L'Assommoir

L'Assommoir

5.0 2
by Emile Zola
     
 

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Gervaise had waited up for Lantier until two in the morning. Then, shivering from having remained in a thin loose jacket, exposed to the fresh air at the window, she had thrown herself across the bed, drowsy, feverish, and her cheeks bathed in tears.
For a week past, on leaving the "Two-Headed Calf," where they took their meals, he had sent her home with the…  See more details below

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Gervaise had waited up for Lantier until two in the morning. Then, shivering from having remained in a thin loose jacket, exposed to the fresh air at the window, she had thrown herself across the bed, drowsy, feverish, and her cheeks bathed in tears.
For a week past, on leaving the "Two-Headed Calf," where they took their meals, he had sent her home with the children and never reappeared himself till late at night, alleging that he had been in search of work. That evening, while watching for his return, she thought she had seen him enter the dancing-hall of the "Grand-Balcony," the ten blazing windows of which lighted up with the glare of a conflagration the dark expanse of the exterior Boulevards; and five or six paces behind him, she had caught sight of little Adele, a burnisher, who dined at the same restaurant, swinging her hands, as if she had just quitted his arm so as not to pass together under the dazzling light of the globes at the door.
When, towards five o'clock, Gervaise awoke, stiff and sore, she broke forth into sobs. Lantier had not returned. For the first time he had slept away from home. She remained seated on the edge of the bed, under the strip of faded chintz, which hung from the rod fastened to the ceiling by a piece of string. And slowly, with her eyes veiled by tears, she glanced round the wretched lodging, furnished with a walnut chest of drawers, minus one drawer, three rush-bottomed chairs, and a little greasy table, on which stood a broken water-jug. There had been added, for the children, an iron bedstead, which prevented any one getting to the chest of drawers, and filled two-thirds of the room. Gervaise's and Lantier's trunk, wide open, in one corner, displayed its emptiness, and a man's old hat right at the bottom almost buried beneath some dirty shirts and socks; whilst, against the walls, above the articles of furniture, hung a shawl full of holes, and a pair of trousers begrimed with mud, the last rags which the dealers in second-hand clothes declined to buy. In the centre of the mantel-piece, lying between two odd zinc candle-sticks, was a bundle of pink pawn-tickets. It was the best room of the hotel, the first floor room, looking on to the Boulevard.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781484847176
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
04/29/2013
Pages:
178
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(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