Alexander Santiago's Reviews > L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop)

L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop) by Émile Zola
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's review
Jul 07, 10

bookshelves: vive-la-france, europa, favorites
Recommended for: Yes
Read in May, 2010

Zola has a gift for infusing stark reality into his novels (a knack his critics and contempararies, at the time, were none to keen nor fond of) but, this novel cemented his reputatio as a prolific author. Nothing prepared me in reading this novel of the story of Gervaise, a Parisian washer woman living in abject poverty who, left with two kids and no money by a philandering beau, slowly pulls herself from her dire consequences and establishes her own successful laundry business, only to have it all come undone when she begins the precipitous and tragic slide into alcoholism. If ever there was a thinly veiled treatise on the horrors and consequences of alcoholism, this book is it. An excellent book, but very sad, very tragic.
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