Against The Grain, or Against Nature

Read by Martin Geeson

(4.2 stars; 22 reviews)

“THE BOOK THAT DORIAN GRAY LOVED AND THAT INSPIRED OSCAR WILDE”. Such is the enticing epigraph of one early translation of Huysmans’ cult novel of 1884, which is also routinely called the Bible of Decadence. Accurate descriptions, both, of this bizarre masterpiece which has reverberated ever since through high and popular culture. (9 hr 14 min)


Chapter 1 22:56 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 2 20:21 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 3 22:39 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 4 37:37 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 5 28:17 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 6 41:56 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 7 34:05 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 8 33:41 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 9 25:16 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 10 34:03 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 11 40:49 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 12, part one 29:18 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 12, part two 35:17 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 13 32:08 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 14, part one 31:57 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 14, part two 32:58 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 15 29:01 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 16 22:00 Read by Martin Geeson


Fantastic recording, fantastic novel!

(5 stars)

Described as "A Novel Without a Plot" J. K. Huysman's "Against the Grain (À Rebours)" is a relatively simple story. It concerns the seclusion of Des Esseintes, the last member of a once powerful and noble family. Having lived an extremely decadent life, Des Esseintes finds himself disgusted with human society and retreats to a house in the countryside where he is intent upon spending the rest of his days in intellectual and aesthetic contemplation. Because of its decadent content "Against the Grain" created quite a stir when it was first published in 1884 and in breaking from the Naturalist school of literature Huysman's work established itself as a major piece of the Symbolist aesthetic. The story is very powerful, full of irony and humour. Martin Geeson’s reading of the novel is sensational! Thank you very much!

Dreadful, in my opinion...

(1 stars)

I was on a long road trip, so I suffered through, hoping something of interest would happen. It didn't. I see that other readers felt differently. The endless descriptive flapdoodle, and only one dreary character were painful. His cynicism, selfishness, and depression made me wish he would just die and put me out of his misery. If the author was trying to impress me with his knowledge of a thousand authors, books and useless trivia he unfortunately succeeded. I think Martin is an accomplished reader, but sorry, no amount of enthusiasm could fix this train wreck.

Bizarre book beautifully read

(5 stars)

I loved Martin Geeson's relentlessly contemptuous delivery of the main character's voice and attitude toward the world around him. The book seems to be a work of art history and art criticism in the form of a novel. I have little interest in these topics but I enjoyed listening to the entire book. I am ready for most books to be finished before they end, but with those one I was sincerely disappointed to hear "End of Against the Grain by Jaris-Karl Huysmans."

Excellent Reading

(5 stars)

Perfect pronunciation of all French words and phrases, and excellent narration overall. This is a very odd little novel with little action or dialogue, but it's very interesting nonetheless. I have read the book several times over the years, never tiring of it; it's now a real treat to hear another reader interpret it. Mr. Geeson is a skilled and perceptive reader, sensitive to the subtle nuances and emphases in the text. I look forward to listening to more of his work.

great reading!

(3.5 stars)

This was certainly not a book that would have retained my attention had I been reading a physical copy. However, the wonderful reading abilities of Martin Geeson brought it to life and made it interesting!

(5 stars)

Superb reading that perfectly captures the tone of Huysmans in a fine translation.

(5 stars)

Thank you for this beautiful recording of one of my new favorite novels.