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The Belly of Paris (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – May 12, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Depending on which edition you read, this book is either titled The Belly of Paris or The Fat and the Thin. The second title refers to two types of people in the world. On the most obvious level it could simply refer to the division between the Haves and the Have-Nots.Read more ›
Set in Napoleon III's Paris, shortly after the giant Les Halles market was built on the Right Bank (it is now a giant sunken shopping mall near the Pompidou Center), THE BELLY OF PARIS is the story of an escapee from the French penal colony in Cayenne who lives with his brother, a pork butcher, and becomes a seafood inspector. In the process, he becomes a target for the discontents of the gossipy food merchants who are resentful of his left-leaning ways. He and his friends foment a pathetic attempt at a revolution that mirrors what was to become the Paris Commune years later. This is one of the early volumes in Zola's monumental Rougon-Macquart series.
But I owe no thanks to the editors. This edition as so full of typos, misprints, and other errors, sometimes more than one per page, that I have to question whether the translation itself is scholarly. A greater work might have sent me to the French to double check the translation, but this book just isn't worth the effort.
If you're considering where to start with Zola, look first to L'Assommoir or Therese Raquin. They are more rewarding.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While I give Zola full credit for exhaustively describing each and every scene, smell and taste of Les Halles, I was completely underwhelmed by the plot. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Mark Kurlansky's translation is a delight. Zola's observation and descriptive skills are like those of Dickens. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Loved the details of food, the market stalls and produce. The writer filled in a large blank space for me of French history with the story about Devil's Island prison and the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Julia Wells
wonderful book, full of evocative descriptions of life in Paris in the 1850's - worth reading for the descriptions of food and food preparation alone, not to mention the personal... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sue Tinney
Had to read this ap english summer assignment. It started out slow and I had my doubts the further I read the more intrigued i was. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dren
Even though he is a renowned author, I failed to see the beauty of the story. His descriptions were vivid but the story boring. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Connie K