- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Reprint edition (Dec. 1970)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140441204
- ISBN-13: 978-0140441208
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,188,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Therese Raquin (Classics) Paperback – Dec 1970
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More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, and more.
"A gripping yarn" Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Emile Zola (1840-1902) is the author of Les Rougon-Macquart - a cycle of 20 novels written over a period of 22 years including Nana(1880), Germinal (1885) and The Drinking Den (1877)- which provides a panoramic view of life under Napoleon III. He was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. Zola campaigned for justice over the Dreyfus affair - `it is up to us poets to nail the guilty to the eternal pillory' - and his open letter to the President `J'accuse' landed him a prison sentence that he evaded only through exile in England. He is buried in the Pantheon alongside Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas. Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, was published in 1992, and he has written nine others, two collections of stories and six books of poetry - most recently Voluntary. Thorpe's translation of Madame Bovary, `stunning and heartily recommended' (Scotsman), is available in Vintage Classics. He lives in France with his wife and family.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
THERESE RAQUIN is the earliest of Emile Zola's novels to have maintained a position as a literary work of some intrinsic value and not merely as one of his historically interesting juvenilia or worthless pot-boilers. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
Zola takes the new science (at that point) of psychology and applies it here, showing man to be no more than an animal driven by physiological appetites. It's not an edifying view of humanity, and in fact there is little humanity in the book at all, but it's somehow not a depressing read for all that. perhaps Zola's own ghoulish energy lifts it, or the sublime writing? If your French is good enough, then read it in the original, but if not this is an excellent translation.
Zola, being a trained journalist, doesn't quite allow himself to go that far, but this is still very much a stripped down affair, intended to examine the effect of committing a murder on two lovers. At this time, it was believed that humans were driven by different tempers - bilious, sanguine, nervous and lymphatic. People of a bilious or lymphatic nature were prone to mental distortions. Zola uses these characteristics as handles for his leading characters and his psychological profile as to how they react to events is driven by this piece of medical knowledge. A lot of the surrounding imagery of the book - colours, locations and so on - is based on the traits that were thought to accompany these conditions.
About two thirds of the book is concerned with the consequences of the murder and almost all of this focuses on how the actors are feeling rather than what they are doing. Indeed, Zola often skips over bits of action with a wave of his pen, simply noting that events have happened and as a result the protagonists now have new emotions to deal with. It's the total opposite of the modern `show don't tell' school of writing.Read more ›
The modernity of this book is startling. It is almost impossible to believe it was first published in 1867. It is a gripping, seething tale of neglect, bitterness, and lust that turns to horror and despair as its key protagonists crave redemption and release.
Therese is the adopted daughter of a simple haberdasher and her feeble son. She has learnt young to expect nothing from life, and is not disappointed. She marries the son only because it pleases the mother, and, after all, what else is there? It is a life of such alienation and boredom that only a writer as great as Zola could portray it and yet hold the reader in anticipation of what is to follow. And what follows is altogether more eventful: passion described with a vividness that is shockingly erotic; violence that makes the reader wince; fear that haunts you between each reading.
By the time the tale twists into its downward spiral you may fear that Zola does not know where to take it next. It circles for a while in repetitious misery. But the author is only preparing himself for a final assault that leaves you closing the book as if it were a prematurely opened grave: with a mix of terror and fascination.
But most remarkably of all, Zola has somehow, in this story of desperately lost eighteenth century Parisian souls, found qualities and frailties that are so universal and so poignant that you care even as these creatures tear themselves and each other to pieces.Read more ›
It is dark and disturbing, but so compelling.
A marvellous study in the dark side of human nature.
I am usually disappointed with endings of books, but not this one.
Zola is a great writer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written but full of clichés, especially the words -' brutish and also ' peasant'. Overblown, all the people-really without exception , were base, repulsive-... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Leisel-loves-to-read
A story of corrupt and corrupting passion. A weak husband is dispatched by his wife Therese and his friend from back home, Laurent. Read morePublished 2 months ago by os
I was told that this book was erotic. That was not the case, it should be sold as a murder story and the fallout that follows it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JANE DOE
One of his greatest and underrated books. You can feel the pain,' and claustrophobia. Sordid but gripping.Published 4 months ago by malcolm reeves
Rather strange and old fashioned translation! Could have been translated betterPublished 5 months ago by david gottelier
I first read Therese Raquin in Leonard Tancock's 1962 translation over thirty years ago, and it has been a marvellous experience to re-read this mordantly grim and gripping tale... Read morePublished 6 months ago by KaleHawkwood
A very dark gothic tale of lust, murder, and divine justice. Particularly horrible is the figure of the paralysed mother, forced to hear again and again, the story of her son's... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jason Stewart Luscher
wonderfully written about the grim side of 19th century working class life and a narrow personality affected by her upbringingPublished 7 months ago by beth easterby