They were either too mean and selfish or too passive and naive. View all 3 comments. When they decide to rent the upper floor of their house to an abbot, the severe Faujas and his mother, their whole world is transformed beyond recognition. Thanks for telling us about the problem.
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Shelves: 19th-century , france , zola 6. No matter how much I read, there were always at least pages left to go. Was Penelope at work, on her magic shroud? While I slept, she added pages each night. This is surely the most boring book in the Rougon-Macquart series yet. This is my 4th. Multiple stray thoughts occurred to me as I was sighing and bemoaning my way 6.
Now: not so much. Now, it just annoyed me because the more I read, the more absurd it became. I even read it in French for a while, thinking that the translator had dropped the ball on this one, as often happens with Zola. The translator was bang-on, in sentiment, in cultural reference, in boring old prose. Mon Dieu. Oh, such prophecies, in the old and wise!
I could have written this in my sleep and made it a barn-burning mini-series for television. I still hear the low base rumbling in my skull. This book has driven me to the edge of distraction. But even they, in their machinations, could never have gone this far. Human nature is not like that, and I am surprised that Zola should paint them this way. Marthe Mouret is the epitome of religious ecstasy gone badder-than-bad: a portrait incarnate of unrelenting religious fervour and obeisance-to-the-Black-Cloth in misplaced adoration: in loving the man, she thinks she is loving God.
Such women were indeed created by the Catholic Church, but never such a woman as Mme Mouret. The dozens of other evil characters that populate the novel are no more than stick figures of evilness, which once again surprised me in Zola. Perhaps by this point in the series he was getting tired of his own mission, of painting the baseness of human nature and so let loose like a cannon shot, without much accuracy. As I slept on this, and reflected more, my estimation fell even more, and so slipped to a mere 6.
This one was so over the top, that even Le ventre de Paris was less gormandizing.
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