Germinal is one of the most striking novels in the French tradition. Widely regarded as Zola's masterpiece, the novel describes the working conditions of French coalminers in the 1860s in harsh and realistic terms it is visceral, graphic and unrelenting. Its strong socialist principles and vivid accounts of the miners' strikes meant that the novel became a key symbol in the workers' fight against oppression, with chants of 'Germinal! Germinal!' resonating high above the author's funeral.
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by Emile Zola
by Nigel Hinton
by Matt Johnson
by Katie Ashley
by Emma Kavanagh
by Peter Frankopan
by Adam Zamoyski
by Rhidian Brook
"Zola's novel paints a chilling image of poverty and desperation in a small mining town in Northern France in the 1880s. Narrator Leighton Pugh has a serious tone that lends itself to the story's somber mood. tienne, a despairing outcast, takes a job in a coal mine to avoid starvation. Influenced by his rising socialist views, he plants the seed within the miners to strike in response to unfair wages and poor living conditions. Skillful in his vocal characterizations, Pugh captures the well-intended miner Maheu with a soft-spoken, raspy voice and the leader tienne with a sense of earnestness that characterizes his passionate resistance. Pugh's reading echoes the anxiety that permeates the novel, and he delivers an absorbing performance. D.M.W. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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