The Markets of Paris

Read by Celine Major

(4 stars; 30 reviews)

The Markets of Paris is a remarkable work, and is the one which Zola calls his very best novel, and of which he is far more proud than of any others in his Rougon-Marquart series – prouder than of L’Assommoir. It must have been in his early manhood, when poor and friendless, he lived among the people, that much of the information which makes these pages so startlingly vivid, was acquired. How many mornings, long before dawn, must he have visited these markets – how many hours and days must he have spent there, to have mastered the habits, manners and ways of these people, who are a class by themselves, and of whom we do not lose sight, from the beginning to the end of the book. He introduces us to the Parisian charcutier – the cook shop – and in La Belle Lina, the mistress of the establishment, we find the sister of Gervaise, the woman who stirred the depths of our hearts with pity, in L’Assommoir. In truth The Markets of Paris stands as utterly alone in modern French literature, as it is distinct and apart, from any other work even by Zola himself. It is a book for all to read.
- Summary by Carolin (7 hr 21 min)


Ch. 1 Part 1 - Despair &Hunger; 27:49 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 1 Part 2 Despair & Hunger 30:33 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 2 Part 1 The Miser's Treasure 28:57 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 2 Part 2 The Miser's Treasure 34:26 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 2 Part 3 The Miser's Treasure 37:17 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 3 Part 1 The Handsome Fishwoman 30:37 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 3 Part 2 The Handsome Fishwoman 29:51 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 3 Part 3 The Handsome Fishwoman 29:27 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 4 Part 1 Chickweed for the Little Birds 28:24 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 4 Part 2 Chickweed for the Little Birds 27:28 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 5 Part 1 Duty Before All 29:38 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 5 Part 2 Duty Before All 31:05 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 5 Part 3 - Duty Before All 31:44 Read by Celine Major
Ch. 6 Ring-Doves and Pigeons 44:16 Read by Celine Major


The Book Guru

(4.5 stars)

A fabulous yarn!

Not bad.

(3 stars)

A long story which carries you away, but not to any wondrous extent. I feel like I lived it because of the good writing and reading, yes. But . . . perhaps too much like everyday life to feel like a real adventure? I do not know quite how to explain it. Really marvelous writing, and the reader does an excellent job. I grew to really love her interesting voice! Maybe it's that the writing and reading are good, but the story a wee bit . . . boring? I'm glad I listened to it. But usually it's hard to say goodbye at the end of one of these old classics. This one, however, leaves me with almost no emotional response whatsoever. There was no one wonderful to bond to! I wouldn't discourage anyone from listening to it, just . . . if you want good French literature, listen to COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO! 🙃

Le Ventre de Paris

(5 stars)

A piece as discursive as this only need dip into storyline just briefly to create the prism in which all the richness of occupation is reflecting forever - life this visceral becomes a museum of the social reality, keeping something safe for society today to look inside the glass case at how life was lived in a particular era in such-and-such a place, if only our civilization can be bothered to give it the space that it deserves. Whether we have preserved the skill with which Zola practices his archaeology of an uncared for historical fragment, is a test of what the past is still capable of teaching us, and our ability for learning from the colour of black and white.

(2 stars)

The reader's voice and manner are strange and stilted, half the time sounding like computer-generated speech, but her pronunciation of French words is excellent. More important, this translation is atrocious--for example, the word flâner, in context meaning to stroll, is translated as "lounging", and "chemise" is translated again and again as "blouse" when the word clearly is referring to a man's shirt. Where Zola describes certain vegetables as particularly valuable at that time, the translation uses the word "advantageous". The story is extraordinarily well-written, as is to be expected of Zola, but this translation has to be the worst ever published. Much as I want to hear the story, I must stop listening to this version before I've even gotten through the first chapter, and look for a better translation. It's truly unbearable.