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143 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Favourite
If you are currently watching The Paradise [DVD] on tv (which so far two episodes have been shown) you will have seen that the story was adapted from Zola's great novel. I should point out that it is a bit misleading, and it would have been much better to say inspired by the book. Anyway, you have been warned, the period drama is to a certain extent fluffy and a bit...
Published 21 months ago by M. Dowden

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THis particular publication is too small a typeset
This is not a comment about the work, its an exellent novel already reviewed many times over the years.

This particular product is printed on very poor trnasparent paper and the typeset is too samll to read comfortably.

I would recommend you spend a bit more on a better quality publication otherwise you may be distracted by the poor quality of the...
Published 7 months ago by Michael H


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143 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Favourite, 5 Oct 2012
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
If you are currently watching The Paradise [DVD] on tv (which so far two episodes have been shown) you will have seen that the story was adapted from Zola's great novel. I should point out that it is a bit misleading, and it would have been much better to say inspired by the book. Anyway, you have been warned, the period drama is to a certain extent fluffy and a bit glamorous, however the real story as presented here, Au Bonheur des Dames, isn't like that. Even if you can't stand the period drama, you may find that you are going to love this story.

For me I think this is now the third copy of this story that I have owned; I started my working life in an old building, that was a department store, you still had the tiny rooms in the attics where the female staff resided years beforehand, whereas the junior men slept under counters on the shop floor. With that background it was inevitable that I would lap this book up. Also I should point out that this is the eleventh novel in the 'Rougon-Macquart Cycle' being the sequel to Pot Luck (Pot-Bouille) (Oxford World's Classics), but this is a fully enclosed novel, so don't worry if you have never read any of the other books, or even if this is the first Zola novel that you have ever read.

The actual story works in two ways as such, you have the owner of The Ladies' Paradise, Octave Mouret who is a great womanizer and even preys on his female staff becoming smitten with Denise Baudu, one of his staff. Denise has come to Paris hoping to stay with her uncle as she has her two younger brothers to try and support. That in itself would have been a good story, but Zola went much further. Studying his subject exhaustively and being inspired by the Bon Marche for his store this book shows how the department store arose, and the tactics to induce you to visit, which you will soon realise are quite commonly used to this day.

Starting as a small drapers shop we see how The Ladies' Paradise expands, offering more and more departments and items as it does so, undercutting all the local shops, thus putting them out of business. With a look at Denise's uncle and other shop owners we can really get a feel for how they suffer. Describing and thus letting us in on the use of advertising, the ways of selling cheap (including loss leaders), as well as the planning of the store, we also see how a model was devised that with slight alterations to this day are still being used, thus in an era where we have seen massive growth in supermarkets this is still relevant. Seeing how the shop works and the conditions for the staff this tale really comes alive. In an era when commercialism was just starting this shows us how it grew, and still grows. As always with Zola this book gives you a story that you can sink your teeth into and that keeps you reading spellbound as you are taken back to the days he describes.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ladies Paradise, 8 Nov 2012
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The television series made me curious to read the original story of The Ladies Paradise. If you have ever been an impulse buyer or a shopaholic, then you should read this book. It so clearly describes the business of selling! Emile Zola writes vividly of the beauty and glamour of the store and the consequent demise of the independent retailers. Swamped by the advantages The ladies Paradise can offer to the customer, using high turnover and low prices as a means to gain enormous profits overall, they cannot compete. All this is told through the captivating love story that develops between the extraordinary shop assistant Denise and Mouret, the owner of The ladies Paradise.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic revived by the catching new BBC series, 12 Nov 2012
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I have always enjoyed reading Emile Zola's novels. The new BBC series Paradise, which I have been enjoying watching, reminded to read Zola's novels again. It is an curious look into lives of newly created middle classes that being born by the industrial revolution and birth of retail marketing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THis particular publication is too small a typeset, 26 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
This is not a comment about the work, its an exellent novel already reviewed many times over the years.

This particular product is printed on very poor trnasparent paper and the typeset is too samll to read comfortably.

I would recommend you spend a bit more on a better quality publication otherwise you may be distracted by the poor quality of the material
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 9 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Bought this as I love the TV.
It is different to the TV but I have read it several times.
It has different characters and quickly Moray likes Denise and has no Katherine in it.
I would recommend it to anyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece, 2 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I realy pity all people who criticize this book and I would like to ask them: What was before, a novel or a TV series? Who adapted who? People who prefer sugar coated Tv emissions to reading good book quit after few chapters. Of course, you should be concentrated and not party somewhere else. I do not understand Mrs. Kate who complained about too many French names. Does she read only boks of English origin? What about me, who is neither English nor French and have to read English version as I do not have a translation in my language? How many foreign names do I meet when I read French, English, German... novels! I do not want to humiliate anyone, but such criticism simply raised my pressure.

My regards to all Zola admirers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies ' Paradise, 10 Mar 2013
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Ms S. P. Wood - See all my reviews
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An excellent novel as expected from an internationally renowned author. The depiction of the shopping experience in the 19th century is superb, the characterisation and storylines riveting. I was very sorry when I reached the end of the book.
The story is different to the TV dramatisation but is as enjoyable and allows the reader to explore the characters in greater depth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ladies Paradise, 31 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Nice good feel book to read. It keeps the reader engaged thought out the events of the story. It's a great addition to all the classic books in someones collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!, 17 Dec 2012
By 
A. C. Benjamin (Amsterdam, NL) - See all my reviews
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I was inspired to purchase this book after watching the BBC series based on this novel. I'm so glad I did because the book is sooo much more interesting!

TIP: Do Not read the introduction - keys points in the plot and the ending are given away. The development of the story is spoiled, which is important since it is so different from the television series if that is what you're basing your purchase on. And if it isn't, then it really is annoying.

Fortunately, the history of how department stores were developed (key in this story) is so fascinating, I couldn't put the book down. The background research done by the author is deep and well sourced. Even though this book was written in 1883, much of what is written seems to apply to current society. You will discover that there is very little new in sales techniques, marketing and promotion!

Bottom line = classic books are classic for a reason! Very well written, truly gripping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paradise, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Was in need for a good book for a while and then found this after watching the Tv series and I love the book! Good read.
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The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics)
The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics) by Émile Zola (Paperback - 4 Oct 2012)
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