I first heard of Zola with an extract from this book, and it was one of the most incredible things I'd ever read. It took me awhile to find a copy of this in English. I've read other Zola books before this but this was definitely my favourite. I admire what Zola was trying to do, write reality as it happened, but I feel that in a lot of his books he falls short doing that, making the humans more miserable than they need to be, using plot devices to make things go from worse to worse. Here there was none of that. Here it really felt like he was capturing the world as it was.
There were some lovely speeches, and some lovely scenes of Paris in the 60s and 70s. I loved that while the author was non-judgemental in having characters living together and having children without being married, the character in the book that represented him, wasn't able to invite the women in the unmarried couples to his house for dinner because that would be "Improper".
I throughly enjoyed this. I think it is definitely the best Zola I've read so far, and I think I will have to try and read more....Continua