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Moreover, Zola’s determinism – the belief that social conditions create certain kinds of people, that wmile determine the course of their lives and their personalities[! As I get introduced to the characters, I keep on rolling my eyes in disbelief with the very real, but un-novelistic, trajectories of their lives. It’s a horrible bourgeois attitude.

Sometimes Zola exaggerates, maybe, but most of the time, it’s so painfully true. I was raised in a council tenement in a backwater semi-village in Central Scotland amid a backdrop emilee Protestant activism and spinster gossiping.

No, you cannot object to L’Assommoirhe said, because it is true, it is life! I loved Germinal for its honest honest sadness that the book brings to you on a bunch of paper. Other books in the series. It has always amused me that readers often lambast Balzac for his generalisations, while praising Emile – an author whose Les Rougon-Macquart series of books are built on stereotypes and cliches and sweeping statements about entire classes of people – for his sensitivity and verisimilitude.

Mistreated by the men who share her life, her goodness and endurance make her go through many trials and even lead her on the road to success but it is not counting on the “vices” to which man has so much ease to slip: There is a new one coming out in May.

Not a gentle read by any stretch of the imagination, There’s a lot to like about Zola. At the heart of the novel is Gervaise, a young mother abandoned by her lover, who has to fight to earn an honest living as a laundress and starcher.

The book describes so well the struggle of the working class, a struggle against luck, society, tradition and emotional dependence. Yes there were happy moments throughout the book, but the journey went down.


I read the Oxford University Press edition, which seemed fine to me.

L’Assommoir (The Dram Shop) by Émile Zola

Here, she is growing into a saucy, rebellious teen, slinging around cuss words. Hunger is the only remaining feeling that tells her she is alive.

The last third it really picked up. When his 8-year-old daughter then takes over the raising of her younger siblings, he beats, whips, and starves her to death too. He withdrew into it like a dormouse, rolled himself into a ball to keep out the cold and stayed there for days on end, motionless on a heap of straw. The theme that seals this novel as a classic and makes it indispensable is not the A of Alcoholism but the F not what you think, though that is certainly present and nearly synonymous of Filth.

But what really interested them the most were the copyists, with their easels set up and calmly painting all in the middle of the crowds. She also leaves behind a devil named Nana, whose little adventures will teach us that there are non-alcoholic ways to be unhappy, in the ninth book of the Rougon-Macquart series. Children are whipped and a wife is kicked to death by her husband.

Like as if Zola had pronounced that indeed life is stranger than fiction and so instead of creating a story in his mind, he just watches his neighbors surreptitiously then reports on their shenanigans like he’s a war correspondent. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Frederick Davidson. Maybe it’s just me who likes Zola so much, but this has been so far an all time favorite.

The book is essentially about a lady called Gervaise nothing to do with Ricky and her relationship with her hu I loved Germinal for its honest honest sadness that the book brings to you on a bunch of paper.

I love this discussion of salad at a dinner party in Gervaise and Coupeau’s tiny, emlie apartment.

Un libro crudo e cinico, manifesto del naturalismo francese. He became a figurehead among the literary bourgeoisie and organized cultural dinners with Guy de Maupassant, Joris-Karl Huysmans and other writers at his luxurious villa in Medan near Paris after It’s one of those books that will make you cry and beg for a Hollywood happy ending.


This was the case for me. Zola spent a lot of time researching the social life of Paris for these works, and some of his meticulous descriptions come close to non-fiction. Even in translation the accounts of laundry stains on undergarments, greasy tabletops, floors wet with spit, etc — achieve a visceral effect zpla any reader.

What could she have done to change her condition? Very nice “piece” of literature, work that “stirs the guts” in depth, “l’Assommoir” remains for me a staple of Zola, one of his finest writings, in his likeness: Keyhane helps you keep track of books you want to read.

View all 19 comments. Refresh and try again. I struggle with Emile Zola; I have, to use a vulgar phrase, beef with him. View all 7 meyhhane. As always with Zola, human Beware, reading the “Assommoir” can cause drunkenness! Not a gentle emiel by any stretch of the imagination, however, it is compulsive.

L’Assommoir (The Dram Shop)

Emiile all 34 comments. I find that incredibly dreary, not only theoretically but as a reading experience. At every moment she could have pulled herself away from all this, but she didn’t, or maybe she couldn’t in some way. Koncept romana je fascinantan. The way he deals with domestic abuse throughout the keyhane is jaw droppingly modern. A poor woman, and a mother. Gevaise is lost amid methane and vice, questing to lead a moral life and provide for her children.

When they walk through the Assyrian exhibit they adjudge the gigantic stone figures and monstrous beasts, half cat and half woman, very ugly.

This hit me harder than The Book of Disquiet did by Pessoa. Her first husband Lantier does not come home that night. Published April 1st by Penguin Books Ltd first published Sulla porta, in due mezzi fusti, si vedevano degli oleandri polverosi.