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L'Assommoir (The World's Classics)
by Émile Zola
ISBN 0192829831 / 9780192829832 / 0-19-282983-1
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
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The seventh novel in the Rougon-Macquart cycle, L'Assommoir (1877) is the story of a woman's struggle for happiness in working-class Paris. At the center of the story stands Gervaise, who starts her own laundry and for a time makes a success of it. But her husband soon squanders her earnings in the Assommoir, a local drinking spot, and gradually the pair sink into poverty and squalor.. L'Assommoir was a contemporary bestseller, outraged conservative critics, and launched a passionate debate about the legitimate scope of modern literature. This new translation captures not only the brutality but the pathos of its characters' lives. [via]