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The Ladies' Paradise (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 10 Jul 2008
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"An excellent addition to [my] course.... It will be a permanent part of my syllabus!"--David Ortiz Jr., University of Arizona"This book offers an excellent insight of Europe during the 19th century and the patriarchal society."--Maud Cox, College of Charleston --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Brian Nelson is Professor of French at Monash University, Australia
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Top Customer Reviews
For me I think this is now the third copy of this story that I have owned; I started my working life in an old building, that was a department store, you still had the tiny rooms in the attics where the female staff resided years beforehand, whereas the junior men slept under counters on the shop floor. With that background it was inevitable that I would lap this book up. Also I should point out that this is the eleventh novel in the 'Rougon-Macquart Cycle' being the sequel to Pot Luck (Pot-Bouille) (Oxford World's Classics), but this is a fully enclosed novel, so don't worry if you have never read any of the other books, or even if this is the first Zola novel that you have ever read.
The actual story works in two ways as such, you have the owner of The Ladies' Paradise, Octave Mouret who is a great womanizer and even preys on his female staff becoming smitten with Denise Baudu, one of his staff. Denise has come to Paris hoping to stay with her uncle as she has her two younger brothers to try and support.Read more ›
Watched this on tv first. So had to buy the book ready to take on holiday later in the year :-)
TIP: Do Not read the introduction - keys points in the plot and the ending are given away. The development of the story is spoiled, which is important since it is so different from the television series if that is what you're basing your purchase on. And if it isn't, then it really is annoying.
Fortunately, the history of how department stores were developed (key in this story) is so fascinating, I couldn't put the book down. The background research done by the author is deep and well sourced. Even though this book was written in 1883, much of what is written seems to apply to current society. You will discover that there is very little new in sales techniques, marketing and promotion!
Bottom line = classic books are classic for a reason! Very well written, truly gripping.
It is different to the TV but I have read it several times.
It has different characters and quickly Moray likes Denise and has no Katherine in it.
I would recommend it to anyone!
My regards to all Zola admirers!
I recently decided to give it a try and I'm so glad I did. It is quite different from the TV series but there are key similarities so I think fans of the series would like this book as well as those who haven't seen the TV adaptation.
It focuses on Denise and Mouret and the working of the store and the impact the site has on local businesses. It has a great balance of romance and human interest and commerce and business. This is the kind of book I could badger my husband into reading and at the end he would probably say it was quite interesting because he learnt about the rise of the department store and Parisian life.
It's a great book and one I will definitely read again. The good thing about being different from the TV series is that it is similar enough to immediately grab your attention but different enough to keep you interested and be full of suspense and surprises. Love it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked this book from the library as I wanted to read a book written by an author whose name started with a Z. What a lucky pick! New to Zola, and a sewist, I loved this book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Closet Romantic
Bought this for my mother after she watched The Paradise TV series.Published 6 months ago by Graeme
I first read Au Bonheur des Dames several years ago, but had forgotten what a great and exciting book it is. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bernardette Lugner
Great read. Apparently one of the series. Came across it by accident and it is now one of my favourites novels.Published 15 months ago by Joanna
A quarter of the way through the novel and already you realize how great a writer Zola was! He goes into the psychology of consumer spending, etc.