Novel Conversations is a podcast summarizing the world’s greatest works of classic literature: in 35 minutes you get the whole story from cover to cover. (If SparkNotes had an audio best friend, it would be us!) In each episode, Frank Lavallo hosts two readers, and the three of them give their reactions to the story and read their favorite passages along the way. Each episode features Endnotes by Ted Schwartz, a segment with interesting facts about the author.

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“Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert

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S5 Ep 2

Host: Frank Lavallo

Readers: Katie Smith and Peter Toomey

Author: Gustave Flaubert

Year of Publication: 1856

Plot: In nineteenth-century France, the daughter of a country squire Emma, marries a dull country doctor, Charles Bovary. To escape boredom, she throws herself into love affairs and runs up ruinous debts. As she finds some excitement attending balls, operas, and socializing with the upper echelons of French society, Madame Bovary - as expected - finds she cannot escape the doldrums of a passionless marriage.

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Transcript

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Frank: Hello and welcome. I'm Frank Lavallo and this is Novel Conversations. Each week on Novel Conversations, I talk to two readers about one book; and together we summarize the story for you, the listeners. We introduce you to the characters, we tell you what happens to them, and we read from the book along the way. So, if you love hearing a good story you're in the right place.

This novel conversation is about Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and I'll be joined in my conversation by our Novel Conversations readers, Katie Smith and Peter Toomey. Katie, Peter, welcome.

Katie: Thank you.

Peter: Thank you. It's good to be here.

Frank: I really appreciate you guys coming to have a conversation about Madame Bovary with me. Written by, as I said, Gustave Flaubert, was published in 1857; ofcourse published in French. What we're reading here is a translation. I have a brief summary here.

There's a lot in this novel and I'm certainly not going to be able to get all of it mentioned in a brief summary but I just want to set it up and kind of explain where we're going with this story. Charles Bovary is a country physician who after an unhappy first marriage, marries the daughter of a patient, Emma. Emma is eager to leave her father's dirty farm but finds marriage to be less romantic and satisfying than she expected. Charles is not a prince but a bumbling aging man, a good-hearted kind man, but doesn't quite meet all of Emma's expectations. Even at work he performs more like a veterinarian than a skilled surgeon. Indeed, when he and the local chemist attempt a new procedure on a patient with a clubfoot, the patient gets gangrene and eventually loses his leg. Disgusted with her life, Emma develops a relationship with Leone Depew, a young lawyer, she refuses to sleep with him but after he leaves town she regrets that decision. She then meets another ne'er do well Rudolf Boulanger. He's a wealthy landowner in the area and he seduces Emma to pass his time. They have a brief but passionate affair.

Eventually Boulanger abandons her and Emma returns to Leone. This time giving into their mutual passion. Her affair has an air of desperation. She soon exhausts her limited funds on trips to visit her lover and love gifts, knowing that her husband will soon discover her affair when their financial situation is revealed, Emma eventually overdoses on arsenic and dies miserably. Doesn't sound like a very fun story, but it was a great read. It's a tragedy that unravels itself slowly over time. Katie was that a satisfactory summary for you?

Katie: It's a tragedy that does unravel from the very start. At the opening of the novel, you know this poor man, Charles, will be headed for his own tragedy. What we don't know is how it's going to come about. And, of course, then Emma is introduced and we know that she will be the vehicle of his tragedy.

Frank: Peter did you sense the impending tragedy from the very beginning as Katie did?

Peter: I think so, there's dark overtones right from the beginning; mentions of death and things like that particularly on a rereading. This is a book that is easy to reread. It's a pleasure to reread so much as foreshadowed each step of the way. It's a very tightly knit novel.

Frank: Peter you mentioned that this was a good reread. Tell me a little bit about your reading history with this novel.

Peter: I first read this, and that's not a fair statement to say, I read it when I was probably about 20 years old … didn't like it at all. Not at all.

Frank: Did you have to read it at 20?

Peter: Probably. And maybe that added to why I didn't like it as well. But I had just bad memories of it. The writing, particularly, I didn't think the plot held much. Then for this session, I reread it again and the plot came to me. I just enjoyed the plot more, and again, the writing you have to enjoy. It's just such an amazingly well-written novel. So, I first read it when I was 20. Now I'm fifty-nine. I'm looking forward to reading it 10 hopefully 20 years from now.

Frank: Great. Great. Katie, was this your first experience with the novel?

Katie: Well I have to confess. The first time I read it, what came across to me was the beauty of the language, which I still find amazing because we are reading a translation and you have to remember that I tend to forget it when I read Flaubert, of course I read it again before we actually discussed it and I found myself the second time more intrigued with the characters and finding myself walking with them maybe a little bit more closely than I did the first time.

Frank: So, you really had the same experiences as Peter did. It was the language and the beauty of it that caught you first but then certainly the story the plot and the characters hooked you.

Katie: Yes.

Peter: Yes.

Frank: Alright, great! I think with that we’ll start with a discussion on Charles Bovary. Of course, the title of the novel is Madam Bovary but it's really Charles who we meet first. This is where the actions starts. Katie, do you want to tell us a little bit about Charles?

Katie: We meet Charles as a 10-year old boy, entering a new school. You feel for this boy. He is embarrassed. He's painfully shy and what do the children do. What all children do. They tease the new boy. It pulls you in, right at that point.

Frank: Peter did you feel that way about Charles?

Peter: Yes. I hope we don't identify too closely with him though, because he (laughs), I think the modern term would be, he’s kind of a chum.

Frank: Country bumpkin maybe?

Peter: Yes, that's probably the better term, country bumpkin… certainly less than mediocre.

Frank: So, that's how we meet him. The next thing we know Charles is off to medical school about to take his medical exam.

Katie: Right. His mother decides that a career in medicine would be just what he needs.

Frank: Was that a successful decision?

Peter: Somewhat for Charles, not for his patients necessarily. He tries very hard at everything, he does, he tries very hard; but it's my impression the medical school and medical practice 150 years ago, is quite different than what we're used to. We call them in the translation, a doctor, but I think there are levels. I think he's some kind of health officer and that real doctors are certainly notches above him.

Katie: He can fix a leg but he can't perform surgery. He is barely competent, as a country doctor.

Frank: But also as a medical student he fails his first medical exams.

Peter: He was doing well, he was a good student, and then he had one brief period of trying to experience life a little bit: going to the café, et cetera and just stopped studying. And Charles, without studying, couldn’t get anywhere and he failed and then was told by his mother, he must study.

Frank: His mother made a lot of the early decisions for him, doesn't she, in this novel?

Katie: She makes the next important decision after choosing his career…

Frank: And that would be?

Katie: Who he is going to marry, and she chooses a person who would help his economic situation. And so she chooses for him a widow who is 45 years old. She is supposed to have some wealth and that is why.

Frank: And that's not a match made in heaven, is it Peter?

Peter: No, he tolerates it quite well; he doesn't complain. But certainly, the wife is the boss, the dominant figure and it's not a very joyful life for him.

Frank: In fact, Charles’ mother and his new wife get along somewhat better than Charles and his wife do. They find themselves to be birds of a feather, if not, they are comrades in arms.

Katie: In fact, Charles’ first wife resembles his mother very much.

Frank: So here he is, now he's got a new medical practice, married to a woman maybe 20 years his senior. She's holding all the purse strings in the relationship and then gets an emergency call goes out to see a patient. Peter you want to pick up the narrative from there?

Peter: Charles, in the middle of the night, gets up gets on his horse and goes out to help mend this leg. There he finds a very simple fracture much to his and his patients luck, mends that, and is impressed by the farmer's daughter; spends some time there helping the farmer hoping to get a good fee from the farmer because it's a wealthy farmer - it's more like a manner than a small farm - spends time with the father, gets along with him swimmingly, enjoys the daughter's company and it seems somewhat comfortable with her, but not really making overtures; he is not a flirt by any means. Charles keeps making trips out there to make sure that the legs okay and develops a increasing relationship with the daughter.

Frank: And Katie, we should mention, the farmer's daughter is our Emma Bovary.

Katie: Well, we don't know too much what Emma is thinking right now. But we do know Charles is falling in love with her.

Frank: Does Charles know that he's falling in love with her?

Katie: Ahhh, maybe it would be more precise to say that he would never act upon it. He certainly finds himself attracted to Emma; and what happens at this point is the widow experiences two blows: One, is the fact that she discovers that Charles has a soft spot for Emma, and the other is that she finds out that her lawyer had spent all her money. These two blows finish her off conveniently.

Frank: Conveniently for Charles?...

Katie: Yes for Charles, and I suppose for Emma, at least at the time.

Frank: Now of course Charles goes into an extended period of mourning, but the word gets out that he is now in need of a wife. Katie, before I marry off Charles and Emma, and send them off on their honeymoon, let's talk a little bit about Emma.

Katie: She comes armed with these ideals; these unrealistic expectations of life, of marriage, of the man she would like to marry. Part of it is because she was in a convent. Her tendencies to romanticism, are actually encouraged by being in an environment of a convent, and all the attendant trappings of religion.

Frank: Right. It was sort of fed by the pomp and circumstance of religion.

Katie: Exactly. Her expectations are exceedingly high. And it is at this point that she meets Charles.

Frank: And decides to run off and marry him?

Katie: Not quite. The actual arrangement of the marriage is made by Emma's father. I'm not sure about this; I don't know if he really wanted to ask her, herself. But the way it was done, Emma's father asked if she wanted to marry Charles.

Frank: I think the way that it worked was that Charles sort of intimated to the father, that he had an interest in Emma, and because he had only been a widower for, I believe, about seven or eight months at this time he really couldn't come out and propose. It’s the father who then says, ‘Don't worry I'll take care of Emma. I'll talk to Emma. You just stand outside the house.’ I think there's a night scene and the father says, ‘If I bang the shutters, you know you've gotten a good response. Come back in the morning…’ and in fact, that's what happens.

Peter: And it's a pattern we'll see with Charles, throughout, that he doesn't really make decisions. He always has people helping him and guiding him. People have to nudge him along for everything, and once they nudge him, he goes along.

Frank: We saw that with his mother pushing him on a career, pushing him to his first wife. Now he's got a father in law pushing him on to a new wife, and eventually, we're going to see the new wife push him on.

Katie: Right.

Frank: All right. So we've set up that Emma has some high expectations for her marriage. Are those expectations met?

Peter: Emma loves sensation. She loves to be excited about things and even when she's in the convent she's first in the class, but then tires of it. And the same with marriage, she enters into it with these expectations. I think it's within days, she's already has definite feelings of disappointment. ‘And should I have done this?’ and ‘where is this going?’

Frank: I have a line here that captures that feeling: ‘Before her marriage, she had thought that she had love within her grasp. But since the happiness which she had expected this love to bring her hadn't come, she supposed, she must have been mistaken and Emma tried to imagine just what was meant in life by the words: bliss, passion, and rapture; words that it seemed so beautiful to her in books, but we're not at all like the life she was now living.’

Frank: So those expectations couldn’t have been met. No matter what kind of man Charles had been. He would never have been able to meet those expectations. We only get a glimpse of her unhappiness during the early time of her marriage to Peter. When we really know there's gonna be problems, or at least, for me, when I realize tragedy was common in this novel was when they go to their first ball. Once he moves to the new town and sets up his practice he's invited to the land owners Manor for a ball. They go there for a weekend and Emma will never be the same again.

Katie: This ball was the absolute symbol of the wealth that she could never attain in her life because of who she chose to marry. Flaubert spends quite a bit of time telling you not only what the ballroom looks like, but he tells you about the people. If you remember one quick scene: A woman drops a note in to a gentlemen's hat, and this was an assignation that was going to be occurring at some point. Now, if Emma had been wealthy, she could have been unhappy in her marriage and had these lovers on the side like many of the wealthy people did. But she wasn't. So, she leaves the land owners mansion, and life is as dreary, or even more dreary, than when she went off to the ball.

Frank: But it wasn't just the ball itself that gave her this rapture; at the ball she meets this young man, and has a few dances with him, goes outside and drinks a little cider with him, and she likes the attention that she's being paid by these other men. It comes as an awakening to her, of all the things, that Charles will not be able to give to her.

Peter: She's a very pretty girl. That's what got her invited to the ball when the Count’s servant sees her and says, ‘Oh that's a pretty girl! She would fit in at this ball.’ At the ball, another young noble that’s dancing with her, flirting with her, same thing it’s because she's so pretty. She is certainly ready, willing and able to live that life. It's a very Hollywood life and Flaubert very much paints those lavish scenes like that.

Frank: And instead of appreciating her husband for his ability to get her to this point; to get her to this bar; to partake in the events that are happening in the manor, she now realizes is that, what she really wants, he will never be able to give it to her. And that's when I started to realize this is not going to end well.

Peter: And noticeably in our discussion, where is her husband? He just kind of stands there, leans against the pole, gets tired wants to go home, can't wait to go home; while she's living this flirtatious life.

Frank: And now let's focus on her flirtatious life. They go home again. Katie, as you said, she realizes that this is a drab and dreary existence she's gotten herself into. She looks for rays of hope. And so who do we meet now?

Katie: Well we do have to see it as it's put in the book. She tries to fall in love with Charles. She reads poems and recites them in the moonlight hoping that she is going to get struck with love for Charles. So, she does try.

Frank: That's true.

Katie: That's counteracted with a detailed description of a meal time, and Charles, one of his numerous failings is that he is boorish. He has no appreciable table manners. He is appalling to sit across from. So, we have to remember that she does try.

Frank: Katie, you're right. She does try. But now that she's had her weekend at the Manor, as you say, even his slurping of the soup drives her crazy. She is very unhappy; no matter what he does, no matter what he says. He is not going to make her happy.

Katie: That's right. This is when we're introduced to Leone, a law clerk. He works for the notary and he is unhappy with his position and he has sensibilities that Emma appreciates. He likes to read the romantic books that she likes to read.

Frank: He enjoys the poetry.

Katie: Right.

Frank: He enjoys the music

Katie: Right. So when they meet and start a conversation, they hit it off.

Frank: And then, Peter, it just quickly becomes a flirtation but it doesn't go much further than a flirtation does it?

Peter: No. They are very much alike. Neither one makes the first move. Probably both are willing but never take that step because it's a new thing for them.

Frank: Not only is it a new thing but they feel prevented by the morals.

Peter: Oh certainly. This is a book about adultery. A shocking book for a hundred and fifty years ago.

Frank: So, Leone and Emma have their flirtation; eventually Leone leaves town. Now we meet another man, Rudolph. He really impresses Emma, doesn't he?

Katie: You know, the difference between Leone and Rudolph, is that Leone was innocent and that he's never done anything such as have an affair. Rudolph does this as an application. The difference that Emma brings to him, which is very intriguing to Rudolph, is that he is used to having affairs with women who understand who he is and what he is about and what he's trying to do.

Frank: And he wants someone who also wants that he wants; to have an affair with someone who basically just wants to have an affair. Well that's not quite what Emma wants, is it?

Peter: Well, it's not what Emma wants. Rudolph's first thought is ‘let's see, here's how I'll get her, but how do I get rid of her?’ With Emma, this is what life is all about. Now, things are going to be perfect.

Frank: She's not going into this for an affair. Is she?

Peter: The affair to end all affairs, for her; while still maintaining the semblance of a married life.

Frank: But that's not how it turns out is it.

Peter: No it's not. It builds to a point where Emma wants to run off with Rudolph but on the day that it's supposed to happen Rudolph composes a very cold, calculated letter to her saying how oh this would ruin your life Emma. I can't do this to you. I love you too much. Goodbye I'm going off to Paris and he does.

Frank: When Rudolph leaves, she's bedridden for I think almost two months; and then her husband Charles comes up with a great idea how to shock her out of this depression that she's in. He decides to take her to an opera.

Peter: At the opera, Emma again sees Leone her first love, if you will. They're just so happy to see one another that others at the opera have to tell them: ‘Quiet!’ Like a modern movie almost.

Frank: And Charles is pleased that this because finally his wife is showing a little animation.

Peter: Yes, of course they start their affair and they develop a torrid affair.

Frank: They do go on for a while.

Peter: Yes, she impresses Leone a little bit with how good she is conducting an affair.

Frank: That’s right. So, clearly this is a novel about adultery but just as clearly, there are other things Flaubert wants to talk about, a few other themes; one of which I believe he gets to, through the use of a couple of the, let's call the minor characters in the novel, the priest and the pharmacist.

Frank: I think he has something to say about the contrast between a believer in science and a believer in faith. It's my feeling that he gets to that discussion with two of the minor characters. There's a pharmacist in town who really believes in the sciences. He doesn't know a lot about the sciences and maybe the little learning he has is a dangerous thing. But he is a great believer in the sciences and we also meet the Parish Priest who, of course, is a great believer in faith and hope.

Peter: Homais, the pharmacist, is a complete busybody; he thinks he knows everything and is always offering his advice whether it's wanted or not; and seldom wanted. And he meets up and continually badgers the local parish priest - his counterpoint - who is a man of the cloth, but, I'm not sure how much a man of the faith. He's more a business man for the church; one point, for example, when Emma tries to go to him for spiritual guidance he just can't be bothered with that. But when the priest debates with Homais, as to the efficacy, if you will of religion, that becomes rather classic.

Frank: In fact I have a great line from the novel; let me read it for you. Here this is pharmacist Homais, talking to the priest: “My God is the god of Socrates, of Franklin, of Voltaire of bad. My credo is the creator of Rousseau. I adhere to the Immortal principles of eighty nine. I have no use for the kind of God who goes walking in his garden with a stick, sends his friends to live in the bellies of Wales, gives up the ghost with a groan and then comes back to life three days later. Those things aren't only absurd in themselves, they're completely opposed to all physical laws.” So, he really is a man of science, and the priest?

Katie: The priest is more of a two-dimensional character. He simply represents traditional religion. In the convent, there is a time when Madame Bovary goes to him for help. As Peter said, he is not able to help her. And in fact, when the chemist and the priest have their words, really, the chemist comes out on top.

Frank: But for Flaubert, neither one of these men really are ideals. I think Flaubert would reject the total reliance on science of the pharmacist, as well as, the total reliance on faith and hope of the priest.

Katie: I think they're bad examples of what they represent.

Peter: Homais is sometimes the comic relief, it's almost the Falstaff. (Katie: Yes.)

Frank: And interesting enough, he's interested in winning a prize and through machinations, he eventually does win this legion of honor; and in fact, that's the very last line. This novel is called Madam Bovary it's all about Madam Bovary, her affairs, her eventual suicide, and yet almost the last entire chapter - at the last paragraph, the last line - are all about this pharmacist. I found that interesting that Flaubert decided to end the novel with that character.

Katie: Well, you're talking about themes and one of the themes threading throughout the book is the middle class - the bourgeoisie. The chemist is the example of all that's the worst in the bourgeoisie and the fact that he gets the Medal of Honor at the end is really the most ironic piece of all.

Peter: But he's a key character in that, he's the one that pushes Charles to take Emma to the opera. He's the one that pushes Charles to do an operation way beyond his abilities - that takes a cripple and virtually kills him - and it is that operation which Emma hoped would force Charles into a position of prestige when he completely fails and makes a fool of himself and more of a cripple of the poor Porter. Emma loses any respect that she had for him at all.

Frank: When we first started this conversation and Katie, I asked you to introduce us to Charles, I find this to be very interesting part of this novel. Let's go back to the beginning. Tell us how we're introduced to Chalres.

Katie: Well this is what's so fascinating about Madame Bovary. When the novel opens and we're in this class room, the narrator is one of the classmates, and that's how it opens.

Frank: The story of how the 10-year old Charles comes to the classroom and is ridiculed by his classmates.

Katie: This narrator is probably one of the boys that was teasing Charles Bovary and then as the novel moves along, this narrator steps back. He has less of a person, more of that third person. And he's a third person that gives you objective information as well as subjective information.

Frank: I was a little confused by this. Any feel for why Flaubert started it this way and then moved on after that first chapter?

Peter: Other than it works. It's done smoothly, but when it's described, it does not sound as if it be smooth; and he has a varying viewpoint as sometimes this third person will make observations as to what's right and what's wrong and sometimes he gets in to Emma's head and sometimes he’s an outsider. So, it's a varying thing, but it is done very smoothly.

Frank: Also, we consider this a novel of adultery but if I remember when we had our first discussion about this novel, didn’t you bring up some questions about whether, in fact, Emma Bovary was a manic depressive? Do you recall that conversation?

Peter: Only vaguely. Indeed, I do think. Well, we have a psychologist in that group but I was hoping to bring him out a little bit on that. But, I do think she exhibits, in my ignorance, some manic-depressive themes. And this was the beginning of the age of the psychological novel.

Frank: In fact, I've made a note of a couple of lines here and I think this is what Flaubert is telling us. Tell me what you think. “Some days, she chatted endlessly, almost feverish early; and such a period of over excitement would suddenly be followed by a torpor in which she neither spoke nor moved. At such times, she would revive herself with utter cologne, pouring a bottle of it over her arms.”

Or perhaps this one here: “Everything appeared to her as though shrouded in vague hovering blackness and grief swirled into her soul, moaning softly like the winter wind in a deserted Castle. She was prey to the brooding brought on by revocable parties; to the weariness that follows, every consummation to the pain caused by the breaking off of a confirmed habit or the brush stopping of a prolonged vibration.”

To me, those do sound like symptoms of a manic depressive.

Katie: Some sort of clinical depression is probably what she is suffering from. And. I don't know if this is an appropriate time to bring it up but Flaubert did have similar problems. Similar bouts of what they called nervous attacks. And at one point in speaking about the novel he did say, “Madam Bovary, she is I.” So, to what extent he means that I don't know. But it is interesting that both Madam Bovary and Flaubert suffered from nervous attacks, of some kind.

Peter: And in the modern context, certainly there is the various addictions that she exhibited. Even the shopping addiction, where she just completely spent all of Charles’ money, through a power of attorney, and he didn't even know it and that is one of the themes that completely brought down the family.

Frank: Not only does she spend all of Charles’ money, she spends money they don't even have yet. She signed promissory note after promissory note, and I would argue, that it's actually the impending financial ruin that causes her to commit suicide and not the possibility that her adulterous affairs are going to be revealed.

Katie: I agree. It is the financial destitution that she and her family will be left in, that really drives her to it. I don't think she's embarrassed by her affair she makes that clear she did things out in front so everyone knew she was having the affair. I don't think that was the issue.

Peter: Certainly, as the affair went on and she got more bold and brazen about it, she'd walk down the street with her arms-length, smoking cigarettes, dressing mannish.

Frank: In fact, she even did her hair up like a man, one time, at one of the parties she went to with Leone. Alright, in this last segment, what I would like to get from you, is some favorite lines, or some memorable moments, or something that you're going to take away from this novel and always remember.

Katie: Well we've spoken about how beautiful the writing is in this novel. One of my favorite scenes is the agricultural fair, in which, Emma is seduced by Rudolph. Now, when this scene occurs; at the same time you have this very torrid affair beginning. You have animals being sold. You have farmers getting medals. The contrast is brilliant. If you can't think of a reason to read Madame Bovary, you should read it just for this scene. That's how brilliant I think it is.

Frank: Peter?

Peter: To me, what the novel is really about is that people don't know one another and they don't communicate. For example, the marriage of Charles and Emma, they're both in effect good people even though some terrible things go on. They have no idea what's going through one another's minds. And that goes on through all the various characters as they speak; a character will be saying one thing and another characters hearing something else. I think that is summed up from Flaubert. No one could ever express the exact measure of his needs or conceptions or sorrows. “The human language is like a crack Catalan which we beat out a tune for a dancing bear when we hope with our music to move the stars.”

Katie: That is one of the most quoted sentences.

Frank: Oh, is it?

Katie: Yes (laughter)

Peter: Well I got that right, one (laughter)

Katie: Yes, yes.

Frank: That's it for me too, I had an interesting moment here. A lot of people consider this, a novel of realism, of Flaubert trying to write and trying to express what he saw is actually happening in his times and in this place. But it's my understanding that he wasn't really happy being considered a realist. He wanted there to be some art and some artifice in his writing as well; and he has Emma say these lines: “Nowadays, I'm crazy about a different kind of thing; stories full of suspense, stories that frighten you. I hate to read about low class heroes and they're down to earth concerns the sort of thing the real world's full of,” and yet that's what this novel is about. Low class heroes and their down to earth concerns. Sort of what the real world is about. And yet Flaubert, at least through Emma, perhaps wants a little bit more art and a little less artifice.

Peter: We may perhaps read this novel a little differently than the reader did in 1857, but I think that's one of the strengths of the novel, that it changes with the time and it could be read in a very modern light; can fit very modern situations.

Frank: Well, I think you were the perfect example. When you read it at 20, you weren't really ready for what this book had to say to you; and now that you've read it a couple of times, you were ready to hear and to listen to what it had to say.

Peter: I agree.

Katie: And I think all first-time readers, will recognize the pharmacist. They will even recognize Emma and Charles. These are real people that you have seen before, that you have encountered before, and you may or may not find yourself in one of those characters which could be a good or bad thing.

Frank: Very good. You know we're going to have to stop our conversation here. Again, I want to thank you Katie Smith, Peter Toomey, both of you for having this novel conversation with me.

Frank: So true, so true, very good. You know we're going to have to stop our conversation here. I want to thank our readers, Katie Smith, Peter Toomey, both of you, for having this novel conversation with me about the novel Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert.

Katie & Peter: Thanks for having us!

Frank: You’ve been listening to Novel Conversations.

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Novel Conversations was produced by Julie Fink and engineered by Sean Rule-Hoffman, Eric Koltnow and Dave Douglas. And a special thanks to our Executive Producer, Joan Andrews. I'm your host, Frank Lavallo, until next time, I hope you find yourself in a Novel Conversation.

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