What did you think of Le Grand Meaulnes? I’m about 30pages in. I keep suggesting it for the book group in order to help me progress with it, but no takers yet!
I enjoyed it. It was one of the first French books I read, so it might be worthwhile to go back and re-read it now that I'm more fluent. It was really popular during the first Super Challenge, possibly because there were public-domain dual-language copies that we passed around. I'll link to those below.
I'd definitely recommend it for French readers. The Book Club is more challenging, because you'd want books with more universal appeal. I'm not sure how well Le Grand Meaulnes would work in translation.
Carmody wrote:Many thanks for taking the time to list all the books you have read. I liked especially your summaries or comments on the books.
If you get a chance would it be possible for you to note on your list which books you would highly recommend for us to read? For myself, I am from now on grading all the books that I post here so that people will have an idea what I think of it. Such as 8/10 or 3/10. If people note they really like a book then the chances are I might as well.
I tried doing that, but got stuck. Literature is so subjective. For someone like Proust, I'd give his books a 10/10 and also a 3/10. I hated Marc Levy, and would give him a 1/10 ... but he's insanely popular & people who like the romance genre love him. Whereas I'd give Jean Genet a 10/10 ... but his writing is definitely not for everyone.
MorkTheFiddle wrote:I carved out above the novels that I have read over a number of years. Here are my thumbnail assessments.
Le comte de Monte-Cristo. The comte took so long to escape prison that I lost interest and quit reading.
À la recherche. I agree with your assessment, except, if you hear it read by a professional reader, it is marvelous.
Le roi de fer. Read it twice, just because it's fun. But got bogged down in La reine étranglée. I have the set in hard bound copies.
Les misérables. Yes, Way too dull to finish, but I may have to give an audiobook a try, if there is one.
Just some follow up to your follow-up:
Le comte de Monte-Cristo - I read this in part, and listened to an audiobook in part. There's an even longer slog after he gets out of prison that was hard to get to, but once Dumas puts all the pieces in place the book is amazing. Too bad the reader has work through hundreds of pages of world-building to get to the best parts.
À la recherche - This sounds like it would be intimidating on audiobook. You didn't get lost in his stream-of-conscious digressions?
Le roi de fer - Some day I might get to the third book.
Lysander wrote:Did many of you use dual-readers before reading things exclusively in French? My library has a decent number of options (half a dozen) of those. But part of me thinks I should just buy a Kindle book in French and start reading since Kindle's have a built in dictionary.
I am unsure where a good place to start would be. I have heard Le Petit Prince has some archaic and surprisingly complex grammar in it.
It is just hard to know a wise way to start. I feel like reading engaging things and having the steeper learning curve makes more sense than reading a bunch of books for children first.
I started with dual-language texts, and they were super useful for the first couple months, but quickly found the format too distracting. I ended up using the dual-language pdf as a back up for hard passages, but not as my main text. When I finally bought a kindle it opened up a whole new world of literature.
I uploaded some dual-language texts onto my Google Drive. These are all public domain works that folks shared on the old HTLAL forum. Any of these would be a good place to start!
Françoise Sagan - Bonjour tristesse
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - Vol de nuit
André Gide -L'immoraliste
Alain-Fournier - Le grand Meaulnes
Marguerite Yourcenar -Mémoires d'Hadrien