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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.   

Considered by André Gide to be one of the 10 greatest novels in the French language, Germinal is a brutal depiction of the poverty and wretchedness of a mining community in Northern France under the second empire. 

At the centre of the novel is Etienne Lantier, a handsome 21-year-old mechanic, intelligent but with little education and a dangerous predisposition to murderous, alcoholic rage. Germinal tells the parallel story of Etienne's refusal to accept what he appears destined to become and of the miners' difficult decision to strike in order to fight for a better standard of life.

©2019 Émile Zola, Roger Pearson (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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A Favorite

So glad to have a modern translation expertly and movingly read. I will listen to this again.

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  • Jamie Barron
  • 05-22-21

Riveting story from a master story-teller

This absorbing novel looks at the plight of French miners living below subsistence level with great humanity, subtlety and empathy. Despite a strong message, Zola is always compassionate in his polemic and astute in his characterisation. Vivid detail and a strong, satisfying plot make for a great novel, really well-read by Josh Dylan