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 ...

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Germinal (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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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: 9780460875813
  • Publisher: Everyman Paperback
  • Publication date: 6/15/1996
  • Series: Everyman Paperback Classics Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 459
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Emile Zola wurde am 2.4.1840 in Paris geboren. Sein italienischer Vater war Ingenieur, die Mutter war gebürtige Französin. Der Vater starb 1847. 1843-1858 lebte er in Aix-en-Provence. Die Mutter zog Ende 1857 nach Paris und ließ Emile im Februar 1858 nachkommen. Dort bestand er nicht das Abitur im Lycée Louis-le-Grand und arbeitete zuerst als Schreiber beim Hafenzoll, dann als freier Journalist. 1862 bekam er eine Anstellung im Verlagshaus Hachette, das er nach dem Erfolg seiner ersten beiden Bücher wieder verließ. 1898 setzte er sich mit einem Brief für die Unschuld von Dreyfus ein (J'accuse) und wurde zu Gefängnis und einer Geldstrafe verurteilt, konnte jedoch nach England entfliehen. 1899 kehrte er nach einer Amnestie zurück. Zola starb am 29.9.1902 in Paris.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Recommended 100%

    This book is incredibly engrossing, and I have never been filled with so much suspense.

    Emile Zola was able to produce a phenomenal storyline which provides the reader with an excellent perception of what life would have been like for a coal-miner in the 19th century. Although the story focuses in particular on one struggling family, you are also given a broad scope of the small mining village in which they live.

    When reading this book be prepared to become completely enmeshed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    SEPTEMBER 2008 BY A MAN WHO LOVES READING

    Here we are in the midst of a minning community<BR/>in 19th century France. Zola has the reader<BR/>engulfed in a rather difficult way of life.<BR/>Considering an upsetting intruder into beguiling<BR/>the inhabitants into a devasting wirlwind.<BR/>It was a pleasure to be treated to this<BR/>masterwork.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2006

    No Better French Novel

    As an aspiring author of regional fiction ('Suomalaiset: People of the Marsh' ISBN 0972005064)who was raised on liberal politics amidst the boom and bust of Minnesota's iron mines and timber industry, 'Germinal's' featured protagonist, Etienne Lantier, strikes a chord with me. There is much about the American labor movement and the plight of American workers to be found in Etienne's story. Though conditions in our factories, mines, and in our forests have markedly improved since the days of children working the coal fields of West Virginia and the iron mines of the Mesabi Iron Range, Zola's prose and his social observations about wealth, capital, and the exploitation of the common man by those in power rings true in 21st century America. A beautifully translated work, succinctly direct, wonderfully cast, with prose that makes you sigh. One of my ten all time favorite novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2006

    A powerfull Work

    This is a brilliant story of life through the eyes of an 19th century French coal miner. This book gives insight into the lives of people who came before us, it also plays on the subtleties of human nature and character. This is a profound take on love life and power. It plays on what we are and the society that we live in. This work transends time and even gives insight into the times we live in.

    1 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 25, 2011

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    Posted May 11, 2011

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    Posted March 7, 2013

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    Posted September 21, 2009

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