Top 10 Books by Marcel Proust

 

Marcel Proust, born I 1871 in Paris was and continues to be one among the widely read authors today and in the course of his lifetime, has produced several seminal masterpieces including the one on “remembrance of things past”. While he moved in high society, Proust was nevertheless reviled for his sexual orientation and as a result, became more of a recluse. This list contains some of this best works to date

 

Swann’s way

This is a seminal masterpiece by Marcel Proust, one that manages to capture the essence of memories and the impact that they have on your daily lives. The book also provides a closer look at Marcel and his lifelong and inherent fear of the dark which becomes a pivot around which Marcel builds his narrative. This is one of his best works which is why it hogs the top spot as one of the top 10 books of Marcel Proust

Read it For:
This book is a must-read for all literature students; from the vivid imagery used to the descriptive phrases with which Marcel builds the narrative makes this an enjoyable book to read
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Marcel Proust, you would definitely want to sit this one out
What makes this book stand out?:
Marcel’s turn of phrase and the vivid imagery used makes this book a seminal masterpiece

In the search of young girls in flower

This book, the second in the series that deals with Marcel’s memories deal with adolescence. The story kicks off as Marcel starts to recall his childhood and his distant past in a rather memorable scene. This book was beautifully developed with a central narrative and manages to grip you right from the beauty in the opening scene to the disastrous ending which lends it a poignant touch. This book stands out as one of Marcel Proust’s bestsellers

Read it For:
for the vivid descriptions and the narrative that just flows along
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Marcel then you may want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
The poignant tale of growing up that allows you to relate to the book on a whole new level

The Guermantes Way

The third book in the lost time series, picks up as Marcel enters Parisian high society and offers you a glimpse into life in Paris at the turn of the century. This book provides a closer look at Marcel’s beginnings as an author and the decisions he made that had a resounding impact on his life and his work. The literary richness of Proust’s prose comes to the fore, painting vivid scenes as he continues to build the narrative. This is why this book is considered to be one of Marcel Proust best books

Read it For:
rich prose, vivid imagery, and a beautiful narrative
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Marcel, then you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the richness of Marcel’s prose

Sodom and Gomorrah

This novel which is also part of the lost in time series manages to paint a rather risqué yet vivid picture of Parisian society and its decadent lifestyle. Marcel was gay and yet he managed to paint a rather accurate picture of the underlying sexual current that continues to define modern society as a whole with sexual jealousy often playing a key role. This novel manages to capture the essence of sexual frustration perfectly and builds on the same. This book does stand out for all the right reasons which is why it is considered to be one of Marcel Proust’s best books.

Read it For:
a closer look at Parisian society
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Marcel then you may want to avoid this book
What makes this book stand out?:
vivid and rather enthralling descriptions and a good narrative
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Time regained

The last volume in the lost in time series showcases Paris during the first world war and the impact of the same on Paris and its people. Marcel’s lost in time series, happens to be a game changer and is one of the few books that charted a different method of presenting one’s narrative. The last volume recounts the war and the resulting impact on Parisian lifestyle, jealousies, human nature at its best and worst.

Read it For:
The final conclusion to the lost in time series
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Marcel, then you would want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the brilliant narrative, vivid imagery used which makes this book stand out as one of Marcel Proust’s bestsellers

Pleasure and days

This book is a collection of some of the best poems written by Proust during his early days as a writer. Apart from poems, this book also contains short narratives which paint a rather beautiful and poignant take on human life as a whole. This book was developed during Marcel’s early years before he made the move to become a full-fledged author and writer. The book stands out as a seminal masterpiece and as one of Marcel Proust’s best sellers.

Read it For:
One of Proust’s early works, vibrant and enthralling at the same time
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Proust you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
beautiful prose and outstanding poems

The Lemoine affair

The Lemoine affair is based on a real scandal which made the book all the more in demand when it was first published.  This is Marcel Proust as never seen before, with dazzling wit, wordplay that makes you ache for more. The story takes place at the beginning of the century when most of the Parisian society was scammed by a conman and the rest of the story revolves around the aftermath of the scandal. A classic Proust and a must read for all Proust lovers out there as it stands out as one of the top 10 Marcel Proust books

Read it For:
amazing wit, beautiful prose and wonderfully written
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Proust, then you may want to give this a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
the way Proust developed the narrative which makes you want more of the same; a riveting read

Jean Santeuil

With this book, Marcel manages to recreate his childhood memories, of cheese and plump red strawberries, of close connections long lost and long walks. This book even though not a part of the lost in time series is built along the same lines. The beautiful prose and visceral imagery that Proust had used in this book makes it stand out as one of the top 10 Marcel Proust books

Read it For:
Enthralling read from start to finish
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into marcel Proust then you may want to give this book a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
vivid imagery, great narrative

The complete short stories

This book contains all the short stories developed by Proust and even contains six additional ones that had not been published before. The book showcases Proust at his creative best from whimsical settings to more convoluted modern settings, each story is thoroughly enjoyable to read from start to finish. It is no wonder that this book stands out as one of the top 10 Marcel Proust books

Read it For:
for Proust’s interminable wit and style
Don't Read it For:
if you are not into Proust then you would definitely need to give this one a miss
What makes this book stand out?:
rich prose which makes for an enthralling read

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