Italy
  • For more about the Kindle reader, go here.

    Since I don't feel qualified to review the French edition, here are two reader comments from Amazon.com:

    "Wow, well done. The complete set (in French) plus all kinds of info like lists of characters, places, a section that puts events in historical context and more. Comes with an interactive table of contents and photographs. I'm really impressed. A great use of the ebook format at a superb price. I'm not French, so I use a French dictionary to help me along. I was surprised to find out that the French Dictionary I have--if not all lexicons (Dictionnaire Electronique du Francais, Lucas Nicolato) works with it automatically. You just get it and put it on your Kindle and voila, the Proust connected to it when needed. I have the Kindle Keyboard--if that matters, I don't know."

    "Le meilleur c'est que vous pouvez (si vous n'etes pas Francais) avoir a votre portee un dictionnaire (Kindle - Archived Items) pour chercher les mots que vous ne savez pas. De plus, lire Proust en francais - c'est presque ... magique. Un livre numerique d'excellent qualite."

    I especially like M. Deborde's artful use of paintings to illustrate the book. Proust's characters often think in terms of paintings, as with Vermeer's "View of Delft":

    View of Delft