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Germinal (Les Rougon-Macquart #13)

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  21,452 Ratings  ·  818 Reviews
The thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s great Rougon-Macquart sequence, Germinal expresses outrage at the exploitation of the many by the few, but also shows humanity’s capacity for compassion and hope.

Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a clever but uneducated young man with a dangerous temper. Forced to take a back-breaking job at Le Voreux mine when he cannot
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Published January 25th 2011 by Library of Alexandria (first published March 1885)
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Étienne Lantier - Claude, the painter's brother! Nana, the whore's brother! Jacques, the murderer's brother! Gervaise, the alcoholic's son!

I know this part of the Rougon-Macquart family tree better than any other, and each of the family members stands for a novel that sends a shiver down my spine - of reading delight and sorrowful mourning over the human condition. "Germinal" is a masterpiece in its own right, but one can't help thinking of the social background of the young man wandering up the
Henry Avila
Mar 03, 2017 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emile Zola's acknowledged masterpiece written in 1885, the politics are dated as history has shown, his overemphasis on sex, research and common sense have refuted, this is the 19th century, not the 21st, (trying to sell more books ? "Nana," made the same error) his characters are more symbols than real human beings, with a quite melodramatic plot even, yet Germinal, is a superb novel, which will capture your total interest, the reader will learn much about little known aspects, the dangers , of ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
824. Germinal, Émile Zola
ژرمینال - امیل زولا (نیلوفر) ادبیات فرانسه؛
عنوان: ژرمینال؛ نویسنده: امیل زولا؛ مترجم: سروش حبیبی؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، کتابهای جیبی، چاپ اول 1356، چاپ دوم 1357؛ در 537 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ سوم 1384؛ در 552 ص؛ چاپ چهارم 1386؛ شابک: 9644482611؛ چاپ چنجم 1388؛ شابک: 9789644482648؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - قرن 19 م
عنوان: ژرمینال؛ نویسنده: امیل زولا؛ مترجم: نونا هجری؛ ویراستار: م. آزاده؛ تهران، فرزان، چاپ اول 1363، در 555 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، گوتنبرگ، 1386؛
“I am little concerned with beauty or perfection. I don't care for the great centuries. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity.”- Emile Zola

Let me draw a scene for you. I appreciate your patience as I am going to write it as vividly as possible.

The lady on the chair is well past her prime- 40 maybe- with her youthful rosiness and smooth, taut skin beginning to give away under the suffocating reality in which she and her family are haplessly ensconced. The room in which she sits is tiny, b
MJ Nicholls
This novel is about as grim and horrendous as literature gets. Instead of ranting about the history of human suffering at various pitches of bowel-plopping rage, let me take a more facetious route. Let me instead discuss various mining experiences lived out on the Sega Mega Drive. Remember Mega Bomberman? Those who do will remember the mine level.


This level was pivotal in the game, since here a remote-controlled power-up was available which was crucial for facing down the final boss, whose beard
Feb 25, 2014 Carmo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tivesse Gustave Doré criado gravuras para Germinal, como criou para o Inferno de Dante, e não haveria grande diferença entre os dois casos.
Tê-las-ia feito nos mesmos tons lúgubres, cinzentos e tristes, mas em vez dos demónios, das serpentes e das chamas, seria a cobiça humana, a fome e a miséria a ilustrá-las. Aqui as almas ainda habitam os corpos e descem ao inferno das minas, com fome, a tiritar de frio ou a suar de calor, exaustos, doentes, sem esperança, tratados como bichos e que só como b
Steven  Godin
Within the first few pages of Zola's striking masterpiece I was completely sucked into his vision of the poverty suffering and slave driven folk of the mining world, first published in 1885 it holds the power and importance for today. As we start with young unemployed railway worker Etienne Lantier wondering the cold and punishing landscape of northern France in search of work, and without a penny to his name is desperate to land just about anything that pays. After stumbling into a small mining ...more
GERMINAL - what can I say? I studied this book at university and my whole degree course was worth the time and effort just for introducing me to the author. GERMINAL now stands as my favourite book of all time, an intense masterpiece of fiction.

The basic storyline is a miner's strike. It doesn't sound too good or too detailed, but it's all here: politics, chaos, social realism, a love story, an action story, heroes and villains, the good and the bad. Yes, it is melodramatic, but I guess I like m
Jul 17, 2009 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Felt like reading a Naturlist, and I remembered Zola. Germinal was the only Zola novel on the library shelf, and I chose it merely in deferrence to the author. Little did I know that many critics believe Germinal is one of the 10 best French novels ever written.

I like stories where people are ground down by nature--poverty, weather, work conditions, hunger--and the lower economic demographic is forced to suffer and survive. The Industrial Revolution offered so many ways to catalogue the sufferi
Mar 10, 2017 Jorge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
¡Proletarios de todos los países, uníos!

Me pregunto si esta obra literaria, que nos abraza y nos abrasa, habrá sido leída alguna vez por algún minero.

¿Germinal es una novela de tintes políticos y sociales o es un relato humanista o es, tal vez, solamente una novela sin mayores pretensiones producto del naturalismo?

Aunque el epígrafe de esta reseña abriga un sueño de unión de los oprimidos y un velado llamado a una revuelta social, considero que esta obra aborda ambas temáticas, tanto la polít
Jun 12, 2016 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A literatura francesa não está na moda. É pena. Émile Zola escreveu este clássico da literatura mundial, em 1881, e por alguma razão ela continua a andar por aí. A verdade é que não é uma história fácil e sei que durante uns dias isto vai andar por aqui a mexer comigo: há até quem defenda que este livro devia ser queimado (um exagero - nenhum livro por mais mau que seja merece esse fim - haja respeito). Zola viveu com e como um mineiro, experimentou uma realidade crua e nua de quem pouco mais es ...more
Apr 13, 2017 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-list
Germinal thoroughly described the social and political climate of a coal miners’ uprising in northern France in the 1860s. The book was admittedly slow to start, but once it finally got going, it was truly engrossing…up until the last 80 pages or so, when it anticlimactically trickled off to a fairly lackluster ending. Also, I could have done without the “dramatic” love triangle, which didn’t really add much to the book in my opinion.

At its best, however, the book was damned exciting. The unbear
Hugo Emanuel
Aug 11, 2014 Hugo Emanuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Germinal é parte integrante do ciclo Rougon-Macquart, um ambicioso projecto de Emile Zola no qual este se propõe a documentar minuciosamente a sociedade francesa contemporânea e salientar á boa maneira Naturalista a importância da hereditariedade e contexto social no desenvolvimento ou retrocesso de uma nação, em particular a francesa, recorrendo para o efeito a vinte romances que se debruçam sobre a dinastia Rougon-Macquart (sendo Rougon o ramo legitimo da família em questão e Macquart o ilegít ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Manny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Contrary to what you may believe, Germinal is not a minor work.
Laurie –A Court of Books–
Rating this book is a difficult thing.

It took me a while to read it, I knew that before starting it, Zola is a big deal. Long descriptions, unnecessary parts, complicated way to say what he wants. But in the end, the meaning and the message is always deep and strong.

Rating : 3,5

As I said I was about to give up on this book every two seconds, I was like "hold on, it is not that bad"

Let's be serious for a minute.
I did liked this book. I already studied this part of history in school, but Zola br
Selin Secen
Nov 10, 2016 Selin Secen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Şimdi yoldayım, sıklıkla köylerden geçiyoruz. Evlerin içi görünüyor, içerde hiçbir şey yok. Yatak bile yok, hamakta yatıyorlar. Biz yiyecek bir şey bulmakta zorlanıyoruz bazen, her şey pahalı üstelik. Bu insanlar ne yiyor acaba diye düşünürken Germinal'i okumak daha da kötü oldu. Hiçbir şey yemiyorlar, bardak dibindeki kahveyi sulandırıp içiyorlar, bulurlarsa kuru ekmeğe yağ sürüp midelerinin sesini bastırıyorlar. Yine de kocaman bahçelerinde ekili hiçbir sebze, meyve yok. Oysaki iklim ve toprak ...more
Moon Rose
Aug 11, 2011 Moon Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-shelf, fiction

Germinal refers to the season of spring, the time of renewal when the seed of life starts to sprout again from the ground, germinating hope after the long dormancy of winter.

Émile Zola symbolically refers to this spring of hope as the wretched lives of the coal miners, amidst the sour inflictions of deprivation, leading to their depraved lives, slowly awaken from their long years of passive obedience, allowing them to see a picture of a better life as it hus
Feb 16, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 and 1/2 stars

I'm presently in an online group discussing this book, which is probably the reason I don't feel like writing a proper review.

This is my second Zola and I admired it as much as I did my first, L'assommoir, even if I subjectively liked the latter a bit more. The structure of the novel and the way Zola handed the complexity of the issues through the eyes of his main character, Etienne (son of the main character in "L'assommoir"), is impressive.

The group scenes are tense, thrilling,
Mar 03, 2011 Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wobbly cages descending into the pit, miners half-naked toiling in the scorching darkness of the mine’s galleries, the veins bursting and flooding the passages, the meager wages the miners receive at the end of the day, the wives desperately scouring for gruel each meal, the parents giving their daughters to the grocer to get flour and sugar; all recounted in a calmly detached voice.

Courrières Mine Disaster
Courrières Mine Disaster

Etienne, a vagrant worker, joined the fraternity and dissatisfied with the inhuman da
Nia F. S. Kartadilaga
Sudah pernah membaca versi berbahasa Inggris sejak beberapa tahun yang lalu, lupa persisnya. Berhubung baru keluar versi terjemahan dari GPU dan saya mendapatkan buku ini sebagai salah satu hadiah Reading Challenge yang diadakan oleh Gramedia dan iJakarta, jadi ada alasan khusus untuk membaca ulang buku ini. No? Will update soon...
Moi, je vois autrement. Je n’ai guère de souci et de beauté et de perfection. Je me moque des grands siècles. Je n’ai souci que de vie, de lutte, de fièvre. -Émile Zola

Zola is the supreme novelist, at least how I interpret that vocation. Like Dickens, Zola went out and studied France and her people for inspiration while Proust sat in a cork-lined room and dreamed up all of his stories in his head. I'll take journalism over the human imagination any day. Germinal is the essence of this style of w
Joana Marta
Quem era o idiota que punha a felicidade deste mundo na partilha da riqueza? Esses revolucionários, esses visionários, podiam à vontade demolir a sociedade e reconstruir outra que não acrescentariam uma alegria à humanidade, nem um dissabor lhe tirariam cortando a cada um sua fatia... Alargariam mesmo a desgraça da terra, fariam um dia uivar de desespero os próprios cães quando os arrancassem à tranquila satisfação dos instintos para os elevar aos insaciados sofrimentos das paixões. Não, o único ...more
Jul 19, 2007 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Erin, Katy
In 1871, Zola began a 20 volume series called Les Rougon-Macquart of which Germinal is the 13th, written in 1885. The series chronicles the life of one extended family in a tale that explores the class structure in France during the Second Empire. While he surveys the society from top to bottom, he is also weaves in the influence of environment and heredity on position and behavior. Its an incredible series, and as each novel is its own character study, between the first and the last books, you ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Bethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regular-fiction
Almost Biblical, mixed in with soapy melodrama. A bleak social novel (The Grapes of Wrath comes very much to mind and is in the same tradition) set in the 1860s about the long and excruciating sufferings of a mining community who strike for better pay and conditions. Hunger, overcrowding and sex are themes, and it's roused to almost apocalyptic levels aided by the beast of the mine. Zola's psychological understanding of humans was sometimes outstanding and I like how he did not wrap anything up ...more
Dec 05, 2015 Nataša rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nekada davno sam započela ovu knjigu i ubrzo je napustila, jer mi je radnja bila previše teška (i nezanimljiva)... Sada je bilo potpuno drugačije - često mi je bilo krivo što nemam više vremena za čitanje, tokom dana. Konstantno mi je držala pažnju, jer epilog nisam mogla ni da naslutim.
Hepi enda naravno nema, ali ne mogu reći da me je kraj razočarao. Sve u svemu, ostavlja jak utisak.
Pa zato i jaka četvorka :)
Jun 04, 2014 Lada rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le roman presente une these, fait partie d'un projet de travail de la part de l'ecrivain, Emile Zola, qui represente la decheance d'une famille, d'une tare d'une folle qui se perpetue dans sa descendance, la tare aupres de laquelle ils ne deviennent que des victimes impuissantes.
C'est un tres beau roman de la vision et de la foi pour la lutte contre exploitation de houilleurs contre une compagnie des mines. Emile Zola appartient a l'ecole surrealiste, donc son ecriture depeint la realite et la
Mikey B.
Feb 04, 2013 Mikey B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
** Some spoilers within **

An extremely intriguing story that moves along with several sub-plots – all of them well interconnected. The style is very social oriented – in this case exploring the lives of coal miners in the north of France. It resembles Dickens who was concerned with both social issues and class issues; but unlike Dickens, who was very puritanical; the sexual passages in “Germinal” are really quite forthright – for instance women have menstrual cycles.

Zola, I would say, is somewhe
May 28, 2008 Aaron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Germinal is Zola's supposed masterpiece chronicling a miner's strike in a French coal-mining town. I expected a thoroughly depressing book, and that's what I got.

I had a couple of issues with the book. First of all, the main characters felt very flat. There wasn't much to interest you in them, especially the main character, Etienne. The most interesting characters Souvarine, Bonnemort, Jeanlin, Deneulin, get reduced to bit roles and instead you're just left with fragments of them, but maybe tha
Maria Thomarey
Nov 23, 2015 Maria Thomarey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Μακάρι να είχε και παραπάνω αστέρια
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Eugénie Grandet
  • Une vie
  • Bouvard and Pecuchet
  • Manon des Sources (L'eau des collines, #2)
  • The Gods Will Have Blood
  • The Counterfeiters
  • Fantômas (Fantômas, #1)
  • The Red and the Black
  • Against Nature
  • Gautier Récits Fantastiques
  • The Princesse de Clèves
  • The Horseman on the Roof
Émile François Zola was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France.

More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 books collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart. Unlike Balzac who in the midst of his literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola from
More about Émile Zola...

Other Books in the Series

Les Rougon-Macquart (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Fortune of the Rougons (Les Rougon-Macquart, #1)
  • La Curée (Les Rougon-Macquart, #2)
  • The Belly of Paris (Les Rougon-Macquart, #3)
  • La Conquête de Plassans (Les Rougon-Macquart, #4)
  • La Faute de l'abbé Mouret (Les Rougon-Macquart, #5)
  • Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart, #6)
  • L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop) (Les Rougon-Macquart, #7)
  • Une Page d'amour (Les Rougon-Macquart, #8)
  • Nana (Les Rougon-Macquart, #9)
  • Pot Luck (Les Rougon-Macquart, #10)

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“Blow the candle out, I don't need to see what my thoughts look like.” 141 likes
“If people can just love each other a little bit, they can be so happy.” 93 likes
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