2013 update to 2008 review.Five years of time and reading has given me a very different perspective on this Proust. I'll re-visit this review after reading the book again, which will probably happen after I slowly work my way through the other books in the series. At this point I've finished In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower and I'm 1/4th through The Guermantes Way.------I guess I'm going to be in the minority giving this book a 2 star rating, but I can't bring myself to go higher. It's true, the language is beautiful, the writing is impeccable and there are some really powerful insights into human nature but the story was just so. extremely. boring. It tries to be a love story but never makes it past infatuation. Proust goes on and on with memories and reflections and introspection but the plot barely moves. I much prefer Tolstoy's mix of great insight into human nature interwoven with a plot that pulls you in and keeps you interested in the characters. Skip this and read (or re-read) Anna Karenina.