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Nana (Classics) Paperback – 26 Jul 1973


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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (26 July 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140442634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140442632
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The translation...is fluid and true to the text. The A.G. Stevens cover print is an excellent choice."--Roy Arthur Swanson, Univ. of Wisconsin --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

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.

George Holden is a known translator.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book - powerful in its critical exposure of the decadence and moral emptiness of its characters and their environment, as well as of the social and political backdrop in which the novel is set. Nana is a product of the Parisian underclass, and this is the story of her rise from the gutter, how she uses her body to capture the attentions of wealthy, foolish middle-aged men, and how she brings down destruction on all those she entraps and manipulates. It is a highly moral tale, despite the fact that the book initially suffered from the censors of the day. Zola's descriptions of the sleazy Paris theatre house where Nana is first discovered - he always meticulously researched his subjects - are totally convincing and evocative of the era and location. Nana rises and falls, and rises again, she is an embodiment, a symbol of all that Zola found rotten and corrupt in the politics and society of his day. Please buy this book - it is unforgettable - the gruesome final paragraph of the novel will stay in your mind forever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lila on 9 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
With l'Assommoir, the best novel by Zola. This story of a young courtisane who breaks all rich men's hearts is a metaphor for the revenge of the working class against the bourgeoisie. Nana avenges the poor in her own way, she never forgets her origins, and that is what will be her downfall, eventually.
I also highly recommend the TV miniseries 'Nana' with Véronique Genest, broadcast in the 80's (available on amazon.fr). You'll agree that generally, film adaptations of novels are disappointing, in that case it's not. The adaptation is brilliant and perfectly captures the novel's atmosphere; the actress Veronique Genest incarnates a wonderful Nana, very faithful to the essence of the character.
But read the novel first!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ahantrobus on 23 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
I must endorse Lulu and the comments on this book and particularly the refence to
the French mini series. Veronique Genest certainly brings the character of Nana to life.
Regarding reading the book first....
In a way for some it might work the other way and be usefull to see the series first and then read the book.
The series is totally French without the benefit of sub titles but shot in a style that like a Hitchcock film
enables the story line to be understood without knowledge of the French lamguage.
And then all will become very clear and doubly enjoyable when the book is read.
That has been my experience anyway.
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Format: Paperback
The sequel to Zola's masterpiece L'Assomoir, Nana follows the story of Gervaise's daughter Nana (whose earlier years are depicted in that novel) after she left home and went to the bad. Established as a courtesan/actress her vitality, exquisite colouring, humour and native viciousness carry her to the top of her particular tree - and I defy anyone not to be somewhat charmed by her, for all that we see her true colours! We travel with her in her rise, seeing along the way the rotten underbelly of the Second Empire, the bohemian life of the acting world, and the alliances and squabbles of the leading courtesans. Indeed Nana does so well that she could become honest and retire to the country - as it appears some of her colleauges have done. But her weak character (Zola's bee in his bonnet) won't permit her to do this, and so we can ride with her on her fall back to the streets, her second rise - and her exquisitely symbolic destruction.
As always with Zola, not a laugh a minute, and people don't, on the whole, end well. However Nana's perverse charm, humour and zest for life make this one of the more upbeat Zola novels.
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