The Belly of Paris

By Émile Zola
Translated by Ernest Alfred Vizetelly
Read by Frederick Davidson

The Rougon-Macquart Cycle: Book 3

13.07 Hours 09/01/1999 unabridged
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Although it is little known in this country, The Belly of Paris is considered one of Émile Zola’s best novels. Set in the newly built food markets of Paris, it is a story of wealth and poverty set against a sumptuous banquet of food and commerce. Having just escaped from prison after being wrongfully accused, young Florent arrives at Paris’ food market, Les Halles, half starved, surrounded by all he can’t have, and indignant at his world, which he now knows to be unjust. He finds that the city’s working classes have been displaced to make way for bigger streets and bourgeois living quarters, so he settles in with his brother’s family. Gradually, he takes up with the local socialists, who are more at home in bars than on the revolutionary streets. Slowly, the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor drags the city to the breaking point.

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Summary

Summary

Although it is little known in this country, The Belly of Paris is considered one of Émile Zola’s best novels. Set in the newly built food markets of Paris, it is a story of wealth and poverty set against a sumptuous banquet of food and commerce.

Having just escaped from prison after being wrongfully accused, young Florent arrives at Paris’ food market, Les Halles, half starved, surrounded by all he can’t have, and indignant at his world, which he now knows to be unjust. He finds that the city’s working classes have been displaced to make way for bigger streets and bourgeois living quarters, so he settles in with his brother’s family. Gradually, he takes up with the local socialists, who are more at home in bars than on the revolutionary streets. Slowly, the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor drags the city to the breaking point.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[The novel’s] descriptions of cuisine…are notable for their length, detail, and humor.” Washington Post
“One of Zola’s own favorites, [The Belly of Paris] is a brilliant exposition of one man’s fragmentation and an often painful indictment of those who live innocent of infamy or praise.” Publishers Weekly

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: 13.07
Audience: Adult
Language: English