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The Ladies' Paradise (The Ladies' Delight) - Unabridged Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Since I associate Zola with grim, unrelenting tales of exploited coal miners, the theme of a Paris department store dedicated to delighting women seemed at first uncharacteristically tame and frothy. In fact, behind its plate glass and eye-catching displays, “Au Bonheur des Dames” proves to be as dominating and exploitative as any industrial factory, its shop assistants, clerks, packers and delivery men mere cogs in the machinery, as controlled as any industrial worker, on the mass production line of retailing.
Beneath his charm and apparent empathy with women and their love of fashion, inspired entrepreneur Octave Mouret is in fact a cynical manipulator: he is not only a casual seducer, but views his female customers as an inexhaustible captive market to be dazzled by his marketing ploys and all too readily induced to fritter away their husbands’ money on the material goods he displays with such alluring skill. His sponsor Baron Hartmann warns him that one day women will “get their revenge” but Mouret is knocked off course where he least expects it by the sweet, unsophisticated but stoical country girl Denise Baudu, who is quick to grasp that the department store is a part of inexorable progress, but steadfastly sticks to her personal principles.
In vivid if wordy descriptions, Zola describes how the magnificent store looms over the surrounding gloomy alleys, further cutting them out from the sun.Read more ›
I now intend to read the proper story written long ago by a well known author. I have not bothered to see any more episodes of the tv show. You cannot beat the classics and I have many saved onto my Kindle.
The book is preferable having all the 'grit' and realism for which Zola is famous.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story but the edition I downloaded was such a poor translation that the narrative clunked along without the brilliance of Zola's literary style.Published on 6 Dec. 2014 by Deborah Dalton
This is one of the few books that I could read time and time again. The descriptions of the materials in the shop are mouth-wateringly exquisite. Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2014 by Alice
Sometimes over descriptive and repetative but kept my interest. Books by Emile Zola are always good at reflecting the social classes of that time and this is no exception.Published on 6 May 2014 by Sandy
The book is a great read! However, I find the number of scanning errors and doubtfully translated words couldn't allow me to give it a five star rating. Even so, it's gripping.Published on 1 Mar. 2014 by Di Zastor
This started off o.k. and showed promise but began to get tedious as it got bogged down with business practices. Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2014 by Solitude
The series The paradise was based on this book although in reality bears little resemblance to the television series it was well written and a good readPublished on 7 Feb. 2014 by Pam
First time I have read Zola. Too much description of the shop and goods in it. Not much of a story.Published on 31 Jan. 2014 by avidreader