I first encountered Emile Zola when I took a university module on the nineteenth century novel which included Germinal as a set text. I was hooked and wanted more.
Fortunately Zola wrote 19 more novels in what is known as the Rougon-Marquet cycle. There is some doubt about the recommended order in which to read these books but I’m going to take my lead from Lisa and Dagny who are the brains behind the readingzola blog.
I’ll add links to reviews as I make progress.
The Fortune of the Rougons/ La Fortune des Rougon (1871) Read 2015 √
His Excellency Eugene Rougon/Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (1876)
The Kill/La Curée (1871-2) Read 2019 √
The Dream/Le Rêve (1888)
The Conquest of Plassans/La Conquête de Plassans (1874)
Pot Luck/Pot-Bouille (1882) Read 2021 √
The Ladies’ Paradise/Au Bonheur des Dames (1883) (Read 2018) √
Th Sin of Father Mouret/La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret (1875)
A Page of Love/Une Page d’amour (1878)
The Belly of Paris/Le Ventre de Paris (1873)
The Joys of Living/La Joie de Vivre (1884)
The Dram Shop/L’Assommoir (1877) Read 2015 √
The Masterpiece/L’Œuvre (1886)
The Human Beast/La Bête Humaine (1890) Read approx 2002 √
Germinal (1885) – Read approx 2000 √
The Earth/La Terre (1887)
The Downfall/La Débâcle (1892)
Doctor Pascal/Le Docteur Pascal (1893)
I’m not setting any target to finish this series. It’s meant to be a source of enjoyment not a chore so if it takes me until I’m so frail I can no longer hold a book, well that’s just the way it’s going to be….