Germinal

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Penguin UK, Jan 29, 2004 - Fiction - 592 pages
17 Reviews
Considered by André Gide to be one of the ten greatest novels in the French language, Germinal is a brutal depiction of the poverty and wretchedness of a mining community in northern France under the second empire. At the centre of the novel is Etienne Lantier, a handsome 21 year-old mechanic, intelligent but with little education and a dangerous predisposition to murderous, alcoholic rage. Germinal tells the parallel story of Etienne's refusal to accept what he appears destined to become, and of the miners' difficult decision to strike in order to fight for a better standard of life.
 

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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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - roblong - LibraryThing

In 19th century France, the miners of Village Two Hundred and Forty go on strike after the company cuts their wages below subsistence level. The standoff becomes an outright war against their ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Emile Zola (1840-1902) was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. His principal work, Les Rougon-Macquart, is a panorama of mid-19th century French life, in a cycle of 20 novels which Zola wrote over a period of 22 years.
Roger Pearson is professor of French at the University of Oxford. He is the author of critical works on Voltaire, Stendhal and Mallarmé and has translated Voltaire, Zola and Maupassant.

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