Rebecca's Reviews > L'Assommoir

L'Assommoir by Émile Zola
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's review
Sep 13, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: owned

Maybe it's just me who likes Zola so much, but this has been so far an all time favorite. Zola's realism is frightening. It's one of those books that describe reality so well, in such an ugly way that you find yourself unable to put the book down. Sometimes Zola exaggerates, maybe, but most of the time, it's so painfully true.
The book describes so well the struggle of the working class, a struggle against luck, society, tradition and emotional dependence. The characters, as Zola said, are not evil, they are not even mean, they are so real.
It's one of those books that will make you cry and beg for a Hollywood happy ending. Gervaise (the main characters) starts tumbling down even before the middle of book and once she starts it does not end. The suffering, humiliation and desenchantment of the proud woman does not stop. Yes there were happy moments throughout the book, but the journey went down. At every moment she could have pulled herself away from all this, but she didn't, or maybe she couldn't in some way.
Maybe it's me reflecting my own perception of life, but I see it very real, very macabre.
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