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This review is from: Germinal (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I came across this book on one of the Open University literature courses. It tells a harrowing tale of life in a mining community as the workers gradually starve and are forced into desperate measures for their survival when a new worker, Etienne Lantier, arrives and eventually masterminds a strike against the worsening working conditions endured underground, and the devious new pay structure. The backbreaking working life of the miners is accurately and chillingly portrayed, (you'll never want to go in a lift again!) contrasted with a backdrop of sexual permissiveness in the community. There are echoes of Mrs. Gaskell and 'Love on the Dole'. In all, a chilling evocation of the workers' hellish existence, and familial ties, in nineteenth cnetury France.