" The Belly of Paris contains many excellent literary images of Paris in the late 1850s: The action, such as it is, takes place between 1858 and 1859, mostly in the market area of Les Halles. Zola created many three-dimensional characters, but marooned them in a lame plot with a weak, predictable climax. If you enjoy excellent prose - there's a reason we're still reading Zola in the 21st century - and don't demand slam-bang action on every page, try The Belly of Paris. You'll learn a lot about what it was like being a working-class citizen (some might say a peasant) in the city back in the times of Napoleon III. Just don't expect excitement. "
— Mike, 1/28/2014