Albert's Reviews > Nana

Nana by Émile Zola
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's review
Aug 11, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2011

Zola's modernist classic from the Rougon-Macquart series of novels. I believe the title character is supposed to be a thinly veiled metaphor for Paris at the end of the 19th century (the end of the second empire), but I don't know enough about the time period for this to resonate. The novel starts with a nice description of the "popular" theater of the time but doesn't really gain much momentum until the final three chapters (the horse race chapter could be a story on its own). The intervening chapters are filled with verbose descriptions (Zola's so-called "naturalistic" style). It is almost like a pointilist painting where someone goes into details about each point. All I can remember is the overall impression.

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