Thérèse Raquin

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Overview

In a dingy apartment on the Passage du Pont-Neuf in Paris, Therese Raquin is trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille. The numbing tedium of her life is suddenly shattered when she embarks on a turbulent affair with her husband's earthy friend Laurent, but their animal passion for each other soon compels the lovers to commit a crime that will haunt them for ever. Therese Raquin caused a scandal when it appeared in 1867 and brought its twenty-seven-year-old author a notoriety that followed him throughout his life. Zola's novel is not only an uninhibited portrayal of adultery, madness and ghostly revenge, but also a devastating exploration of the darkest aspects of human existence.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I love this because it's the story of how you can't escape the inevitabilities of love and it's just a fantastic piece of writing." —Sue Perkins, Express 

 "By merging elements of the gothic and tragic with a study of petit-bourgeois banality, Zola created a work of enduring fascination." —Observer 

 "It was attacked by critics of the day as stinking filth and a foul sewer. Little wonder, then, that it became an instant bestseller and I'll admit I was completely riveted by its melodramatics from start to finish." —Daily Mail

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780948230134
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
  • Publication date: 10/29/1997
  • Series: Absolute Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

ÉMILE ZOLA (1840-1902) is the author of Les Rougon-Macquart — a cycle of 20 novels written over a period of 22 years including Nana (1880), Germinal (1885) and The Drinking Den (1877) which provides a panoramic view of life under Napoleon III. He was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. Zola campaigned for justice over the Dreyfus affair — 'it is up to us poets to nail the guilty to the eternal pillory' — and his open letter to the President 'J'accuse' landed him a prison sentence that he evaded only through exile in England. He is buried in the Panthéon alongside Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

ADAM THORPE was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, was published in 1992, and he has written nine others, two collections of stories and six books of poetry — most recently Voluntary. Thorpe's translation of Madame Bovary, 'stunning and heartily recommended' (Scotsman), is available in Vintage Classics. He lives in France with his wife and family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2003

    Captivating!

    Zola does a superb job in the smooth moving description which engages the reader in a poetic, yet, nerve wrenching story in which a nemesis evolves into even a greater threat when slain by those whom were supposed to be at hand and most loyal. Of all novels I have read, the most foreboding state of lust could have never been conveyed clearer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2002

    Different

    The kindness shown to the victims mother was eerie, and I think very possible outside of fiction. Zola did a wonderful job of showing more natural complexity in his murderers than the Good Guy Bad Guy syndrome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    Therese Raquin

    Written in 1867 Therese Raquin explores the world of adultery, obsession, and murder. Its protaganist is Therese, a lonely and passive young woman unhappily wed to her much older invalid cousin Camille. Her life is greatly altered when a stranger from Camille's past comes into her life: Laurent. Soon, Laurent and Therese start a passionate and obsessive relationship with each other resulting in murder, paranoia, and rage. The dark atmosphere and chilling characters described by Zola help to make a disturbing and exciting novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2001

    Naturalism and Noir

    Anybody who thought that the dark world of noir was a twentieth century invention should read this book. Zola's nightmarish tale of greed, lust, and damnation reads like a Victorian James M. Cain. While Zola's work is quite justly classified as 'literature', this novel can also be ranked among the masterpieces of crime fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 5 Customer Reviews

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