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Money (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 13 Mar 2014
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this superb translation ... pulls off the rare double feat of fidelity and fluency. (Alison Finch, Emile Zola Society Bulletin)
Much praise to OUP for bringing out this excellent translation by Valerie Minogue, complete with an informative introduction and notes. (Shiny New Books)
I was justifiably excited by this new translation of Emile Zola's novel Money ... Overall the text is fluid and reads as if it were not a translation at all. (ANZ Lit Lovers)
About the Author
Valerie Minogue has taught at the universities of Cardiff, Queen Mary, London, and Swansea. She is co-founder of Romance Studies and has been President of the Émile Zola Society, London, since 2005.
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This brilliant novel follows the fortunes of Aristide Rougon, known as Saccard, as he pursues his way through the French financial institutions, with a grand scheme to build a bank (the Universal Bank) and speculate on the stock market. A power house of a novel with a great cast of characters typical of Zola. Saccard enjoys great appetites in life, money being the main one and as he builds his bank and makes an incredible fortune on the stock market for his share holders, taking in all classes of people, from the most humble and poor, to the rich. But as the share prices for the Universal soar to untold of highs not all is as it should be, shady goings on mean that the eventual crash of the bank and the schemes and undertakings in the Middle East leave all involved a lot worse of than when they began.
As with all the Zola novels in the Rougon-Macquart series that I have read this is highly recommended, Zola's brilliant descriptions of people, places and events mean that one is engrossed from beginning to end and it is nicely (as are all OWC books) annotated, showing that some events and people are based in part on real people and events and some even mirror recent events - what goes around, comes around.
Anyone who loves reading (especially 19th c novels) and has yet to try Zola, please give him a go. Recommended titles are; L'Assommoir (the dram shop); Nana; Germinal; La Bete Humaine. All excellent, but I started with L'Assommoir and recommend that as as good a novel to start with as any.
Most exciting read.
One of the best practitioners of Naturalism so here we are transported to Paris in the 1860s. Aristide Saccard is back on the scene after his rise and fall in the novel ‘The Kill’. Here he is once again plotting to become the number one person to come to, the king of money, and a power to be reckoned with. Here then, after meeting brother and sister Georges and Caroline Hamelin, who are neighbours, so a vision of the brother gives impetus to Saccard. There is definitely something very ambitious about the creation of the World Bank, which is to finance vast projects in the Middle East, and even set the Pope up in Jerusalem with funds, thus putting him in at the heart of Christian religion.
Of course though this is Saccard, someone who we all know likes to cut corners and do things his own way. Thus as the bank is created and shares are being issued so things are not as they should be behind the scenes, with a bit of fraud, skimming off the top and other nefarious deeds going on – although not all by Saccard. Thus we see a bubble being built, with unrealistic expectations and share prices reaching unbelievable heights. With our main character, so we see how his anti-Semitism doesn’t help things, and we all know that bubbles are liable to burst.
It takes Gundermann the Jewish financier to start putting things in to place to start a bubble burst, but as we see even he and other bankers have to try and step in to try to prevent an even deeper collapse and depression. With a whole host of characters so we see how people from all walks of life are affected, as well as other characters out to make money off of others through any means possible.
I really enjoyed here reading of the old days when the stock exchanges were not all computerised and people were running to and fro with messages and buying and selling. This book really captures that and brings it to life, which for a lot of younger people will be something completely new to read about. Taking in many themes as well as historical events this is well thought out and researched and is as is usual with this author certainly worth reading and reminds us all of the importance of firmly regulated markets and financial controls, as well as the power of greed.
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