Germinal

By Émile Zola
Translated by Havelock Ellis
Read by Frederick Davidson

The Rougon-Macquart Cycle: Book 13

17.60 Hours 12/01/1998 unabridged
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With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Germinal chronicles the conflicts, lusts, and deprivation of life in the coal fields of nineteenth-century France. A father and three of seven children work brutal hours, facing such hazards as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas of a workers’ revolt, the family gradually embraces his plans. Soon the settlement is aflame with resolve to strike for better wages and working conditions. Savage and horrifying events ensue as miners clash with management and with each other. Where people once merely struggled for food they are now dying of starvation. The hungry wage war against the sated, against the resignation of their peers, and ultimately against hunger itself. Published in 1885, Germinal helped establish Émile Zola as the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. This masterpiece has been called one of the ten best novels in the French language.

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Summary

Summary

With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Germinal chronicles the conflicts, lusts, and deprivation of life in the coal fields of nineteenth-century France.

A father and three of seven children work brutal hours, facing such hazards as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas of a workers’ revolt, the family gradually embraces his plans. Soon the settlement is aflame with resolve to strike for better wages and working conditions. Savage and horrifying events ensue as miners clash with management and with each other. Where people once merely struggled for food they are now dying of starvation. The hungry wage war against the sated, against the resignation of their peers, and ultimately against hunger itself.

Published in 1885, Germinal helped establish Émile Zola as the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. This masterpiece has been called one of the ten best novels in the French language.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A great prose epic, as it has seemed to some, worthy to compare with the great verse epics of old.” Havelock Ellis, physician, psychologist, writer, and, social reformer
“Zola’s novel is a fascinating document on the political movements of the time.” Dominique Jullien, Professor of French and Comparative Literature
“Coal mines have become rare, but the miners of Germinal are immortal...[it] is an exquisite tribute to their work, their misery and their eventual revolt.” David Baguley, one of the most respected authorities on the work of Zola
“Few readers of audiobooks can match Frederick Davidson’s remarkable skill…He’s equal to the task [of] rendering this complex, yet worthwhile, novel accessible to all listeners.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Émile Zola

Émile Zola (1840–1902), French writer and critic, was raised in a poor family at Aix-en-Provence and at age eighteen went to Paris where he worked as a clerk and a journalist before turning to writing novels. For many years he used his fiction in the service of his passion for social reform. He published many masterworks but is perhaps most famous for his series of novels called Les Rougon-Macquart, one of the chief monuments of the French naturalist movement.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 17.60
Audience: Adult
Language: English