Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Gods Will Have Blood (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – March 27, 1980
|New from||Used from|
April's Book with Buzz
"Glory Over Everything" by Kathleen Grissom. Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive. See more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Frederick Davies is widely known as the translator of the plays of Carlo Goldini. He is a Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge.
Top Customer Reviews
But don't expect exquisite characterizations, ala Flaubert, Dostoyevski, Henry James or James Joyce. Such was not France's aim. This is a cautionary tale; one that recapitulates Robespierre, the Terror and Napoleon, and prefigures the Soviets and the Nazis.
In fact, France's articulation of the maddening rationale by fanatical judges--that it is they, not their victims, who suffer as they go about the bloody work of enforcing national policies with the murder of perceived enemies--is visited through concentration camp butcher Rudolph Hoess in William Styron's "Sophie's Choice" (1976).
Only the translation prevents this novel from five stars. Given the fact that French is second only to ancient Greek in terms of damage from translation, and it becomes a minor complaint.
This is a novel by a master (Anatole France won the Nobel for Lit in 1921). Read this book; it's an education.
But his blind following of the Republic soon becomes apparent:
'We must put our trust in Robespierre; he is incorruptible. Above all we must trust in Marat. He is the one who really loves the people...he's not only incorruptible; he is without fear. He alone is capable of saving the Republic in its peril.'
Against this dangerously naive youth, we meet his older neighbour, Brotteaux, a former aristocrat, now living in a garret and making puppets - but, despite his atheism, a good natured man, willing to risk his life for others.
As Evariste rises up the ladder he becomes a magistrate, with power over the lives of many, even people well known to him...
Although written a hundred years ago, and set 250 years back, this is very much a relevant work; Gamelin made me think of Nazis who were reportedly kind fathers; of radicalized Muslim youths who had once been loving sons. As he tells Elodie:
'Scoundrels who betray their fatherland are multiplying unceasingly...And when we have sacrificed them on the altar of the fatherland, more of them appear, and more and more...So you must see there is no other course for me but to renounce love, joy, all the sweetness of life, even life itself.'
The crazy world where months are re-named and dancing dolls declared anti-revolutionary (putting their seller's life at risk) is very similar to what we see in some extremist lands today.Read more ›
Anatole France's The Gods will Have Blood aka The Gods are Athirst shows just such a crisis, when the Revolution in France, meant to topple the unjust regime of monarchy and aristocracy in the name of the downtrodden people, became transmuted into a literal Terror, where madam Guillotine reigned supreme and all were suspect. Even those in authority were not safe from the accusing glances and denunciations of all and sundry, and the heroes and champions of liberty of today were all too soon the martyrs and victims of tomorrow. At this time of turmoil we are introduced to the young painter Évariste Gamelin, living in poverty with his widowed mother in a garret in Paris, dreaming of possible fame as an artist and ardently committed to the revolutionary cause. His neighbour, the ci-devant nobleman and secular philosopher Maurice Brotteaux, now makes children's puppets and reads his Lucretius, giving aid to his neighbours when he can and grumbling of the deceitful nature of the revolution and its adherents. Finally there is Élodie Blaise, the voluptuous daughter of a clever printseller who has thus far proven able to navigate the tempestuous seas of the revolution and still manage to make a profit amidst the poverty that surrounds him, who pursues the handsome young Gamelin with a desire that is almost bestial in its hunger.Read more ›
I usually think of France as a satirist, but in this historical novel he’s deadly serious. He does, however, contrast Gamelin with the character of Maurice Brotteaux, a former aristocrat who looks askance at the Republican rhetoric with an irreverent viewpoint and humorous sense of the ironic that one might expect from the author. France wrote this book for an audience of his fellow Frenchman, so the reader is expected to come armed with a prior knowledge of the Revolution. For the American reader, it can be tough going at times.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book about many things. It is a book about blind ideology, about survival, about the shifting of public will, about the waves of historic destiny and the impact such... Read morePublished 6 months ago by C. Collins
A very engrossing story about a mediocre artist who becomes enraptured by extremist ideology and winds up becoming a juror during Robespierre's infamous Reign of Terror. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Murph
Was a great book. Sorry, but it's too bad I was forced to get it because of my school. But, you must've taken good care of it.Published 19 months ago by Kevin Beydler
The Gods Will Have Blood is an excellent novel, but I do not recommend it for those who do not have a fairly substantial understanding of the French Revolution. Read morePublished on February 6, 2010 by Linda L. Smith
While not the most riveting of pieces ever created, The Gods Will Have Blood does examine the events of the French Revolution from a contemporary standpoint with a certain intimacy... Read morePublished on October 25, 2009 by J. Scherrer
A great book by a not very well known author who spares us the usual fare of passionate women suffering somewhat silently beneath the psycholgoically crushing ennui of bourgeois,... Read morePublished on December 12, 2006 by Indigenous wise man
This novel makes a point of being historically accurate, and for the most part succeeds. Notes at the back of the book help the reader who is unversed in the complexities of the... Read morePublished on March 10, 2005 by JLM