4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Fortune of the Rougons (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I agree with another reviewer here about stylistic shortcomings and a 'higgledy-piggledy' structure because the book exhibits both faults in abundance. There is also too much unregurgitated French political exposition for my taste, as, like many other Brits I suspect, my knowledge of the period is patchy. But Zola declared himself a writer as passionately as his childhood friend Paul Cezanne dedicated himself to painting, and the sheer energy of the prose (beautifully translated by Brian Nelson), and the author's ferocious application to his themes of family loyalty, treachery and hereditary is admirable. Powerful and disturbing scenes of revolution also stud the tale, one in particular laying bare the savagery of which we're all capable, which we see, for example, in the horrific pictures coming from Syria now. Excellent stuff and I can't wait to get 'The Kill', the second volume in this 20-novel series.