The Ladies' Paradise

The Ladies' Paradise

Book - 1998
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The Ladies' Paradise is a compelling story of ambition and love set against the backdrop of the spectacular rise of the department store in 1860s Paris. Now adapted for BBC Television and given a British setting in The Paradise, Zola's novel is a masterly portrayal of life in the bustling, gossipy world of the best department store in town.
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998 (2013 printing)
ISBN: 9780199675968
0199675961
Call Number: F ZOLA EMI
Characteristics: xxxi, 438 p. : map ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Nelson, Brian 1946-

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Booksss14
Jun 24, 2017

I did not care for this book. While in some parts it was interesting, most of it was a dead bore. It didn't persuade me to read any more of Emile Zola's works. I do, however, like the TV show. While it is not like the book at all (It's even in a different country! *gasp*), it is fairly enjoyable, though not my favorite either.

ColemanRidge Sep 21, 2011

This is Zola's usual meticulously accurate, wildly romantic description of a workplace, in this case one of the first department stores. It describes how the owner, an obsessed marketing genius, puts on shopping spectacles designed to crowd women together and infect them with covetousness. There is a description of the store after one of these sales, strewn with garments as if an army of women, suddenly overcome by desire, had all disrobed. The owner watches the progress of these sales from the top of a high spiral staircase at the center of the store, gloating. He thinks of himself as seducing all the women of Paris at once. At the end of each day, he has the day's receipts carried up and set before him, the visible, tangible mark of their love.

It's probably the only book in the world in which the thrilling final scene is a white sale. It really is a thrilling final scene, too.

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