The Beast Within

( 4 )

Overview

His haunting, impressionistic study of a man's slow corruption by jealousy, Emile Zola's The Beast Within (La Bete Humaine) is translated from the French with an introduction and notes by Roger Whitehouse in Penguin Classics. Roubaud is consumed by a jealous rage when he discovers a sordid secret about his young wife's past. The only way he can rest is by forcing her to help him murder the man involved, but there is a witness - Jacques Lantier, a fellow railway employee. Jacques, meanwhile, must contend with his ...

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Overview

His haunting, impressionistic study of a man's slow corruption by jealousy, Emile Zola's The Beast Within (La Bete Humaine) is translated from the French with an introduction and notes by Roger Whitehouse in Penguin Classics. Roubaud is consumed by a jealous rage when he discovers a sordid secret about his young wife's past. The only way he can rest is by forcing her to help him murder the man involved, but there is a witness - Jacques Lantier, a fellow railway employee. Jacques, meanwhile, must contend with his own terrible impulses, for every time he sees a woman he feels the overwhelming desire to kill. In the company of Roubaud's wife, Severine, he finds peace briefly, yet his feelings for her soon bring disasterous consequences. A key work in the Rougon-Macquart cycle, The Beast Within is one of Zola's most dark and violent works - a tense thriller of political corruption and a graphic exploration of the criminal mind. Roger Whitehouse's vivid translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing Zola's depiction of the railways, politics and the legal system and the influence of the studies of criminology and the Jack the Ripper murders on his novel. This edition also includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading and notes. Emile Zola (1840-1902) was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. His principal work, Les Rougon-Macquart, is a panorama of mid-19th century French life, in a cycle of 20 novels which Zola wrote over a period of 22 years, including Au Bonheur des Dames (1883), The Beast Within (1890), Nana (1880), and The Drinking Den (1877). If you enjoyed The Beast Within, you might like Zola's The Drinking Den, also available in Penguin Classics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140449631
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/29/2008
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 791,682
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Emile Zola (1840-1902) was a French novelist and critic, the founder of the Naturalist movement in literature. Among Zola's most important works is his famous Rougon-Macquart cycle (1871-1893), which included such novels as L'Assomoir (1877), about the suffering of the Parisian working-class, Nana (1880), dealing with prostitution, and Germinal (1885). Roger Whitehouse has taught at the Sorbonne and at Bolton Institute, where he is a research fellow.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2008

    A reviewer

    I have never felt this close to understanding the reasoning of a criminal. Every turn on the path of a murderer's mind is brought to be images before our eyes by Zola. Page after page, you might come to realize, though not necessarily to accept out loud, that there is a beast not only in Lantier, not only in Roubaud, but also in you.

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    Posted September 19, 2010

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    Posted October 20, 2011

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    Posted May 17, 2009

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