Teresa's Reviews > La Fortune des Rougon

La Fortune des Rougon by Émile Zola
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's review
Feb 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 19th-century, french-lit
Read from April 10 to 13, 2012 — I own a copy
BCID: 9782253161189

It's a very good book, probably my favourite of the Rougon-Macquart saga after "The Ladie's Paradise".
It basically follows the beginning of the Rougon-Macquart family, from the late XVIIIth century, but its primarily centred during the 2nd Republic and the beginning of the Second Empire under the reign of Louis-Napoléon.
During this time the author follows various characters – going a bit up and down in the time line –. Except for the young Silvère, wanting to fight for his beloved Republic, and Pascal, a scientist, all the other characters struggle for power. And that's a very interesting part of the book, how each character tries to anticipate, manipulate and adapt to the political events going on.
Also, if you've read more books of this saga, it's quite "fun" to know how it all began. Especially because Zola is a naturalist and he follows the theory of "inheritance". Even if completely unaware of genetics, he thought that people carried a "heritage" from their parents and grand-parents (physical traits, moral conduct, propensity to madness, etc) and this strongly influenced their lives.

Overall it's a fine book, quite gripping if compared to other Zola's works, maybe a bit descriptive but it compensates by the fact that it has extremely poetical scenes.

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04/10/2012 page 184
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