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Au bonheur des dames : (the ladies' delight)

By: Zola, Emile

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Part of the Penguin classics series
0140447830 / 9780140447835
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20 cm xxxii, 428p.
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Set in one of the new Paris department stores, this "poem of modern activity" charts the mutual beginnings of the capitalist economy and bourgeois society.

At the centre of the novel is Octave Mouret who rises through charm, drive and effort to become the director of this mighty shopping emporium.

Mouret is a man who is aware of the power of his position and seeks to exploit the desire his luxuriantly-displayed merchandise arouses in the ladies who shop, and the aspirations of the young female assistants he employs.

Zola captures in luxurious detail the phenomenon of the consumer society, obsessed with image, fashion and gratification, which is so similar to our own culture.


FC Classic fiction (pre c 1945), FYT Fiction in translation

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