The Ladies' Paradise

The Ladies' Paradise

Book - 1995
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Encapsulating in luxurious detail the phenomenon of consumer society - obsessed with image, fashion and instant gratification - Ladies' Delight vividly depicts the workings of a new commercial entity, the department store. The novel centres around the story of Denise, a young shopgirl from the provinces, and Octave Mouret, the dashing young director of a shopping emporium, who find themselves torn between the conflicting forces of love, loyalty and ambition. Set in the heart of the city, Zola's novel - the eleventh in his Rougon-Macquart series - evokes the giddy pace of Paris's transition into a modern city and the changes in sexual attitudes and class relations taking place during the second half of the nineteenth century.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c1995
ISBN: 9781847493132
9780192836021
0192836021
Branch Call Number: ZOLA
Characteristics: xxxi, 438 p. : ill. ; 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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