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Nana (Les Rougon-Macquart #9)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,131 Ratings  ·  358 Reviews
«Je vais faire un livre amusant et terrible» Nana ruine ceux qui la désirent : le banquier Steiner, le capitaine Hugon... tous seront séduits et conduits au désespoir par la «Vénus blonde». En décrivant la vie d'une courtisane, Zola dépeint, à la manière des moralistes, la débâcle de la société bourgeoise du Second Empire en un saisissant tableau de mœurs.
Paperback, 524 pages
Published May 2nd 2000 by GF - Flammarion (first published 1880)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David
Sep 20, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's why Nana should never be made into a movie... (Too late. It already has been. Four times.) Emile Zola has created a character so preposterous that casting agents in every corner of the globe would be hard-pressed to locate an actress capable of making her believable. Now I am not claiming that a woman like Nana could not exist—because our world is certainly chock-full of the preposterous—but she would necessarily be so exceptional—such an astounding confluence of so many unlikely variable ...more
Henry Avila
May 30, 2015 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the year of the fabulous Paris World's Fair, of 1867, when the glamorous city is crowded, with thrill seeking foreign and domestic visitors, Nana Coupeau, a prostitute, makes her unlikely debut also, on stage, in "The Blonde Venus", a spectacular but mediocre operetta. That she can't dance, sing or act, and has a horrible voice, doesn't matter, what is important, Nana is quite beautiful and has charisma, Monsieur Bordenave, the nervous owner of the shabby Opera House,"Varietes", isn't worried ...more
Traveller
Oct 02, 2015 Traveller rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-by-men
Disclaimer: Whereas I usually try to be objective with my ratings and reviews, with this specific one, I allowed my gut to lead me.

I hated this novel for it's sanctimonious preaching and its rank offensively aggressive misogynism (or perhaps, as has been remarked, it is misanthropy, plain and simple? ..since both men and women are ripped to shreds by the sharp lash of Zola's tongue pen ).

The general milieu in the period of history that this novel is set in, was very unkind to the poor, so good
...more
MJ Nicholls
Zola’s ninth instalment in the Rougon-Macquart cycle tells the tale of steely-hearted coquette Nana—part-time actress, part-time prostitute, full-time booty-shaking Venus mantrap. The first quarter of the novel is a bacchanalian romp through the Théâtre des Variétés demimonde, introducing Nana’s rolling revue of sexual partners and sugar daddies. After her semi-nude debut (where she shows off her ‘corncrake’ singing voice), she has all Paris’s men drooling at her calves. First she settles down w ...more
Manny
You've heard of The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold? Well, this is the other kind.
Teresa
Jun 19, 2015 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can imagine the outrage this novel (probably one of those racy French novels kept out of the hands of proper Victorian ladies) provoked at the time of publication with its explicit portrait of a actress-cum-prostitute. Zola didn't write to titillate; he himself was outraged (as usual) at a society that was bored, wasteful and decadent, caring only for its own pleasure, thinking nothing of the future, its own excesses causing its collapse.

I went back and forth wondering whether Zola was blamin
...more
Carmo Santos
Oct 21, 2014 Carmo Santos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frança
Não vale a pena pôr paninhos quentes e procurar razões que justifiquem o comportamento desta rapariga, estouvada e egoísta, cujo único trunfo era uma beleza estonteante e uma sexualidade pujante.
Nasceu pobre, viveu na miséria e deve ter sofrido toda a espécie de abusos, inclusive por parte do pai. Não chega! Há características que são intrínsecas a cada ser humano independentemente da sua origem e estrato social.
Apesar de a obra não revelar pormenores sobre os seus primeiros anos de vida, perceb
...more
qwerty
Mar 21, 2016 qwerty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason
Aug 31, 2009 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I get it--Nana rose from a fetid pile of garbage and alighted arbitrarily on the upper crust of Parisian society, staining it.

I get it--Nana exposed the myriad faces of man's desires, disgracing them.

I get it--Nana digested men wholly and selfishly, wildly prostituting herself.

I get it, but only in the last couple hundred pages. I'm an ardent fan of Emile Zola, especially the 20 part Les Rougan-Macquart series. His writing is powerful. However, the first 200 pages of Nana was downright boring. T
...more
Abailart
Jun 24, 2008 Abailart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Joy unlimited. A long, long time ago my kindly Headmaster recommended I broaden my reading prior to university, and gave me Germinal. I read it somewhat dutifully and marked as done, a knowledge of Zola. Now, man years later, I can read at last. And this book that has been staring from my shelf for years has bombed me out. Nana is a carbonated torrent of the most high speed and energetic writing I have come across. Decay, decadence, death, power, class, cruelty, the brilliant equation of the mus ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
روزی «زولا» با دوست نقاش خویش در رستورانی بنشسته، مشغول خوردن غذا بودند، پاسبانان وارد شدند تا زنان فاحشه را که بی مرد بودند، دستگیر کنند. زنان هر یک به مردی پناه بردند، و زنی روس هم به «زولا» پناه آورد، و «زولا» از سرگذشت آن زن پرسید و دوست نقاش «زولا» هم تصویر آن زن روس را کشید. زن خود را «نانا» معرفی کرد، این شد که «زولا» گفت: نام کتاب جدیدم «نانا» خواهد بود
Chrissie
Now I have listened to 5 hours, and do not like this at all. I have decided to dump it. I find the book boring and the characters unintelligent, with despicable behavior. I don't feel pity or empathy for any of them. Couldn't Zola have thrown in some humor? OK, Zola was a naturalist, but is it realistic to collect together such a bunch of loosers? Are people really this bad? And I am sick to death of the soirées, one after another filled with empty talk and drunkenness. Those at the soirées are ...more
James
Jan 18, 2016 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics, love
An amazing febrile whopper of a book. Nana, an actress and courtesan, is a one woman wrecking ball, the flame upon which a host of moths blinded by desire hurl themselves. Zola really does not pull his punches at any stage and the book rockets through to ever increasing lurid madness conjuring up the image of the Empire of the 1870s as a boat careening around a whirlpool as anchor after anchor snaps away. The ending in the particular uses a symbolism so pungent and gothic that one forgives the l ...more
Poncho
May 25, 2015 Poncho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015, french
It might be weird that I begin by the end of the story, but it was indeed what I liked the most in this novel. Well, actually, the last two chapters, for me, are just magnificent: from the literary style to the story itself. I was amazed by Zola’s way to describe decadence and how this man-eater stops having just ‘little bites’ and starts devouring her preys. What thrilled me the most of this book was the fact that I knew the characters were not likeable at all, which is true; that there isn’t a ...more
Bob
May 11, 2007 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It started with my admission (principally to myself, though I placed it on my blog, which means principally to myself) that I didn't know the difference between realism and naturalism - still figuring it out, but I think naturalism means you don't have to have a plot.
Joana Marta
A crónica do Fauchery, intitulada a Mosca de Oiro, era a história de uma rapariga descendente de quatro ou cinco gerações de bêbados, o sangue estragado por uma hereditariedade de miséria e de bebedeira, que nela se transformava num desequilíbrio nervoso do seu sexo de mulher. Brotara num bairro, nas ruelas parisienses; e alta, bela, de carnes soberbas, tal qual uma planta de estrumeira, vingava os vadios e os abandonados de que era produto. Com ela, a podridão que deixavam fermentar no povo, to ...more
Hugo Emanuel
Mar 05, 2014 Hugo Emanuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Nana - devoradora de homens e de fortunas. Nana – animalidade lasciva capaz de transformar libidinosa atracção na mais abjecta servidão. Nana – cortesã elevada á personificação mítica da fúria vingativa da miséria, vicio e corrupção sobre as falsas pretensões de moralidade e rectitude com que se trajavam os escalões mais altos da sociedade do Sec. XIX. Nana – um dos instrumentos utilizados por Zola para expor e revelar algum do excesso e ganância que transbordou do primeiro capitalismo liberal. ...more
Alex
May 31, 2011 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those who like time travel, not to a virtual time someone makes up, but to a real one such as Paris in the 1870’s, those who want vivid, detailed, and realistic imagery, minimal moralization, or those who want to sample “naturalist” or “scientific” literature, Nana is a perfect specimen.

Here we follow a first-rate Parisian courtesan into her home, every room, including the bathroom, to see her clients, what they do, talk about, eat, and how much money changes hands, what her room maid, cook
...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Nana is the daughter of Gervaise from L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop). Nana is a prostitute, hedonist, and narcissist. She has enormous sex appeal, able to attract men of enormous wealth with the crook of her finger.

It was very interesting reading this practically on the heels of Balzac's Cousin Bette, which had a similar theme. Balzac is told more from the view of the men, while Zola told from the female viewpoint. Nana's character is very well-developed - one is both fascinated and repelled. The p
...more
Linda Leven
Jun 11, 2012 Linda Leven rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
I must disagree with all the previous reviews. I found this book to be one of Zola's most tedious and tiresome. Of course. I am a Trollope lover, and maybe that is what accounts for my dissenting opinion. I will not go through the story. That has been told. I found the book crammed with scenes of large crowds -- at the dinners and salons, at the theatre, at the racetrack-- dozens of miscellaneous characters chattering away, frivolous conversations of meaningless nonsense. And most of these chara ...more
Judith
Nov 18, 2009 Judith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if I gave this book a fair shake because it was so annoying I had to stop reading it after 50 pages or so. All the women were described as "sluts" and "whores". All the men were drooling boors. And the author's tone seemed to be one of a madly gesticulating Frenchman flippantly dismissing various sexual escapades as if to say, "ah yes, sex is so boring. but what else is there to talk about?"
Eliana Rivero
May 30, 2015 Eliana Rivero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
¡Qué extraño mundo el de la sociedad parisiense!


Con esa pequeña frase se podría resumir lo que se vive en Naná. Émile Zola, como buen naturalista, nos muestra una sociedad profundamente desgastada y desvirtuada, en la que los mínimos valores son pisoteados para dar paso a los placeres de la vida mundana. Ya sean burgueses o prostitutas, todos parecen vivir en una comunidad en donde se pugnan por ser los peores seres humanos del mundo.

Naná es una prostituta que debuta como actriz en una obra te
...more
Bethan
Nov 17, 2012 Bethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regular-fiction
I couldn't help but laugh. It just seems funny and crazy in a lampooning way. It's full of sex and the stupidity of people. The more it went on, the more I hoped that the vapid and well-meaning but fiscally and sexually voracious prostitute Nana of the title would screw everyone over, including herself. As she did, repeatedly. It's such a French romp. I mean, really. France produces 120 Days of Sodom, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Story of O.. and Nana.

"Nana shot through like a cloud of invadi
...more
Mandy
Jan 04, 2009 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nana is one of the best characters in literature I believe, since she has all the flaws one looks for in ourselves despite being a courtesan. The book details beautifully the Haussmannisation in Paris and the emergence of prostitution as a result in the 19th century.

It was a fantastic read for me as I had just studied this period in art history and the details were all easy for me to understand.

What makes Nana so appealing is the fact that she goes from being a no one to being famous and gets ca
...more
Andrew
This is Nana. Watch Nana fuck. Fuck, Nana, fuck.

That is the plot of Emile Zola's Nana. It is a 19th Century French novel, which means it's this big messy melodramatic soap opera. But it's so much fun! Nana is a man-eater to make anyone on Days of Our Lives blush, tangled up not only in prostitution, but in gambling, gluttony, promiscuity, lesbian kidnappings (?!), sadomasochism, suicide, murder, and, most importantly for Zola, economic catastrophe. Not only can she burn down the lives of those a
...more
Lisa
Jan 19, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nana (1880) is one of Zola’s many masterpieces in the Rougon-Macquart cycle, no.17 in the recommended reading order. It follows the spectacular career of the young girl who ran wild at the end of L’Assommoir (1877) (see my review) and was last seen beginning her life as a prostitute, entering high society in a grand carriage as her alcoholic mother dies pathetically in abject poverty.

In Nana she starts out as a showgirl of very little talent in a (fictional) opera called La blonde Vénus at the T
...more
Jose Gaona
May 13, 2015 Jose Gaona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficción
http://conclusioninatinente.blogspot....

Novena entrega de la serie de Les Rougon-Macquart, Nana es la historia del ascenso y caída de una joven procedente de los arrabales y una metáfora de la decadencia de la alta sociedad en la Francia del Segundo Imperio. Para aunar ambas vertientes, Zola diseña un personaje antiheroico por el que el lector no puede evitar sino sentir al mismo tiempo desprecio y admiración. Nana es un torrente desbocado de impulsos. Y puesto que se alimenta de las debilidades
...more
Steve Lindahl
May 28, 2011 Steve Lindahl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nana has one of the worst beginnings of any novel I've read recently, but I ended up liking it very much.

The story starts at a theater where a new production of The Blond Venus is having its opening night. Nana has the lead. She's an actress who has received a great deal of publicity, but has not been seen be the general public. Zola uses this situation to build suspense while presenting all of the book's minor characters. It's the all I have problems with. The opening chapter bounces around fro
...more
Alexandra Sullivan
I'm not sure this book is supposed to be an inspiration, but it inspired me in a way. I love the idea of a woman born of poverty taking her revenge on the aristocracy by robbing them of their money and luxurious way of life, and leaving them broken and enfeebled. There's an air of class warfare involved, and it's only right that those accustomed to an excessive way of life will find their downfall through their excess. It is mentioned several times that Nana cares nothing for money, not really. ...more
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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
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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
  • 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)
  • Pot-Bouille (Les Rougon-Macquart, #10)
  • The Ladies' Paradise (Les Rougon-Macquart, #11)

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“A ruined man fell from her hands like a ripe fruit, to lie rotting on the ground.” 12 likes
“All of a sudden, in the good-natured child, the woman stood revealed, a disturbing woman with all the impulsive madness of her sex, opening the gates of the unknown world of desire. Nana was still smiling, but with the deadly smile of a man-eater.” 10 likes
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