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The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 4 Oct 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Paperback, 4 Oct 2012
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Mti edition (4 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199675961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199675968
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.5 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Brian Nelson's lively translation of Au Bonheur des Dames, which was inspired by the revolutionary "Bon Marché" department store, reminds us that this was a ground-breaking book about a seismic shift in social behaviour and gender roles: the first shopping-and-striving epic. (Boyd Tonkin, The Independent i)

About the Author

Brian Nelson is an Emeritus Professor of French Studies and Translation at Monash University, Melbourne. He is the author or editor of twelve books on aspects of modern French and European culture, including The Cambridge Companion to Emile Zola, and he has translated four other Zola novels for the Oxford World's Classics series."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
If you are currently watching The Paradise [DVD] on tv (which so far two episodes have been shown) you will have seen that the story was adapted from Zola's great novel. I should point out that it is a bit misleading, and it would have been much better to say inspired by the book. Anyway, you have been warned, the period drama is to a certain extent fluffy and a bit glamorous, however the real story as presented here, Au Bonheur des Dames, isn't like that. Even if you can't stand the period drama, you may find that you are going to love this story.

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.
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Well written. Very likeable main characters. To much material about the shop. Would have liked more about the characters in the book.
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The Ladies' Paradise (BBC tie-in) (Oxford World's Classics)
Émile Zola
Watched this on tv first. So had to buy the book ready to take on holiday later in the year :-)
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The television series made me curious to read the original story of The Ladies Paradise. If you have ever been an impulse buyer or a shopaholic, then you should read this book. It so clearly describes the business of selling! Emile Zola writes vividly of the beauty and glamour of the store and the consequent demise of the independent retailers. Swamped by the advantages The ladies Paradise can offer to the customer, using high turnover and low prices as a means to gain enormous profits overall, they cannot compete. All this is told through the captivating love story that develops between the extraordinary shop assistant Denise and Mouret, the owner of The ladies Paradise.
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I have always enjoyed reading Emile Zola's novels. The new BBC series Paradise, which I have been enjoying watching, reminded to read Zola's novels again. It is an curious look into lives of newly created middle classes that being born by the industrial revolution and birth of retail marketing.
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I was inspired to purchase this book after watching the BBC series based on this novel. I'm so glad I did because the book is sooo much more interesting!

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.
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Format: Paperback
Bought this as I love the TV.
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!
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I realy pity all people who criticize this book and I would like to ask them: What was before, a novel or a TV series? Who adapted who? People who prefer sugar coated Tv emissions to reading good book quit after few chapters. Of course, you should be concentrated and not party somewhere else. I do not understand Mrs. Kate who complained about too many French names. Does she read only boks of English origin? What about me, who is neither English nor French and have to read English version as I do not have a translation in my language? How many foreign names do I meet when I read French, English, German... novels! I do not want to humiliate anyone, but such criticism simply raised my pressure.

My regards to all Zola admirers!
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