Germinal (Penguin Classics)

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9780140440454: Germinal (Penguin Classics)

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 symbolize 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 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, sexual desire, and everyday relationships, but it is also a complex novel of ideas, given fresh vigour and power in this new translation.

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About the Author:

Émile 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.

Review:

“[Germinal] made me realize that when books are considered ‘classics,’ most of the time they’re actually very readable and exciting.” —Daniel Radcliffe
 

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Emile Zola
Published by Penguin Classics (1954)
ISBN 10: 0140440453 ISBN 13: 9780140440454
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Zola, Emile
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Emile Zola, Leonard Tancock (Translator), Leonard Tancock (Introduction)
Published by Penguin Classics (1954)
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