Germinal

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Overview

The thirteenth novel in Émile Zola's great Rougon-Macquart sequence, Germinal expresses outrage at the exploitation of the many by the few, but also shows humanity's capacity for compassion and hope.

Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a clever but uneducated young man with a dangerous temper. Forced to take a back-breaking job at Le Voreux mine when he cannot get other work, he discovers that his fellow miners are ill, hungry, and in debt, unable to feed and clothe their families. When conditions in the mining community deteriorate even further, Lantier finds himself leading a strike that could mean starvation or salvation for all.

Author Biography: Émile 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-nineteenth century French life in a cycle of twenty novels which Zola wrote over a period of twenty-two years.

Roger Pearson is professor of French at the University of Oxford and fellow and tutor in French at The Queen's College, Oxford.

Zola's 1885 masterpiece of everyday relationships and working life exposes the inhuman conditions of miners in northern France in the 1860s. The new film version stars Gerard Depardieu. An Oxford University Press World Classic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Superb."--Professor James Chastain, Ohio University

"This is far and away the best English translation of Germinal currently available. The translator has captured the nineteenth century flavor of the original without sacrificing clarity or meaning. The introduction and notes are excellent and the map of Montsou and vicinity is a stroke of genius."--Professor Richard Cumming, University of Utah

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9782080710727
  • Publisher: Distribooks, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition

Meet the Author

Emile Zola (1840 - 1902) fue un escritor francés, considerado como el padre y el mayor representante del Naturalismo. Tuvo un papel muy relevante en la revisión del proceso de Alfred Dreyfus, que le costó el exilio. Su influencia sobre las generaciones posteriores de escritores no fue sólo literaria, ya que su actitud de involucrarse tanto en la literatura como en la realidad social se transformó en un paradigma del escritor comprometido y dominó la escena cultural de occidente hasta la década de los 70.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Really makes you think

    Read this for my book club. It had me thinking about what we value in ourselves and those around us.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    AMAZING!

    Very easily the best book I've ever read. That said, it's not a particularly easy and light read. There are some very heavy, hard hitting themes that I had to keep putting the book down-- it was too much. The book can get a bit melodramatic, but at the core it never loses any of its grittiness. The Leonard Tancock translation is also probably the best of any; though it does have its slight problems, I think Tancock has very subtle nuances that really add to the story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2000

    One of the most powerful novels ever written

    Zola's description of the coal mine as seen from the distance will haunt you, as will those describing life underground. There are moments of humor and touching scenes of first love contrasted with brutal scenes of hunger and revenge. When Emile Zola died, those lining the streets where his coffin passed chanted, 'Germinal, Germinal.' Everyone should read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2000

    Interesting, but not extremely entertaining!

    Sitting in the 21st century one cannot give a comprehensive view of every aspect of the novel. Let us take the very detailed explaination of the mining machinary of the 19th Century;surely one is bored with the same, and at the same time but admire the tenacity of the writer in obtaining the relevant information in such precise detail. But surely mining conditions and the exploitation of workers(children) in the 3rd world continous in the same way (or worse), as amply described in the book. Indeed, the book makes a fascinating reading, very much applicable in 3rd world countries like India , China etc.

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    Posted May 12, 2010

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    Posted October 27, 2011

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    Posted December 16, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

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