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The Gods Are Thirsty: A Novel of the French Revolution
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The Gods Are Thirsty: A Novel of the French Revolution

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  104 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
It is the eve of the French Revolution. The aristos are drinking life to the dregs, indulging in every conceivable sensual vice as if there were no tomorrow, while the citizens, miserable in their poverty, seethe with envy and hatred in a sorcerous Paris, beautiful in the center, rotting into mighty slums around the edges.

In this sweeping novel, Tanith Lee depicts the sav

Hardcover, 528 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Overlook Books
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This novel about Camille Desmoulins, journalist, rabble-rouser, and one of the tragic figures of the French Revolution, is a repeat-read pleasure of mine.

In some ways, telling a story of an 18th-century revolutionary is an unusual ground for Lee, who is best known for her fantasy and scifi works (if you haven't read Silver Metal Lover, what are you waiting for, go read it!) In others, this seems tailor-made for the type of narrative loved by her - tragic, epic, a story of extremes with some ser
Jan 17, 2012 Ilaniel rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Tanith Lee, and I used to live in Paris, so I've got some soft spots about this book on both those counts, just to put that up front.

The story follows the last few years of French writer Camille Desmoulins' life, from his role in helping to spark the French Revolution to his tragic end as one of the guillotine's own victims, at the hands of one of his best friends--Maximilien Robespierre. This book is quite a dense read, and while that didn't put me off, it did make it slow rea
Oct 09, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-novels
I love this book! I've been on a French Revolution novel binge - I tried A Place of Greater Safety and didn't get into it; tried Anatole France's "The Gods are Athirst" and while it was interesting it wasn't really "historical" enough... then by the coincidence of titles I found THIS book, and I loved it so much. It helps if you have some prior knowledge of the Revolution (people, main events, terms), but she describes people and events so vividly that they stick in my mind like never before.

I t
Dec 29, 2012 Lil rated it it was ok
It probably was not fair to read this book right after reading Hilary Mantel's amazing A Place of Greater Safety. It might have gotten 3 stars then--although her calling Desmoulins "Windmill" throughout the book would probably have knocked it back down to two.

Like Mantel's book, The Gods Are Thirsty also depicts the life of Camille Desmoulins, one of my favourite figures. Unfortunately Lee's story is told in such an overblown and overwrought manner. At times I felt as if the author was being pa
Nov 07, 2007 Jeremy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like historical fiction
Just started this book, Tanith Lee is a dark author, which I like, so this should be good.

11-28-07 - so far so good. Lots of interesting information about the French revolution and the personalities and events that shaped it.

08-11-08 - This was a slow read for me, because it's a very long book, with many characters, that covers alot of material. Even though it's a little slow in some places, I really like the over-all composition and writing. Tanith Lee does a very good job of making her charact
Jan 26, 2011 Denise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favourites
I don't have the words to express how much I love this book. It sucks you in and spits you out on the streets of Paris during the French Revolution so vividly brought to life it takes your breath away. I love the way Tanith Lee uses and plays with the language in this novel, it's one of the many things that make this book stand out from the many historical novels I've read. A book I have read multiple times and will surely read again and again. Without a doubt one of my all-time favourites!
Jul 12, 2016 Diane rated it really liked it
Highly recommended. This beautifully characterized novel helped me make sense of the complicated history of the French Revolution. As Wordsworth said (and he was there) "t'was bliss in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven". This book captured that early excitement, and then the building dread as things went wrong, and it shows why it happened.
Will George
Jul 31, 2013 Will George rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Excellent, researched novel of the French Revolution. The characters really came alive. It's been a few years since I read it. Eventually I will read it again. I appreciated that the author didn't embellish the facts too much. With such a colourful true story one doesn't need to make stuff up!
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I tried to give this a re-read, but it was just too ... something. Dense perhaps. Also, this time I know how it ends. :/ (And given that this is historical fiction, apparently this is one of the cases where that matters.)
Dec 09, 2008 Lauren rated it did not like it
Shelves: tanith-lee
I think I'm spoiled by all of the fantasy/horror/scifi I've come to expect from Tanith Lee. While her writing is still wonderful, I kept remembering how much I suffered with A Tale of Two Cities.
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Jeni Higgins
Jeni Higgins rated it it was amazing
May 17, 2011
Just could not stand the author's writing style!
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Jun 16, 2008
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H. Anne Stoj rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2007
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Camille Besser rated it it was amazing
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Tanith Lee was a British writer of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. She was the author of 77 novels, 14 collections, and almost 300 short stories. She also wrote four radio plays broadcast by the BBC and two scripts for the UK, science fiction, cult television series "Blake's 7."
Before becoming a full time writer, Lee worked as a file clerk, an assistant librarian, a shop assistant, and a wai
More about Tanith Lee...

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