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Download Germinal Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Germinal, by Émile Zola Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (8,858 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Émile Zola Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Rougon-Macquart Cycle Release Date:
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With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Germinal chronicles the conflicts, lusts, and deprivation of life in the coal fields of nineteenth-century France.

A father and three of seven children work brutal hours, facing such hazards as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas of 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. Where people once merely struggled for food they are now dying of starvation. The hungry wage war against the sated, against the resignation of their peers, and ultimately against hunger itself.

Published in 1885, Germinal helped establish Émile Zola as the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. This masterpiece has been called one of the ten best novels in the French language.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A great prose epic, as it has seemed to some, worthy to compare with the great verse epics of old.”

    Havelock Ellis, physician, psychologist, writer, and, social reformer

  • “Zola’s novel is a fascinating document on the political movements of the time.”

    Dominique Jullien, Professor of French and Comparative Literature

  • “Coal mines have become rare, but the miners of Germinal are immortal...[it] is an exquisite tribute to their work, their misery and their eventual revolt.”

    David Baguley, one of the most respected authorities on the work of Zola

  • “Few readers of audiobooks can match Frederick Davidson’s remarkable skill…He’s equal to the task [of] rendering this complex, yet worthwhile, novel accessible to all listeners.”


Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Natalie | 1/27/2014

    " Zola is too long-winded for me (I read the French version, perhaps English would have not been such a pain) in his description of a poor mining town's misfortune and struggle for justice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Devin Ayers | 1/9/2014

    " An obvious polemic, but I agree with his politics (for the most part)so I gave it three stars (ha, ha). It is much too long, but this may be a function of when it was written. Some of the characters are a bit flat, but from a historical perspective it is still interesting to read. The rising tide of workers, bursting from their underground prisons in the mines, attacking capital . . . gotta love it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tanya Faberson | 12/19/2013

    " I loved this book. Emile Zola is probably one of my favorite authors, ever. The adaptation of the book into a French movie was also pretty good, but the book is definitely better. There are a lot of parallels between the descriptions of life in French mining towns and American Southern Appalachian mining towns in the late nineteenth century. Just a fabulous story... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Alicia | 12/13/2013

    " Dark and depressing so far, I expect it will pick up with the miner's strike.... "

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