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Painstakingly detailed, incredibly well executed Flaubert's seminal novel took five long years of hard work to achieve. The result is a piece of work that from the opening pages transports the reader into another world. Like a fly-on-the-wall documentary Madame Bovary seemingly leaves nothing out of the detailed existence of an unhappy marriage and a sallow housewife bent on seeking some excitement. Yet, its precision and exact storytelling add an irresistible weight to the movement of Emma Bovary's life. A weight that gains momentum with each inevitable action, a weight that becomes more and more irresistible as the novel progresses. Unable to intervene, incapable of tearing ourselves away we watch helplessly as each choice made by Emma Bovary leads towards the point of no return. Upon publication, Madame Bovary, was hailed as a landmark in the development of the novel. The equivalent of Reality TV of its time, Madame Bovary, was recently featured in the hit TV series, The Sopranos, which, to a great extent, emulate Flaubert's storytelling technique. Madame Bovary is a must-read novel not because it offers insights into life in mid-19th century provincial France but because it offers insights into life itself.