In Search of Lost Time - Marcel Proust
John Thirlwell's Desert Island Companion
I first read In Search of Lost Time over three summers staying not very far from Cabourg/Balbec. I knew Paris well, so that superficially I was on familiar ground. What hooked me, though, was not familiarity, but the infinitely various world of Proust's imagination and the lives of the characters which people it. Hooked as well by the mastery of his prose - the brilliant pictures he paints, the rhythms of music and life he describes and last, but above all else, his superlative style - all combining in one glorious symphony. I demand of a book that it sweeps me into its world. On a desert island I would demand In Search of Lost Time.
Also chosen by Prunella Scales and Philip Ziegler
Extracted from The Folio Society, Castaways' Choice 2006