L'Assommoir (The Drinking Den, Or Dram Shop)

L'Assommoir (The Drinking Den, Or Dram Shop)

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by Emile Zola
     
 

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Widely acknowledged as one of Emile Zola's masterpieces, "L'Assommoir" is a novel immersed in the harsh poverty and relief-giving alcoholism of working-class Paris in the nineteenth century. At the heart of Zola's shockingly realistic descriptions is Gervaise, a mother abandoned by her lover who must learn to survive alone on what she can earn. When she marries the

Overview

Widely acknowledged as one of Emile Zola's masterpieces, "L'Assommoir" is a novel immersed in the harsh poverty and relief-giving alcoholism of working-class Paris in the nineteenth century. At the heart of Zola's shockingly realistic descriptions is Gervaise, a mother abandoned by her lover who must learn to survive alone on what she can earn. When she marries the abstemious roof-worker Coupeau and manages to open her own laundry, life is for a while successful and happy. Unfortunately, Coupeau is seriously injured shortly after the birth of their daughter Anna, and his plunge into heavy drinking soon proves ruinous for the entire family. A contemporary commercial triumph, Zola's novel sparked discussion and criticism in both the social and literary realms, establishing the author's international reputation for a masterful use of the French language that devastatingly depicted the tragedy of realism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781420933659
Publisher:
Neeland Media
Publication date:
01/01/2009
Pages:
148
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)

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L' Assommoir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
LizKelly More than 1 year ago
Why there has never been a Hollywood movie made of this Emile Zola novel is a real head-scratcher. It may just be because L'Assommoir is not as well-known as other classics, as well as having a tricky-to-translate title. (The best one I've heard is "The Boozer," as the word in French means both a place to drink and a person who drinks.) For heart-wrenching tragedy it may surpass even Les Miserables, but with a female protagonist. Be prepared: it's not exactly uplifting, but the sheer realism is as gripping as it is horrifying. Nana may be more read by students, but L'Assommoir is a prequel of sorts. Nana appears here as a child, and later as a young woman, so you'll learn some of her back story. Zola deserves a much larger audience than he has, and his style is more readable than many would suspect. Choose this for a book club --especially one of women's interest-- and be prepared for it to knock your socks off in ways most modern novels can't touch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago