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The Fortune of the Rougons (Les Rougon-Macquart #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,184 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
La fortuna de los Rougon (1871) es la primera novela de la serie Les Rougon Macquart, de Émile Zola.
La historia comienza con Adelaida Touque, hija de campesinos acomodados, que vive en una ciudad de la región de Provenza llamada Plassans (trasunto de Aix-en-Provence y de Lorgues). Adelaida se casa con un jardinero empleado de la familia, Rougon, con quien tiene un hijo, Pi
Published by Echo Library (first published 1870)
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Nancy I started with Therese Raquin. I think it is a good preview of what is to come with Emile Zola. If you do the Rougon-Macquart series then definitely…moreI started with Therese Raquin. I think it is a good preview of what is to come with Emile Zola. If you do the Rougon-Macquart series then definitely the Fortunes of the Rougons. I have read them essentially in the recommended order-skipping around a bit-but, after having read most of them, I actually think that reading them in the order written is a better idea. I feel they get progressively worse. Personally, I like the more subtle books. The books that don't spend all their time talking about sex and affairs and women with their legs spread to heaven. L'Assommoir is one of my favorites. Little bit of sex, good themes, realistic ending. (less)
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Dec 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This work, which will comprise several episodes, is therefore, in my mind, the natural and social history of a family under the Second Empire. And the first episode, here called The Fortune of the Rougons, should scientifically be entitled The Origin.

Author's Preface (1871)

When I discovered that Emile Zola wrote a 20-book series about the fictional families of Rougon and Macquart, I became obsessed. I wanted to read them all. I wanted them all lined up on my shelf to look at after completing the
Ahmad Sharabiani
La Fortune des Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart #1) = The Fortune of the Rougons, Émile Zola
The Fortune of the Rougons (French: La Fortune des Rougon), originally published in 1871, is the first novel in Émile Zola's monumental twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. The novel is partly an origin story, with a huge cast of characters swarming around - many of whom become the central figures of later novels in the series - and partly an account of the December 1851 coup d'état that created the Fren
Jean-Paul Werner Walshaw-Sauter

«Je veux expliquer comment une famille, un petit groupe d'êtres, se comporte dans une société, en s'épanouissant pour donner naissance à dix, à vingt individus qui paraissent, au premier coup d'œil, profondément dissemblables, mais que l'analyse montre intimement liés les uns aux autres. L'hérédité a ses lois, comme la pesanteur.

Je tâcherai de trouver et de suivre, en résolvant la double question des tempéraments et des milieux, le fil qui conduit mathématiquement d'un homme à un autre homme. E
Το Άσχημο Ρύζι Καρολίνα
Αυτήν την ιστορία χίλιες φορές κι αν την διαβάσω δεν πρόκειται ποτέ να τη βαρεθώ. Ανήκει στον κύκλο των Ρουγκόν - Μακάρ, τα μέλη δηλαδή μιας οικογένειας από την πόλη Πλασσάν (μια επινοημένη πόλη την γαλλικού Νότου, που παραπέμπει στο Αιξ αν Προβάνς, εκεί δηλαδή που μεγάλωσε ο συγγραφέας). Μητέρα και των Ρουγκόν και των Μακάρ της ιστορίας είναι η Αντελαΐντ (ή θεία Ντιντ) , μια γυναίκα που, μέσα από τον επίσημο γάμο της και τον κατοπινό παράνομο δεσμό της, φέρνει στον κόσμο εκείνους τους ιδιόρρυθμ ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-lit
My first Zola book and an introduction to the Rougon and Macquart families. Such horrible people, for the most part. So much greed, sloth and ignorance. This should be a fun series!
Translator's Note
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Émile Zola
Family Tree of the Rougon-Macquart

--The Fortune of the Rougons

Explanatory Notes
The Fortune of the Rougons is my first full length novel by Emile Zola. I chose to start with this one because it is the first in the 20 volume Rougon-Macquart series. This series will follow the lives of two branches of the same family and this novel introduces many of the characters that appear later in the series. This novel is not as highly regarded as many of his others, but I liked it very much and I didn't think I would going in. I am interested in French history, especially 18th and 19th ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie, Virginie
Starting to read the first book of this series made of 20 books.

Publication order:
La Fortune des Rougon (1871)
La Curée (1871-2)
Le Ventre de Paris (1873)
La Conquête de Plassans (1874)
La Faute de l'Abbé Mouret (1875)
Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (1876)
L'Assommoir (1877)*
Une Page d'amour (1878)
Nana (1880)*
Pot-Bouille (1882)
Au Bonheur des Dames (1883)
La Joie de vivre (1884)
Germinal (1885)*
L'Œuvre (1886)
La Terre (1887)
Le Rêve (1888)
La Bête humaine (1890)*
L'Argent (1891)
La Débâcle (1892)
Le Docteur Pasc
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, fiction
At first, I didn't care much for The Fortune of the Rougons: I felt that Émile Zola was trying too hard to establish the back-story of the Rougon-Macquart series of novels that was to come. Only in the last three chapters does The Fortune of the Rougons rise above all this authorial bookkeeping.

It all starts with Chapter 5, in which we have the touching love story of Silvere and Miette, a flashback to the two of them joining a mob of insurgents to take an adjoining village. It is probably the cl
Josh Caporale
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a buddy read with Ely from the blog Tea & Titles and the Booktube channel Ely Jayne and felt that this was a great experience! Both of us have been looking to explore French author Emile Zola and while I read a short story written by Zola, I did not read any of his novels, especially those in the Rougon-Macquart series. I thought it would be ideal to begin with the very first book in the series and learned a lot about the two families connected by Pierre Rougon and his step-si ...more
A thoroughly engaging and lyrical novel at the same time.
A beautiful exposé of corrupt morals and dirty ambitions.
Zola has swept me away.
Now, onto the next part.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avec ce premier roman de la saga des Rougon-Macquart, Zola introduit chacun des personnages que l'on suivra par la suite dans les autres romans, avec un style toujours descriptif, et dans un contexte historique bien ancré.
J'ai particulièrement aimé suivre les personnages au fil du temps, mais la description des faits historiques m'a parfois lassée, j'ai survolé le dernier tiers du roman.
Tips : avoir l'arbre généalogique a proximité est indispensable si l'on ne veut pas se perdre au fil de la le
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Après plus de 6 mois, je l'ai (enfin !) terminé ! J'aimerais lire tous les Rougon-Maquart et surtout les lire dans l'ordre pour mieux les comprendre. J'aime toujours autant Zola, ici, les descriptions politiques étaient complexes et j'ai eu du mal à m'y retrouver mais l'histoire d'amour entre Miette et Silvère est tellement belle et innocente... Quelle tristesse que cette histoire dans son ensemble. Une belle critique de la société de "province" qui est prête à tout sacrifier pour plus de reconn ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As is usual with French classics, I felt somewhat put off at first by the sociopolitical data one should be familiar with to fully understand what's happening, but then it becomes a bit clearer, one gets through the symbolic nature descriptions which go on for miles of paper, cleans off the burrs and starts actually enjoying watching Zola creating characters, profiling them meticulously and then throwing them on the board to see how they run.

And it does work: they fall awkwardly and get up and s
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-fictions
Ce tome étant le premier de la série des Rougon- Macquart, qui traite ses modestes et troubles origines, il faut d'abord essayer de retenir l'arbre généalogique, qui commence avec trois générations.
J'avais lu et apprécié L’assommoir, il y a longtemps. Je retrouve avec plaisir le riche style d’écriture du célèbre auteur. Dans ce tome j'ai trouvé un peu lourd et longs des parties consacrés aux amoureux.
Par contre le descriptif du soulèvement des Républicains et sa brutale répression et la création
The first of Emile Zola's twenty Rougon-Macquart novels introduces readers to the common ancestress, Adelaide Fouque, her children and some of her grandchildren. The story is set around the the coup d'etat of 1851 and Adelaide's history is told via flashbacks, which are at times confusing, but invaluable for the rich family history they contain.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second Zola novel I've read, and the first in his 20 volume Rougon-Macquart cycle. It's a dark tale about despicable people getting ahead in times of crisis by exploiting people's fears. Zola doesn't have a particularly generous attitude toward people in general I think it's safe to say. After reading this, one is led to ask of people in power -- who did you step on to get there?

The story begins with a vivid description of an overcrowded graveyard in the fictional French village of P
« Toute une famille, toute une portée de loups »

Quand j’étais jeune, il y a quelques décennies, j’adorais les livres d’Emile Zola à cause de la vigueur de leurs images, du réalisme que je croyais y apercevoir et des convictions justes de l’auteur. C’est pour renouveler une expérience exquise alors que j’ai recommencé à lire les Rougon-Macquart, son chef-d’œuvre, avec le premier tome La Fortune des Rougon, mais, franchement, la lecture m’a désenchanté dans une certaine mesure.

Certes, la poésie de
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
"Uspon Rugon-Makarovih" ostaje za mene najbolja Zolina knjiga, bez obzira na neverovatnu težinu "Žerminala" i popularnost "Kaljuge" i "Nane". Ovo je preporuka za sve koji vole porodične sage i koji troše vreme razmišljajući o uticaju genetskog nasleđa na karaktere članova porodice. Ciklus nazvan po ovoj porodici sadrži 20 knjiga koje se mogu čitati i preko reda, ali ako krenete od ovog, prvog dela, mnogo će vam jasnije izgledati slika koju je Zola imao kada se odlučio na stvaranje ovog ogromnog ...more
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Formidable, horriblement vrai, je suis béate d'admiration devant cette plume si riche, si dense et extrêmement développée qu'est celle de Zola!!
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set during the eve of the 1851 coup, that created the Second Empire under Napoleon III, the novel explores the rise of the Rougan family from Plassans. The novel opens with the description of Plassans and the secret meeting of 17 year old Silvere and his 13 year old sweetheart, Mitte. They meet in old graveyard, before Silvere sets off to join the Republican forces, but inspired by the Republican’s march, Miette also sets off with them. The novel then moves back in time to introduce the reader t ...more
This is the first in Emile Zola's twenty volume saga of the Rougons. I can't imagine having that kind of scope as a writer. He takes multiple characters and writes them into an account that also chronicles monumental things happening in France at the same time. The foresight required for a project like this boggles my mind. None of the characters in this book are likable. They all are stealing, cheating, and lying to try to get their way into the society of luxury and power. This novel has all t ...more
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After I read Germinal a couple of years ago (see my review), Émile Zola became one of those authors that I really wanted to read more of, but it was not until I saw the BBC series based on The Ladies’ Paradise and read the novel (see my review) that I decided to begin a long-term project to read them all. I’ve enjoyed reading this one, The Fortune of the Rougons, which puts the whole sequence into perspective.

With Les Rougon-Macquart, Zola apparently set out to emulate Balzac’s La Comedie Humain
Gláucia Renata
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zola se inspirou em Balzac quando uniu seus livros dentro da Comédia Humana. Formulou uma árvore genealógica composta de 5 gerações da família Rougon (braço legítimo) - Macquart (braço bastardo). Escreveu 20 romances que tem como personagens os vários membros dessa família, criando um gênero literário com uma ideia central: de que o homem é fruto de sua herança genética e do ambiente em que vive. Esse gênero é o Naturalismo e se baseia em correntes filosóficas e científicas que o autor vinha est ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-zola, temp
Zola was inspired to write his Les Rougon-Macquart series by Balzac's Comedie Humaine that investigates all facets of French society. This is the first in Zola's 20 volume series where he explores the descendants in a family, and tests his theory about heredity. The series takes place entirely during the reign of Napoleon III, who came to power via a coup d'etat in 1851 and was overthrown in 1870.

There is a family history chart on the internet, and, in fact, the edition I read, Complete Works o
Greg Brozeit
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, zola
A brilliant book, a masterful translation and a compelling story that will make you want to read more of Zola and the Rougon-Macquart cycle. What more can a reader ask for?

Brian Nelson's translation and essay puts the entire cycle of novels into context. Zola's narrative gives life to de Toqueville's observations about the differences between aristocracy--being born into social rank and status--and democracy--social equality with rank earned through economic, political or military power--in the
After enjoying the masterpiece so much I thought I'd read all the Zola novels in order. This is the first in the series and it's quite awkward. The book starts with two young characters who are in love and wanting to join the republican militia which is well done, but then he spends the next third of the book going back into their family history. It goes quickly without any depth and while the people he describe go on to have their own novels in more depth, here everyone just feels like terrible ...more
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you intend reading the massive (20 volume) Rougon Macquart series written byEmile Zola from 1871 onward, this is the one to commit to memory first. It introduces many (but not all) of the amazing cast of characters - half from a rich family, the other from a poor one - and it is all done in Zola's spritely, historical-recording with editorial asides. I love it. The action swirls around the time of the coup d'etat which resulted in the creation of the 2nd Empire of France. It is observational, ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Therese Raquin and I was hooked on Zola. So, since my husband was well on his way into this 20-book series by Zola, I thought WHY NOT, especially since I got a kindle for Christmas. :) So I read this one (which was free on amazon!) and, again, hooked.

What makes Zola so wonderful is that the plot of his books can revolve around something that maybe you don't find to be the most easy-to-read topic (politics, finances, etc.), but there is always enough going on in the periphery that you sti
Lucy Qhuay

This book started out in a very interesting way, with the origins of the Rougon family.

I enjoyed seeing how certain traits passed from parents to children and grandchildren, particularly the ambition and thirst for power.

I liked even more to get to know a little bit about those poor souls like Pascal and Silvere who had the misfortune of being born decent individuals in an awful family.

However, there were long passages and even full chapters about an already discussed/known issue, which turned t
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  • Cesar Birotteau
  • Salammbô
  • Pierre et Jean
  • Mademoiselle de Maupin
  • Mouchette
  • Lucien Leuwen
  • Fantômas (Fantômas, #1)
  • The Pure and the Impure
  • Ninety-Three
Émile François Zola was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France.

More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 books collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart. Unlike Balzac who in the midst of his literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola from
More about Émile Zola...

Other Books in the Series

Les Rougon-Macquart (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • La Curée (Les Rougon-Macquart, #2)
  • The Belly of Paris (Les Rougon-Macquart, #3)
  • La Conquête de Plassans
  • La Faute de l'abbé Mouret (Les Rougon-Macquart, #5)
  • Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart, #6)
  • L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop) (Les Rougon-Macquart, #7)
  • Une Page d'amour (Les Rougon-Macquart, #8)
  • Nana (Les Rougon-Macquart, #9)
  • Pot Luck (Les Rougon-Macquart, #10)
  • The Ladies' Paradise (Les Rougon-Macquart, #11)
“When lovers kiss on the cheeks, it is because they are searching, feeling for one another's lips. Lovers are made by a kiss.” 40 likes
“The Revolution of 1848 found all the Rougons on the lookout, frustrated by their bad luck, and ready to use any means necessary to advance their cause. They were a family of bandits lying in wait, ready to plunder and steal.” 6 likes
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