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La Bete Humaine (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 28 Apr 1977

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Paperback, 28 Apr 1977
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Reprint edition (28 April 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140443274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140443271
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,351,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This book was written nearly 150 years ago yet feels utterly contemporary. In this book, Zola turns his attention to those members of his fictional disfuntional family who work in or around the railway. Unlike some of his other books, Zola sets aside his fixation with the social injustices of the day to create a thriller about a murder on a train and the culprits' disintegrating lives as they attempt to conceal their crime. It may be far-fetched, but the story moves at a cracking pace. The atmosphere is enhanced by the evocative descriptions of the engine drivers battling to control their steam trains. "Germinal" may be Zola's masterpiece, but nothing else he wrote matches this gripping effort for excitement.A great read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a very thrilling novel, setting out the origins of the Rougon-Macquart dynasty, right from Tante Dide and through the next two generations. It's a page turner particularly if one has read already a few of Zola's novels of the series, as it sets the scene and helps visualizing the family tree and makes all personages fall neatly into place. It clarifies Zola's intentions of characters for the various family members in terms of the influence of Heredity and the Environment. It is as Zola declared : L'Histoire naturelle et sociale d'une famille sous le second empire.
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By A Customer on 30 May 2001
Format: Paperback
I stumbled upon this book for 15p in a charity shop and now it holds pride of place in my second-hand book collection. Which is a pity, because a book so driven by mad lust, unfathomable plans, crazed desires, selfishness,metal and flesh, blood and rust, belongs somewhere else. It belongs to then, and now, effortlessly transgressing boundaries of time, sucking the reader into its twisted murderous love affair wherein the reader is reduced to the state of impotent voyeur, unable to judge- much like the impulsive protagonists.Its' themes of modernity versus the base instincts in man are ruthlessly explored ,each character is seeped in, and bound to, their own selfish ends; their own misguided understandings of possession, set against a backdrop of an industrial revoulution which reflects the disasterous shortcomings of the protagonists and their boiling provincial inadequacies. don't, don't read it on the train...
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