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Publisher's Summary

Brutal, gripping, and heart-wrenching, L'Assommoir (also known as The Drinking Den) chronicles the tragic downward spiral of Gervaise Macquart, a good-natured and hardworking laundress who slides into alcoholism and despair. 

After her lover abandons her and their two children, Gervaise marries a tin worker, Coupeau, who helps her rebuild her life. She starts her own business, and the two have a daughter, Anna (the protagonist of Zola's later novel Nana). But their happiness is short-lived as a freak accident leaves Coupeau seriously injured, beginning the family's fall into alcohol, desperation, and violence. 

Disturbingly realistic, L'Assommoir is a vivid portrayal of life in late 19th-century Paris. 

Public Domain (P)2019 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about L'Assommoir [The Drinking Den]

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-28-20

Fantastic

An incredible story, written with a poetic lucidity that will remain deep within memory, a tragic tale of the demon drink brought to life by the ever masterful Zola. Amazingly well read also. Bravo.

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  • Annie
  • 12-01-19

The Drinking Den.

It is with sadness that we watch the descent of Gervaise Macquart, a loveable laundress, as she slides into alcoholism and despair, like many of those around her. Her lover abandons her and their two children. Gervaise then marries a tin worker, Coupeau, a neighbour, and they rebuild their lives. The two have a daughter, Anna (Zola's Nana). However, happiness & prosperity don’t last. An accident leaves Coupeau seriously injured. Gervaise struggles, does the right thing by him, as she does by all, but the family starts it’s decline. Those who have been jealous of her, revel in her plight. Those who should have been expected to help, don’t! Gervaise borrows money, all theirs has gone on his nursing, & she opens her own laundry, which at first is esteemed. But nothing, it seems, can stop her decline into alcohol, desperation, and violence. “Disturbingly realistic, L'Assommoir is a vivid portrayal of life in late 19th-century Paris.”

1 person found this helpful