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Description

A father and three of his seven children work brutal hours in a mine, facing hazards such as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas about a workers' revolt, the family gradually embraces his plans. Soon the settlement is aflame with resolve to strike for better wages and working conditions. Savage and horrifying events ensue as miners clash with management and with each other. With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Zola chronicles the conflicts, lusts, and deprivation of life in the coal fields of 19th-century France.

Published in 1885, Germinal helped establish Emile Zola — an artist of unsparing candor — as the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. André Gide chose this masterpiece as one of the ten best novels in the French language.

(P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critiques

"Few readers of audiobooks can match Frederick Davidson's remarkable skill....He's equal to the task, rendering this complex, yet worthwhile, novel accessible to all listeners." ( AudioFile)

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Notations

Global

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Histoire

  • 3 out of 5 stars
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R D
  • 15/11/2009

Welcome

Many have braved the unbelieveble trials that underground mining has put upon those who dare, but for the most part it was a decision made in good faith. Back in the days that Emile Zola wrote of there was no choice. He brings to light in an elequent way the sufferage that was put upon family, friends and even beasts. This is mining at its worst. As a hardrocker with 36 years I can say that it worked. Zola`s Treatise brought about many improvements for the coal miners, and after a fashion, hardrock miners as well. Few books have had so much impact.

6 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ben Miller
  • 13/01/2008

Amazing imagery

Zola's book about the struggles of the French working class and the labor movement in the mid-1800's is conscious raising. It reminded me of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" in it's vivid portrayal of how working people struggled to simply put bread on the table while the bourgeoisie lived in comfort.

The reader gave an excellent performance. As is typical with male readers, he struggles with the female voice. His pronunciation of the French names were superb.

6 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Noora
  • 12/07/2013

A modern book but over a hundred years old

You may have heard about it in literary history class, but in order to really appreciate it you must read it. This is raw realism, undisguised mud, blood and sweat. People applaud writers like George RR Martin for adopting a "rough" style, but it's not a new invention. More than a hundred years ago writers like Zola turned their backs to the romantic worlds of Dickens and Dumas, got rid of the perfume and make-up, and pushed the reader out into the muck of the real world. This book could have been written yesterday and still be considered great. The fact that it's from the 19'th century makes it brilliant.

The story isn't half bad either. In fact, it's really good.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Danielle
  • 18/01/2016

Good story, uninteresting characters

The book tells a great story in terms of historical descriptions and details. The characters were, unfortunately, uninteresting and two-dimensional. I didn't really care about any of them, and I wasn't moved by what happened to each of them throughout. Fairly disappointing.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sher from Provo
  • 23/04/2015

An Important Book

I can't decide if I really like this book or not. I certainly like a lot of things about it, especially the ending, but I got bogged down in it. I realize it is a classic and that everyone should read it, but it just got a little strung out for me. I think if I had been alive in the late 19th century I would have loved it, but it isn't as relevant now.

However, I totally sympathize with the plight of the working man of the time. The working conditions were deplorable and wages were so low that a man could not support his family. Not just men, but women and children, and even very old people worked in the coal mines, anyone who was able bodied enough to hold down a job. But even with two, three, or four incomes per household, these families were starving and wearing rags. And worse, they had no hope of ever having a better life. The strike depicted in this book, although it did not change things a whole lot, paved the way for later, more successful strikes that led to better working conditions and higher wages, thus the name of the book. We are all the beneficiaries of the things these people went through, and for that I am grateful.

Of course the incomparable Frederick Davidson is a fabulous narrator. I know some people consider him to be "an acquired taste," and I agree with that to a point. But he is worth the effort of getting to know and appreciate. No one reads better than he does.

2 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Martha
  • 08/08/2007

terrible reader

the reader is awful. The inflections are not right for the material. He is very difficult to listen to. The book is good, but because of the reader, I definitely would not recommend it.

3 sur 13 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Coral
  • 18/01/2009

Harsh, Depressing, Historical Novel

I bought this book as it was required reading for a course I'm taking in History. If you are looking for a cheery novel to read on a trip I suggest you try something else. Sex without love or for that matter romance, starvation, children having sex with each other, and proverity due to poor market and inablity to link sex with having babies are just in first half of what this novel has to ofter. I really do not understand why this novel has a high rating on amazon. However if you what to know what life was like in the 1880 in France for coal miners this book will tell you.

3 sur 15 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.