Mallory's Reviews > Thérèse Raquin

Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola
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's review
Mar 15, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: classically-trained
Read from March 15 to 20, 2012

There’s really nothing uplifting in this tale. It’s depressing from start to finish. Zola regards his main characters, Therese and Laurent, as little more than animals, acting purely on base instincts. In fact, every character in this story is selfish – their motives for every action are only looking toward their own benefit. Camille, the pitiful victim, gains strength through death and becomes an unstoppable force, preventing the very happiness Therese and Laurent were trying to attain. The psychological drama of the murder’s aftereffects on the couple is interesting until it plays itself out and becomes repetitive and predictable. By the end of the book, I was simply glad it was all over. I found this at times to be very reminiscent of “An American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser.

Favorite quotes: “[Laurent] was too soft and comfort-loving to jeopardize his tranquility. He was considering murder in order to get a quiet and happy life.”

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