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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Setting the scene, 9 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: His Excellency (Son Excellence Eugene Rougon; Rougon-Macquart) (Paperback)
This novel is probably of more interest to Zola fans and to those interested in the Rougon-Macquart series as a whole. It fills in important background on the characters and situations of the famous novels (La Terre, Germinal and so on). The intrigue is built around the acquisitive folk of the two families with the central character being Eugene Rougon. Whilst he is not so well drawn as some of Zola's great characters his machinations drive the action and like many an anti-hero he comes up smelling of clover at the end of each scrape. Gains that are made are political rather than financial so it acts as a foil to The Kill. There are the usual long passages of description but there is more going on than in some of the novels e.g. The Belly of Paris. The political goings on in the national Assembly I found fascinating and it was very tempting to draw contemporary parallels. I think Zola understood politicians very well. The novel works in much the same way as the early books of a Dickens novel, carefully laying the ground for what is to follow.
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His Excellency (Son Excellence Eugene Rougon; Rougon-Macquart)
His Excellency (Son Excellence Eugene Rougon; Rougon-Macquart) by Emile Zola (Paperback - 28 Sept. 2006)
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