The Gods Will Have Blood (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
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The Gods Will Have Blood (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  658 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Published in 1912, when Anatole France was sixty-eight, The Gods Will Have Blood is the story of Gamelin, an idealistic young artist appointed as a magistrate during the French Revolution. Gamelin's ideals lead him to the most monstrous mass murder of his countrymen, and the links between Gamelin and his family, his mistress and the humanist Brotteaux are catastrophically...more
Paperback, Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics, 256 pages
Published December 1st 1990 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1912)
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Terry
3.5 - 4 stars

What happens when we let an idea, an ideal of what humanity ought to be, perhaps even a good one of what it could be, consume us? What happens when the idea becomes more important than the people it is meant to represent? What happens when this idea becomes a god to be worshipped blindly and that god thirsts for human blood in the name of necessity and perfection? Well, the answer is pretty self-evident I guess.

Anatole France’s The Gods will Have Blood aka The Gods are Athirst shows...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.625* of five

The Book Report: The journey through the Terror of the French Revolution made by artist Évariste Gamelin, aspiring bourgeois to Jacobin true believer to his inevitable fall after the Coup de Thermidor. One man's life journey explores the entire *amazing* and enthralling course of the defining break between the Old World Order and the New.

My Review: This book was a Book Circle read. Frederick Davies translated this work very ably, in that the prose is supple and muscular. T...more
Vanessa
Oh, I liked this. I really, really liked this. Nobel Prize winner Anatole France wrote this novel about the bloodiest years of the French Revolution (approximately 1793-1794) as seen through the eyes of ordinary citizens. One is a struggling painter and patriot named Evariste Gamelin. One is a former aristocrat and tax collector named Maurice Brotteaux who lives in the attic above Gamelin. One is virtuous and one is evil. One is kind and one is bloodthirsty. But who is who may surprise you.

Alas...more
Bruce
This historical novel was published in 1912 by the Nobel Prize winning author, Anatole France. It focuses on the events and psychology of participants in the Terror during the French Revolution. It has been translated into English under the titles The Gods Are Thirsty or The Gods Are Athirst. The main protagonist is Évariste Gamelin, a not very successful painter who lives with and with difficulty supports his widowed mother during this period of general physical deprivation. Gamelin is intensel...more
Keith
Jan 17, 2011 Keith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Keith by: Ron Maxwell
Shelves: 2011, fiction
The phase of the French Revolution that has come to be known as "The Terror" is perhaps the most depressing stage of a popular revolution that began with the high ideals as Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and descended into the shadow of Madame Guillotine. Anatole France was once a very successful novelist, so much so that he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1921. France was uniquely situated to write a great novel of the French Revolution. Born in 1844, his father owned a bookstore, calle...more
Zahra
هذه الرواية تحفة تاريخية
لأول مره في حياتي اخاف من الثورة الفرنسيه
الثورة التي تقضي على ابناءها بالتخوين والهرطقة
ورجالها الذين يسفكون الدماء بحجة امتلاكهم الحقيقة
.
.
ولسان حال ايفارست جاملين يتسائل عن :أيّ حقيقه؟
Carrie
my greatest fears are:
1- sharks
2- being alive during the french revolution.

fear 2 was born of this book.
Erik
Anatole France does a stunning job in The Gods Will Have Blood showing the slow disintegration of the French Revolution into the Reign of Terror. Spanning the years 1792 to 1794, beginning after the Jacobins have effectively seized control, France attempts to understand the revolution through the effect it has on the people living it. His fictional protagonist Gamelin personifies the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the revolution itself. He begins as an idealistic republican. Although he has cut himse...more
Julia Boechat Machado
Évariste Gamelin é ridículo, e se torna terrível.
A volúpia que Élodie sente ao pensar no cadafalso é fantástica.
Quanto à morte de Louis de Longuemare, de Marie-Athenaïs, de Jacques Maubel – o suposto amante de Élodie, penso no Marat/Sade, um dos melhores livros que já li, quando fala nos aristocratas que subiram ao cadafalso como se subissem ao trono – não é o cúmulo da depravação?
Carmen Takky
I rarely, no, I have never written a review on a book before. I never wanted to be placed in a position where I declare a book to be one of the best books I read, and only to be left with a feeling of disappointment and being cheated; in a good way; to find a better "Best" book. It is inevitable among readers.

But the only thought that filled my head as I leafed through the book, page after page, finishing it within hours while lying in bed, was that of me writing a review on this book.

Well I d...more
Chris Watson
An intelligent, subtle, touching, insightful book about the Jacobin Terror.
Gentle psychological exploration of why some men do evil and others do good.
Wonderful characters, subtle evocation of the times. Very delicate prose style.

Chambllion Zores
منذ اكثر من مائة عام وبالتحديد في عام 1912 نشر الكاتب العظيم الحائز على جائز نوبل للاداب اناتول فرانس روايته الرائعة "الالهة عطشى" ، هذه الرواية التي ترجع بنا الى فترة الثورة الفرنسية ليجسد الكاتب عمل ادبي فريد واصفا فيه صورة الارهاب الثوري الذي ساد في فترة الثورة والحالة الاجتماعية في تلك الفترة ، هذا العمل الذي ينبثق منه نظرة اناتول فرانس مناهضته للثورات واراقة الدماء والحروب والقتل باسم الثورة فهو المحب للسلام والمناهض للحروب، تتناول الرواية تحليل لشخصيات المجتمع الفرنسي التي ظهرت اثناء الثور...more
Sarah
I'd give this a 2.75 if I could

But I can't, so let's just round up, shall we?

Although the French Revolution fascinates me,The Gods Will Have Blood felt...well..dull. The Gods Will Have Blood had excellent historical backing. I can't complain about that. However, the general plot of the book was somewhat lacking.

Evariste, originally a painter, becomes a fanatic magistrate/juryman for the French Revolution. He begins as a fairly nice man--serving out verdicts with relative fairness. However, he be...more
Yavar
خدایان تشنه اند
Russio
Quite simply a masterpiece of ideas. Evariste Gamelin with the soul of an artist and enlivened with idealism at the French Revolution succumbs to the lure of zealotry as the revolutionaries set about taking care of business with a string of kangeroo courts. Appointed as a magistrate he faces difficult decisions as his vested interests are challenged and former friends appear before him. Tossed on the tide of shifting public opinion he finds events soon overtake his ascendancy. Meanwhile, his lov...more
Teresa
I liked this book. Especially that the author describes quite well the change between the beginning of the revolution, how it converged into terror (the fact that there's a quite "natural" progression and not a sudden change) and then finally to the end of the Convention, without describing the next period of the French Revolution as something "better". The writing was a bit tiresome, the characters were not very appealing to me, although the protagonist, Évariste,is quite interesting, but mainl...more
Sally Tarbox
Chilling tale of one Evariste Gamelin, a poor artist in revolutionary Paris. On the one hand he shows humanity: caring for his old mother, willing to give up his bread allowance to a starving woman, and jealously devoted to the lovely Elodie.
But his blind following of the Republic soon becomes apparent:
'We must put our trust in Robespierre; he is incorruptible. Above all we must trust in Marat. He is the one who really loves the people...he's not only incorruptible; he is without fear. He alone...more
Earl Solper
Sep 03, 2011 Earl Solper rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Romantics
Shelves: miscellaneous
In most historical fiction, the time period functions merely as a exotic backdrop. The name of every famous figure from the setting (within a decade or two)pops up, as the author name-drops to demonstrate a mastery of history (gleaned from Wikipedia). However, there is no real sense of immersion -- Renaissance Italy could be replaced by Victorian England or Feudal Japan simply by changing few names. The characters still behave as modern characters with modern prejudices pursuing modern relations...more
Anna
'The Gods Will Have Blood' distinguishes itself from other novels of French Revolution I've read by its fantastic level of cynicism. France's writing reveals the bitter ironies of the Terror, marshalling a fascinating cast of characters. At the centre of the narrative is Gamelin, an idealistic young artist who lives in an attic with his mother. He becomes part of the Revolutionary Tribunal and, as he sees it, fights to preserve the Revolution by sending traitors to their death. The major figures...more
Kelli Wilson
A chilling tale set during the France's (the country, not the author) Reign of Terror, this novel shows the reader what can happen when good ideas go off the rails, or when people are willing to put ideology ahead of their sanity and, more importantly, their humanity. It is also an interesting glimpse into what the rest of Paris was doing during this time period, because the majority of them were not sending people to the guillotine. Despite the "blood" mentioned in the title, this novel is not...more
David Nichols
I have yet to read a compelling novel about the French Revolution, though France's 1912 book Les Dieux Ont Soif (which I read in a 1927 English illustrated edition) comes closer to the mark than Dickens' Tale of Two Cities or Orczy's Scarlet Pimpernel stories. The characters in this novel at least have compelling, sometimes complex motives or flaws; main character Evariste, for example, is a frustrated artist turned bloodthirsty Jacobin, and there are some interesting scenes featuring a priest w...more
Claire S
Interesting.
The French Revolution is one of those things I know that I know insufficiently about. Liberty, Fraternity, etc.. and lots of bloodshed. This book sounds like a start at breaking through that.

Incidentally, I noticed this on Wikipedia:
"In the 1920s, France's writings were put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Prohibited Books Index) of the Roman Catholic Church."

Extensive info on France and this book:
http://books.google.com/books?id=C_qZ...
Jason Freeze
An interesting read that paints in vivid detail the descent of a man from idealism to fanaticism. It has many interesting parallels to the world in which we live with the rampant projection of conspiracy theories and division along political lines. Overall, it was well worth the time to read.
Stéphane
Formidable roman sur la période de la terreur à Paris. Tous les types de protagonistes y sont représentés - jacobins, peuple, émigrés, profiteurs, commerçants, opportunistes, fanatiques et même Robespierre en personne - dans un récit à tout moment passionant et déchirant.
Ecrit en 1912, Les Dieux ont soif, prouve que la bonne littérature ne dépérit pas.
John
A young French revolutionary loses perspective and becomes a fanatic. By the end of the story, everyone who holds a different opinion than his is an enemy and a traitor conspiring against the Republic. Unfortunately, he is a full-time juror. He and his fellow fanatics bring in the Reign of Terror, which claims the lives thousands, including his neighbor, a young prostitute, a monk, the woman who secured his appointment, his brother-in-law, and the man he mistakenly believes to be his rival for h...more
Ken
Anatole France's classic novel of the years following the French Revolution and life in Paris during the Reign of Terror. It's OK but, oddly, I found myself waiting for something significant to happen. It finally does. The story and descriptions give a good idea of the mixed up days when the guillotine supplied popular entertainment as well as horrendous terror. The fickle and convoluted allegiances of the street mobs and the main characters serves as an engine that moves the book forward. The j...more
Justin
I kinda got lost in the madness, but things started so wonderfully. If I new, or cared, more for the Terror, then perhaps this would elicit a more enlightened response. Unfortunately I know nothing of this period, and can only draw feeble comparisons between what I've read here and what I know from the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
Mark Clements
I read this in an undergrad European history class. I had no idea what I was getting into. A fascinating gem of a novel that deserves more of a place in America's burgeoning interest in in-translation literature. Also, it's about the French Revolution, so you know you aren't going to be bored.
Charles Puskas
"I just finished reading Anatole France's The Gods Will Have Blood (Les Dieux ont Soit, 1912) which I purchased at Shakespeare and Company Bookshop in November of last year. Wow ! It had fabulous insight into the reign of terror and the dreaded Law of Prairial, 1794!"
Esteban Gordon
"Defeats in the field, revolts in the provinces, conspiracies, plots, betrayals, the Convention had one panacea for them all, --terror. The Gods were athirst." An interesting tale of one man's participation in the French Revolution.
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Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1921 "in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament."

Anatole France began his career as a poet and a journalist. In 1869, Le Parnasse Contemporain published one of his poems, La Part de Madeleine. In 1875, he sat on the committee which...more
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“For a man’s life would become intolerable, if he knew what was going to happen to him. He would be made aware of future evils, and would suffer their agonies in advance, while he would get no joy of present blessings since he would know how they would end. Ignorance is the necessary condition of human happiness, and it has to be admitted that on the whole mankind observes that condition well. We are almost entirely ignorant of ourselves; absolutely of others. In ignorance, we find our bliss; in illusions, our happiness.” 6 likes
“Yet, every now and then, there would pass a young girl, slender, fair and desirable, arousing in young men a not ignoble desire to possess her, and stirring in old men regrets for ecstasy not seized and now forever past.” 3 likes
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