We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Germinal | [Emile Zola]

Germinal

A father and three of his seven children work brutal hours in a mine, facing hazards such as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas about a workers' revolt, the family gradually embraces his plans. Soon the settlement is aflame with resolve to strike for better wages and working conditions. Savage and horrifying events ensue as miners clash with management and with each other.
Regular Price:$24.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

A father and three of his seven children work brutal hours in a mine, facing hazards such as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas about a workers' revolt, the family gradually embraces his plans. Soon the settlement is aflame with resolve to strike for better wages and working conditions. Savage and horrifying events ensue as miners clash with management and with each other. With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Zola chronicles the conflicts, lusts, and deprivation of life in the coal fields of 19th-century France.

Published in 1885, Germinal helped establish Emile Zola — an artist of unsparing candor — as the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. André Gide chose this masterpiece as one of the ten best novels in the French language.

(P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Few readers of audiobooks can match Frederick Davidson's remarkable skill....He's equal to the task, rendering this complex, yet worthwhile, novel accessible to all listeners." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (53 )
5 star
 (16)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
3.8 (28 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
3.6 (29 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    R D CO. 11-15-09
    R D CO. 11-15-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Welcome"

    Many have braved the unbelieveble trials that underground mining has put upon those who dare, but for the most part it was a decision made in good faith. Back in the days that Emile Zola wrote of there was no choice. He brings to light in an elequent way the sufferage that was put upon family, friends and even beasts. This is mining at its worst. As a hardrocker with 36 years I can say that it worked. Zola`s Treatise brought about many improvements for the coal miners, and after a fashion, hardrock miners as well. Few books have had so much impact.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Miller Greenwood Village, Colorado USA 01-13-08
    Ben Miller Greenwood Village, Colorado USA 01-13-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Amazing imagery"

    Zola's book about the struggles of the French working class and the labor movement in the mid-1800's is conscious raising. It reminded me of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" in it's vivid portrayal of how working people struggled to simply put bread on the table while the bourgeoisie lived in comfort.

    The reader gave an excellent performance. As is typical with male readers, he struggles with the female voice. His pronunciation of the French names were superb.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noora 07-12-13
    Noora 07-12-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A modern book but over a hundred years old"

    You may have heard about it in literary history class, but in order to really appreciate it you must read it. This is raw realism, undisguised mud, blood and sweat. People applaud writers like George RR Martin for adopting a "rough" style, but it's not a new invention. More than a hundred years ago writers like Zola turned their backs to the romantic worlds of Dickens and Dumas, got rid of the perfume and make-up, and pushed the reader out into the muck of the real world. This book could have been written yesterday and still be considered great. The fact that it's from the 19'th century makes it brilliant.

    The story isn't half bad either. In fact, it's really good.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Utah 04-23-15
    Amazon Customer Utah 04-23-15 Member Since 2015

    tired teacher

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1244
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    372
    220
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    283
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Important Book"

    I can't decide if I really like this book or not. I certainly like a lot of things about it, especially the ending, but I got bogged down in it. I realize it is a classic and that everyone should read it, but it just got a little strung out for me. I think if I had been alive in the late 19th century I would have loved it, but it isn't as relevant now.

    However, I totally sympathize with the plight of the working man of the time. The working conditions were deplorable and wages were so low that a man could not support his family. Not just men, but women and children, and even very old people worked in the coal mines, anyone who was able bodied enough to hold down a job. But even with two, three, or four incomes per household, these families were starving and wearing rags. And worse, they had no hope of ever having a better life. The strike depicted in this book, although it did not change things a whole lot, paved the way for later, more successful strikes that led to better working conditions and higher wages, thus the name of the book. We are all the beneficiaries of the things these people went through, and for that I am grateful.

    Of course the incomparable Frederick Davidson is a fabulous narrator. I know some people consider him to be "an acquired taste," and I agree with that to a point. But he is worth the effort of getting to know and appreciate. No one reads better than he does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Rye Brook, NY, USA 08-08-07
    Martha Rye Brook, NY, USA 08-08-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "terrible reader"

    the reader is awful. The inflections are not right for the material. He is very difficult to listen to. The book is good, but because of the reader, I definitely would not recommend it.

    3 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coral Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 01-18-09
    Coral Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 01-18-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    171
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Harsh, Depressing, Historical Novel"

    I bought this book as it was required reading for a course I'm taking in History. If you are looking for a cheery novel to read on a trip I suggest you try something else. Sex without love or for that matter romance, starvation, children having sex with each other, and proverity due to poor market and inablity to link sex with having babies are just in first half of what this novel has to ofter. I really do not understand why this novel has a high rating on amazon. However if you what to know what life was like in the 1880 in France for coal miners this book will tell you.

    3 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
Sort by:
  • Alan
    United Kingdom
    11/10/09
    Overall
    "Narrator spoils it"

    Frederick Davis mumbles in a monotone; it is almost impossible to make such a great novel sound boring but he manages the 'almost impossible'. To be honest I don't think he understands a word of it, he reads as though he's translating from a language he doesn't understand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    11/3/07
    Overall
    "Dreadful narration"

    Germinal was the first novel of Zola that I read, and I loved it. I went on to read everything else of his (in translation). I was looking forward to listening to an old favourite. However, the narration is dreadful and this is the first purchase from Audible that I have actually given up on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • philip cadiz
    4/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unspeakably awful narration"
    Would you try another book written by Emile Zola or narrated by Frederick Davidson?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    a great novel totally spoiled by dreadful unsuitable English upper class drawl and utterly characterless and drab narration. A crime

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bridie
    Victoria, Australia
    1/3/09
    Overall
    "Love the book and the narration"

    At first I was taken aback by Frederick Davis rendering of the text but it didn't take long to settle into his cadence and now I intend to listen to everything he's narrated.

    The title, Germinal, comes from French Republican Calendar; the seventh month named from the Latin word 'germen', which means germination - encapsulating the hope for a better life that the principal characters are lead to believe they can bring about through industrial action. That makes it sound rather dry but it isn't.

    The story is an epic tale of downtrodden French miners and various other characters that influence their miserable lives to varying degrees. One of the best descriptions of mob incitement and ensuing violence I have read.

    A relevant book to ponder in this day and age.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.