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Thérèse Raquin

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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  8,242 ratings  ·  646 reviews
One of Zola's most famous realistic novels, Therese Raquin is a clinically observed, sinister tale of adultry and murder among the lower classes in nineteenth-century Parisian society. Zola's shocking tale dispassionately dissects the motivations of his characters--mere "human beasts", who
kill in order to satisfy their lust--and stands as a key manifesto of the French Natu
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 30th 1962 by Penguin Classics (first published 1867)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul
You don't need another Coca Cola
Or the latest Francis Ford Coppola
You don't need a holiday in Angola
You need this novel by Emile Zola
It's raw like a bad case of ebola
It's atomic like gay enola
Not pretty like a gladiola
Or sweet like a tune from a old victrola
He told the truth like the Ayatollah
He was revolutionary like Hizbollah
He never needed no payola
He didn't have a Motorola
He wrote the truth, he was Emile Zola
Like a panel he was solar
Nineteenth century rock and roller
He put Balzac back in his
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MJ Nicholls
You know how it is. Your mother marries you to your sexless cousin and in silent defiance you enter a torrid affair with a peasant painter. All those hours spent humouring the dull man in your dreary shop, waiting for your next animalistic tussle with your fiery lover. Then one day, you realise the conventions of early 19thC society are going to prevent you from ditching the boring old blood tie, and you will never be free to give yourself to true love.

God, the boredom! I mean, you can’t even k
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Somewhere within the spectrum occupied by anything from Romeo and Juliet to Tromeo and Juliet, there is a well-trodden path full of whispers, whimpers and piercing screams about the miseries of the love process. Whether you are tragically in love with your enemy's hottie boomdottie tween daughter or banging your best friend's girlfriend in an alleyway behind a bar all 2-minute-meal-style, Jonathan Richman had it almost exactly right when he explained to his (soon to be) adoring fans that "true l ...more
karen
and here i thought thomas hardy was cruel to his characters... this book doesnt take long to turn into slow torture for crimes committed, and it gets darker and more dramatic until it reaches the heights of opera-vengeance. its very tempting as a modern reader to question the characters motivations (why not just leave?? really?? just... leave.)but it was high time i read a zola, and i can continue my summer of "missed classics" with confidence.
Mary Crabtree
Very scary, very dark and definitely wonderful. Could not put this down. I learned about evil in this book.
Kim

Zola's preface to the second edition of this novel, which is included in the audiobook version I listened to, confirms that the work caused quite a sensation when it was first published in 1867. In the preface, Zola defends himself against charges of obscenity and states that the novel is in effect a detached and scientific study of the effect of temperament. While I'm not sure just how scientific and detached Zola really was, he was certainly scientific and detached enough for the novel to be r
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Chrissie
Usually when I review a book I try to allot the stars not by the audiobook's narration but by the author's words and content. With this book I am awarding four stars but it is partially due to Kate Winslet's fantastic narration. She is as you must know a famous actress. I strongly believe I would never have been able to imagine the words with the terror and emotion evoked through her reading. She does a fantastic job. In addition, I would have been furious if at every mention of Camille's name i ...more
Jane
This book is alive. From the first to the last I saw the story came to life and I was drawn so completely in. It made my heart beat a little faster, and even now I have put the book down, slept and lived through another day, it is still in my head and my heart.

On one hand the story is utterly modern: and it is timeless. It would be so easy to reset in in any period since it was published, and equally easy to take it back through the centuries.

Because this is a story of humanity. Of what people m
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Capsguy
Zola Zola Zola.

Will we ever go through a novel of yours without someone being murdered, attempted to be murdered, or at least plotted to be? No, I am not complaining, it does not feel repetitive at all, at least not in a negative way.

What we see here is typical gritty and savage prose by Zola. Two lovers find themselves in a sticky situation. Forbidden love with a married lady, spouse to your own friend. You can easily see how this sets it up for a great psychological suspense novel with an incr
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Sandra
E’ da cinque stelle solamente la scena finale, con una tragica e maestosa Madame Raquin che si erge su Thérèse e Laurent come un angelo vendicatore o come un Cristo sul trono pronto a dividere i peccatori dai salvati. Nel romanzo però non ci sono peccatori e angeli, buoni e cattivi, ci sono soltanto, come dice Zola, “bestie umane e niente più”, Thérèse, Laurent e Camille. Non solo la descrizione delle loro pulsioni più profonde e del loro animo amorale è cruda e spoglia di qualsiasi abbellimento ...more
Jessica
This was my first e-book -- the dealer gave me an iPad when I leased my car, and since I was heading out of town I decided to try it out by downloading this "book," which was free. I think I would've read it a lot quicker if it had been a real book, but who wants to deal with some weird apple-y screen that highlights and flips pages around when you touch it? Yuck!

Anyway, whatever. I prefer my books in book form, but in either format, this book was awesome! If you're a fan of James M. Cain et al.
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Steve
Apr 20, 2012 Steve rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Students of Noir, Zola completists, Cat haters
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shauna
"Sometimes people die," she murmured at last. "Only it is dangerous for those who survive."

First of all, a slow clap for Kate Winslet's reading of Émile Zola's Thérèse Raquin. I can't recommend her rendition highly enough.

A loveless marriage, a turbulent affair, a crime that will haunt them forever. In this novel we follow the story of Thérèse, her lover Laurent's and their descent into madness following their murder of her husband.

Fair warning, there will be scenes of murder, physical abuse an
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Laura
The original French text is available at Project Gutenberg.

Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.

And the audio version in English is available at LivriVox.

And the BBC Radio 4 - Classical Serial dramatization is available here.

And the audio version in French at Literature audio.com.

This is the story of a love triangle between Thérèse Raquin, her cousin and husband Camille and Laurent, one of Camille's friends.

In his preface, Zola explains that his goal in this novel was to "study temperament
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Lucrezia
"Come non assassinare questo povero Camille, questo essere malaticcio e appiccicoso, il cui nome fa rima con camomilla, dopo una simile eccitazione?" (Ferragus)

Niente, questo libro non poteva essere letto in un momento più sbagliato.
Non che mi abbia annoiato ,no, forse sarebbe stano meglio. Nulla mi ha lasciata indifferente, per la prima metà, per lo meno nella seconda si è ripreso un pochetto... Avrei voluto per lo meno provare qualcosa: indignazione , rabbia, gioia, noia... Ma nulla mi limitav
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Anastasia
Niente, io amo Zola e questo è un capolavoro.
Ehm, se cercate una lettura piacevole NON aprite questo libro. Thérèse Raquin è un incubo allucinato, irrazionale. Un'analisi eccellente, ma che più di così non si può. E' vero, si scorge quasi una specie di operazione chirurgica nel trattare con i sentimenti dei personaggi. La relazione fra Laurent e Thérèse è una relazione principalmente carnale, mossa dal desiderio. Carne, carne. E' forse una delle parole che rimbomba di più nelle loro menti, olt
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Tove
This was my first Zola novel, and I really liked it. It's the standard bored wife takes a lover, they plot and kill her husband, marry, etc. On the one hand, Therese (wife) and Laurent (lover) are presented as being placid and even lazy, but having their true passionate natures released in the presence of each other. In most love stories, this scenario might be an endearing one of inconvenient love and a cruel world that just doesn't understand, but Zola's usage of harsh words like "crushing," " ...more
Cecilia Marini
Thérèse Raquin: una storia terribile.

Quella di Thérèse e Laurent è una claustrofobica, viscerale e torbida storia di odio.
Incapace di provare altro che ribrezzo e disgusto per il patetico sposo e cugino Camille, Thérèse spera di evadere dalla monotonia della propria vita tra le braccia di un pittore fallito, un uomo inconcludente che non cerca che l’occasione perfetta per lasciare un lavoro che lo annoia a morte, per dedicarsi finalmente ad una vita oziosa e senza preoccupazioni.
Il ben poco pro
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Alex
Jan 29, 2014 Alex rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the gravely debauched
Therese Raquin is Madame Bovary on steroids. The young Zola was impressed by Bovary, and its influence is clear throughout Raquin - but he ratchets every aspect of the story up, for better and...well, mostly for worse; this isn't as good as Bovary.

Mainly that's because Zola is no match at all for Flaubert psychologically. Bovary is as trenchant a view inside the human brain as I've read outside Tolstoy; laser-focused and brilliant. Zola, by contrast, is muddling about with some almost Medieval n
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Alice Poon
This is a bleak and gruesome psychological tale that highlights the dark side of human nature and it's definitely not for the faint-hearted.

I'm giving it 3 stars because I personally do not like the lengthy, repulsive description of human evilness. That being said, the story is no doubt a gripping page-turner.

In the "Preface" of the book, Emile Zola summed up nicely what he intended to explore with this novel:

"In a word, I had only one aim, which was: given a powerful man and an unsatisfied woma
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Ray Campbell
In my pursuit of classics, I wanted to read an Emile Zola. This was a quick read. It begins as a romance, becomes a murder intrigue and ends with madness. Zola tells a good story while presenting a point of view and moral lesson. Zola was an important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and was a childhood friend of Cezanne. His life spans the second half of the 19th century and he is a figure in Paris during the time of the impressionists. All inform his writing which is a little stif ...more
Petra Xtra Crunchy
Jun 16, 2008 Petra Xtra Crunchy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heavy literature readers with a taste for social issues.
Shelves: fiction
The shortest and most readable books from the 20-vol Rougon-Macquart cycle but perhaps not the best one to start with. 'Germinal' more gives the full heavy, 19th C saga-with-issues flavour of Zola.
Sean
This review is for the novel as heard by the "A-List" audiobook performed by Kate Winslet. I like Kate Winslet, so I might be a little biased, but her performance in the audiobook was impeccable. Male and female characters alike were wrought with meticulous and convincing detail. So, I give 5 stars to the audiobook recording quality.

I give 3.5 stars to the novel itself. The first half is excellent. The portrait of Therese and the other characters is compelling. It details the hum-drum lives of t
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Bethan
Just as walls are described as slimy and the arcade dark, a fire hot and oppressive, a painting brown and badly done, there seems to be a green tinge about this loamy and gloomy horror of a novel. It's violent, passionate with sexual lusts, love for children, love for pleasure, and is exceptionally melodramatic. The first half especially made me think of the film Ossessione by Visconti. If you enjoy reading about a young couple's descent, this novel is for you.

Some of it I found clunky and not
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Andy
Highly recommended for any noir fan, Zola's "Therese Raquin" is one of the great grandaddys of noir. It has all the familiar elements of a Jim Thompson novel: Incestuous relations (The Grifters), an imbecilic seductress (A Hell Of A Woman), and even post-crime paranoia (The Getaway). I found the story rather Catholic in that it equates guilt as a stronger emotion than lust, but that's what makes the story so gothic.

The showstopper in the book is the disturbing and unforgettable description of th
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Dagny
Therese Raquin was one of Zola's first major novels of note, before his Rougon-Macquart series. It had immediate success, partly due to the scandal involved following the accusation of pornography. Published in 1868 and not pornographic at all by today's standards, parts of it no doubt came as a shock to Victorian readers, even readers of French novels. I found it to be one of those compelling reads that are difficult to lay aside and read it in two sittings. The characters were desperate and I ...more
Paul Dinger
This book is Zola at his best and worst. He can be a great writer of melodrama, you know nothing good is going to come of Therese and her boyfriend, and when it does happen it is still a surprise. Here present also is Zola the scientist who is giving you the elements of crime drama as though he were serving up truth 101. He never saw himself as an artist, yet years later that is the only reason to read him because he was one. It isn't as good as Germinal and La Bete Humain, but it is compelling ...more
Andrea Zuvich
Oh my goodness. What an amazing book. What first had me thinking it was a romantic story turned into one of the most psychologically horrifying and gripping stories I've ever read. Zola had an amazing capacity to understand human nature. I'm certainly never going to forget this story. Absolutely captivating from beginning to shocking end.
Julia
WoW! This was so disturbing, yet so moving and gripping at the same time. It is remarkably well written and structured. I have never read anything quite like it. This felt like a perfect blend between Madam Bovary and Crime and Punishment, and to me much more enjoyable than either of those books. This was also my first Zola, and I will definitely be reading some more. What surprised me about this book is that I usually feel no sympathy towards characters like Therese, or books that are written a ...more
Lynne King
What can one possibly say about the exquisite works of Zola. When I have time, I will write a review.
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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
More about Émile Zola...
Germinal (Les Rougon-Macquart, #13) Nana (Les Rougon-Macquart, #9) L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop) (Les Rougon-Macquart, #7) La Bête humaine (Les Rougon-Macquart, #17) The Ladies' Paradise (Les Rougon-Macquart, #11)

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“They dared not peer down into their own natures, down into the feverish confusion that filled their minds with a kind of dense, acrid mist.” 16 likes
“they seemed to be greater strangers than before” 5 likes
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