Germinal (Penguin Classics)

by Émile Zola | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0140447423 Global Overview for this book
Registered by gunvor of Herlev, København Amt Denmark on 4/27/2011
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by gunvor from Herlev, København Amt Denmark on Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Zola's masterpiece of working life, Germinal (1885), exposes the inhuman conditions of miners in northern France in the 1860s. By Zola's death in 1902 it had come to symbolise the call for freedom from oppression so forcefully that the crowd which gathered at his State funeral chanted 'Germinal! Germinal!'. The central figure, Etienne Lantier, is an outsider who enters the community and eventually leads his fellow-miners in a strike protesting against pay-cuts - a strike which becomes a losing battle against starvation, repression, and sabotage. Yet despite all the violence and disillusion which rock the mining community to its foundations, Lantier retains his belief in the ultimate germination of a new society, leading to a better world. Germinal is a dramatic novel of working life and everyday relationships, but it is also a complex novel of ideas, given fresh vigour and power in this new translation.

1001 book.

Journal Entry 2 by gunvor at Søborg, København Amt Denmark on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
This book will travel as a ring. It is my impression that the book can be a bit difficult to get into so:

- make a JE when you receive the book
- read the book within two months. Please notify me by pm if you can't make it within two months.
- pm the next for their adress
- make a JE about what you think of the book
- make a controlled release and ship the book

The book is going to

Danielle23, UK, UK posting
4evagreen, UK, EU posting
kingfan30, UK, EU posting
...
gunvor, Denmark

Journal Entry 3 by gunvor at a bookring, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (6/28/2011 UTC) at a bookring, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

the ring is in its way to UK.

Journal Entry 4 by Danielle23 at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Thursday, June 30, 2011
The book is here safely and I am honoured to be the first participant. Will read this and get it posted to the next in line as soon as I can xx

Journal Entry 5 by Danielle23 at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Saturday, July 16, 2011
This book took a lot of really concentrated reading time. I found I was easily distracted when reading this but that's not to say I didn't enjoy it because I really did. The depth of the story kept me turning the pages and I was truly engrossed. I really felt for Catherine and how she felt she had to stay with Chaval after the way be brutally claimed her. I really thought she was going to get her piece of happiness with Etienne but I was sorely disappointed with the ending.

I suppose the ending was about human resignation to situations that ordinary people can't change but I didn't like it; I like a happy ending I'm afraid. It seemed like too much suffering only for the burden to be placed on Etienne's journey to Paris.

All in all a great book which I really enjoyed reading. This is another of those books that I would never have read if not for the 1001 list which is my favourite thing about this challenge. For me this was number 295.

Journal Entry 6 by Danielle23 at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Saturday, July 30, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (7/30/2011 UTC) at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off to 4evagreen, the next in line xx

Journal Entry 7 by 4evagreen at Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 03, 2011
This book was waiting for me when I got back in from work. I will try to read it ASAP and move it on.

Journal Entry 8 by 4evagreen at High Peak, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 23, 2011
This is a book that I have wanted to read for quite some time so in some respects it was nice to finally get around to doing so. I had little idea of the subject matter beforehand so came to it with no real prejudices other than I knew it to be regarded as a 19th Century classic. I had not even realised that it was one of an extensive series of books.

For those who do not know the story it centres around a homeless unemployed man called Etienne Lantier who in desperation takes work in the harsh environment of a French coalmine. Once there he is horrified by both the working conditions and the treatment of the miners and their families by the mine owners that he decides to lead a strike against these distant owners.

The story is about an-awakening Socialism and working conditions during France's Second Empire to which end he certainly pulls no punches as he depicts it's harsh realities. Yet at the same time he tries to take no sides showing also the frailties and insecurities of the managers in charge of the mine, and how they too are not masters of their own destiny.

Although the story centres around Etienne there are no real heroes within this book and the gritty reality extends to the foibles and character faults of all within. There is good and bad shown in all just as in real life.

This is a great read and I can see why it is regarded as a classic. My one complaint is that the author perhaps goes into just a little too much detail turning it into a bit of a plod rather than a ripping page-turner. But for this point I would have given it 5 rated it higher than I did.


Journal Entry 9 by 4evagreen at Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Saturday, August 27, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (8/27/2011 UTC) at Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On it's way to Kingfan30. I hope that you enjoy as much as I did.

Journal Entry 10 by wingkingfan30wing at Corby Glen, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Book has arrived safe and sound, will get onto it as soon as I finish Half Of A Yellow Sun. Thanks for sharing xx

21 Sept 11 - I confess when this book arrived, I was a bit put off for some reason and did put it off by two books! Sorry. So I was initially surprised to find my self enjoying it to start with, the descriptions of the mines, the poverty all seemed very real. When the strike finally happened it all got very political and I found myself a bit bored, the descriptions of speeches and riots seemed to go on for pages. The side I held my interest more was when it returned back to how the families were coping with no money coming in, the fact that could take clothes and stuffing from a mattress to a shop and get money for it seems incredible. The book picked up again towards the end, and although predictable, held my interest once more. It is a pretty depressing read, but an eye opener at the same time, maybe not the best book to be reading when the news was telling us about the loss of miners in Wales, although I'm sure conditions now are nowhere near as bad as in this book.

Journal Entry 11 by wingkingfan30wing at Bourne, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Friday, September 23, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (9/23/2011 UTC) at Bourne, Lincolnshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way back home

Journal Entry 12 by gunvor at Søborg, København Amt Denmark on Saturday, October 01, 2011
The book has arrived home safely, thanks to all for passing it on. I'll start reading it, encouraged by your JEs.

Journal Entry 13 by gunvor at Søborg, København Amt Denmark on Saturday, December 10, 2011
I found this book quite depressive. The poverty, hard work, suffering and the description of the mines very real and felt it as I was down there with the workers. The personal stories were sad and made the book balanced and helped telling the story.

A kind of book that will leave an impression for years, even though it wasn't the best book I've read.

Journal Entry 14 by wingHaugtussawing at Stavanger, Rogaland fylke Norway on Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Got it at the BC meet up in Stavanger today!

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