Saturday, September 05, 2009

50. MADAME BOVARY - Gustave Flaubert

I have spent more time considering the name play of the title character than the literary merits of this novel. Did he mean that she was "bovine" or a cow? Also, do publishers read the book before printing the cover? Seriously, it took me five Google pages to find a non-blonde Emma.

Sigh. I suppose I should review this book for those of you who care. Perhaps you skimmed the Cliff's Notes (kids, these were paper versions of items like Spark Notes) or skipped to the end. Whiny, spoiled Emma Bovary has a series of lovers. She kills herself at the end. Oops, sorry to spoil it. Um, spoiler? Is it too late?

Yes, I understand the historical importance of this book - Flaubert was sued after portions were released in serial form. In fact, he dedicates the book to his lawyer. I must have seen too many commercials for Doritos or Bud Light because most of the steamy sex scenes that sent women groping for the smelling salts were lost on me.

And Emma is a spoiled cow. Hmm... I wonder if he planned that.

2.0 out of 5.0 Brown Cows.


Lezlie said...

Yup. Emma needed a good slap. I know that's politically incorrect, but truth hurts. :-)


Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

You didn't want to talk much about the book, why? I saw your rating and it was low but I believe even if you didn't enjoy it you could have talked about it and rated it low giving your reasons.

Pete said...

Nana, her "spoiled cow" comment suggests that Emma's character was so thoroughly unsympathetic that it prevented Kristin from fully engaging with the book. At least that was my reaction to the book - in fact, there isn't a sympathetic character in the entire book.

Kristin Dodge said...

Pete was more eloquent, but, yeah, that's about it. ;-)

Anonymous said...

First of all, Kristin, I've read this book and I think you're being more (or less?) unfair to it - than you should be... But, what can you ask from somebody who reads a book in 2.4 days (that's calculated from reading 150 books a year, which you mention on the home page of your blog).
Hm, I wonder if I should take advice from such a person... Let me think again... Ehm, nope!

VV said...

What a brilliant review! I really like your blogs, very funny! Please don't take negative comments too seriously, there are many of us enjoying your posts! xxx

Kristin Dodge said...

Thanks to VV - you are welcome to share my cocktails anytime.

Anonymous, I *would* recommend reading the bio more closely next time, but anyone who criticizes under anonymous bitchery is too much of a coward. Yes, I have trackback and ID, so I know who you are; however, I am surprised that you did not discuss the book. Should I take advice from such a person? Ehm, nope!

illahee said...

I too read this novel because it was a classic, but found it somewhat anachronistic.

A much better 'related' read was Julian Barnes' "Flaubert's Parrot".

Also, if you enjoy short stories then "A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters" (actually 11 short stories) by Julian Barnes is excellent.