Thérèse Raquin

Thérèse Raquin

Book - 1992
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One of Zola's most famous realistic novels, Therese Raquin is a clinically observed, sinister tale of adultery and murder among the lower classes in nineteenth-century Parisian society. Zola's shocking tale dispassionately dissects the motivations of his characters--mere "human beasts," whokill in order to satisfy their lust--and stands as a key manifesto of the French Naturalist movement, of which the author was the founding father.
Publisher: London : Penguin, 1992
ISBN: 9780140441208
Characteristics: 255 p. ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Tancock, Leonard


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May 12, 2015

I feel strangely surprised that I liked this book; maybe I’m more of a fan of melodrama than I thought.
For such a short story it certainly packs a punch, in a rather brutal and cruel way. When I requested a more mercenary attitude out of my heroines I wasn’t exactly expecting to get this much.
Despite all the cruelty witnessed and perpetrated by the humans in the story, I found the most traumatic part to be the scene with the cat, it was very seriously disturbing.

Jan 28, 2015

"Therese Raquin is the only one of Emile Zola's works outside of his novel-cycle "Les Rougon-Macquart and his polemic "J'Accuse" that is widely read. Indeed, with a few individual works from that twenty-volume cycle, it represents the height of his achievement as a novelist."-from the introduction
Along with Flaubert, Balzac, and de Maussapant, the French writer Emile Zola helped pioneer what we think of as realism (which would mutate into naturalism) and lay the groundwork for the modern novel. "Therese Raquin," which has been filmed several time, is one of his best-known and most accessible books, although it originally shocked people in 1867 for its frank, non-judgmental look at adultery, murder, suicide, and the dark controlling forces of society. Not a fun read by any means, but an important one for anyone who wants to understand the development of the novel. Its plot of a woman and her lover killing her husband also forecasts film noir and hardboiled fiction, especially the books of James M. Cain.

Sep 21, 2011

A story of lust out of control that leads to murder, this is not a "who dunnit" kind of crime mystery. Zola, with his literary skill, acquaints the reader intimately with the desires and consiousness of the 4 central characters, including the murderer's. A psychological thriller, the suspense never seems to ease up. Very enjoyable.

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