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OUP Oxford, Jul 10, 2008 - Fiction - 576 pages
21 Reviews
Zola's masterpiece of working life, Germinal (1885), exposes the inhuman conditions of miners in northern France in the 1860s. By Zola's death in 1902 it had come to symbolise the call for freedom from oppression so forcefully that the crowd which gathered at his State funeral chanted 'Germinal! Germinal!'. The central figure, Etienne Lantier, is an outsider who enters the community and eventually leads his fellow-miners in a strike protesting against pay-cuts - a strike which becomes a losing battle against starvation, repression, and sabotage. Yet despite all the violence and disillusion which rock the mining community to its foundations, Lantier retains his belief in the ultimate germination of a new society, leading to a better world. Germinal is a dramatic novel of working life and everyday relationships, but it is also a complex novel of ideas, given fresh vigour and power in this new translation. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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User Review  - bookworm12 - LibraryThing

Whoa. What a ride! This story of French coal miners going on strike in the 1860s sounded so dull to me when someone first recommended it. Then someone else mentioned it, then another person, and I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jmoncton - LibraryThing

If there was ever a book that demonstrates the need for unions to prevent companies from oppressing the masses, then this is it. This book describes in dark, gruesome detail the lives of coalminers in ... Read full review

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