April's Reviews > The Ladies' Paradise

The Ladies' Paradise by Émile Zola
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Jan 24, 12

Read from January 01 to 23, 2012

A story written over 100 years ago that can relate to the modern day reader, is one worthy of the term "Classic".

The plot revolves around the success and expansion of The Ladies' Paradise department store. Mouret, the owner, is determined to woo his female customers using not only the most obtuse and blatant types of consumer marketing such as over the top window displays, but also utilizes subtle techniques such as the location of departments within the store and overcrowding at the entrance to create a frenzy.

Zola paints his characters with such exposed emotion that you feel the development of each character almost as soon as you meet them; laden with jealousy, fear, grief, passion and greed.

The three star rating is a result of Zola's lengthy description of the store displays. I understand this is an crucial narrative threaded throughout the book, however, the detailed illustration of the department displays were laborious at times and had me wishing Zola spent more time on his characters.
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