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Emile Zola a fost un important prozator francez, teoretician si principalul exponent al naturalismului francez si European, dramaturg si un personaj important al eliberarii politice a Frantei. In romanul „Bestia Umana“ ne sunt prezentate dramele ce se petrec in interiorul unui cuplu intemeiat pe alte ratiuni decat dragostea reciproca, format dintr-un sot batran dar cu o poEmile Zola a fost un important prozator francez, teoretician si principalul exponent al naturalismului francez si European, dramaturg si un personaj important al eliberarii politice a Frantei. In romanul „Bestia Umana“ ne sunt prezentate dramele ce se petrec in interiorul unui cuplu intemeiat pe alte ratiuni decat dragostea reciproca, format dintr-un sot batran dar cu o pozitie sociala inalta si o sotie tanara si frumoasa dar cu o zestre oferita de catre un protector. Chiar daca a fost scris in anul 1890, subiectul romanului ramane la fel de actual si in ziua de azi....

Title : Bestia umană
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ISBN : 9786066440455
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 348 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Bestia umană Reviews

  • StevenGodin
    2019-04-25 04:15

    After well over a century, Emile Zola still retains the power to absorb readers with his 'Les Rougon-Macquart' series of novels. This, regarded as one of his finest achievements is a tale full of rage that studies the dark haunting impressionistic nature of man's slow corruption by jealousy. Set against the backdrop of the industrial revolution, the story is set in the world of the railways. A lot of the main action takes place either on trains, or close by to the tracks, there is murder, passion and obsession, fused with a compassionate look at individuals derailed by atavistic forces beyond their control. I found Zola’s use of imagery evocative and atmospheric, and quite shocking, he fills pages with dread, metal and flesh, blood and rust, where at any one moment somebody could turn criminal with hell bent discontent. There are three central characters, Roubaud, the deputy station master at Le Havre, his fragile wife Séverine, and Jacques Lantier, an engine driver on the Parisian line. As a result of a chance remark, Roubaud suspects that Séverine has had an affair some years earlier, with Grandmorin one of the directors of the railway company, who had acted as her patron and who had helped Roubaud get his job. He forces a confession out of her and makes her write a letter to Grandmorin telling him to take a particular train that evening, the same train Roubaud and Séverine are taking back to Le Havre. From here on the tension is upped with a chilling bite, a murder is committed and thus an investigation follows, where more than one person is suspected of the attack. The relationship between Roubaud and his wife is now fractured, he believes she is carrying on with Lantier, whilst she realizes that he has been stealing the last of some hidden money. Both now, with almost frenzy, start dark plans of their own...The last third contained some really tense scenes, leaving me holding the book with clammy hands, as it hurtled along the tracks to it's conclusion. The Human Beast is never far away, but the novel is about far more than vicious homicide; Zola's targets include the French judicial system which is looked at in great detail, and the world he creates is brilliant with it's realization of railways and railwaymen (similar to what he did looking at the coal miners lives in Germinal). I did find 'Germinal' richer and a more complex experience than 'The Beast Within' (hence the four stars), but lets not kid ourselves, this novel compared to most other books written at the time, simply stands out from the crowd. He dared to write about what no one else would, and pulls it off with such high standards.

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    2019-04-04 23:51

    Fail. After spending 3 hours trying to decipher if the story was meant to be that misogynic or if it was only the sad expression of the 19th Century, I decided that I did not care whatsoever. My diminished reading time is way too precious to be spent hating every male character in there while being annoyed by the way women are portrayed. DNF as soon as I felt like I was supposed to feel sorry for that abusive jerk. Not happening. Zola relies way too much on telling rather than showing to pull this off, no matter how revered his books are. Not to mention that his multiple POV is confusing and awkward.I stand by what I thought : there are plenty of amazing books in classic French Literature, but Zola's aren't part of them as far as I'm concerned.

  • David
    2019-04-26 05:07

    Could you kill someone? (Shush now. That's a rhetorical question. Think the answer to yourself in your head. We don't want to hand over compromising evidence to the prosecution in your inevitable criminal trial.) Now I'm not asking you if you could kill in self-defense or to protect your loved ones from harm—because those cases are ethically cut-and-dried and very boring; I'm asking if you think you are capable of ending someone's life for pettier reasons: jealousy, revenge, or just good old-fashioned unclassified hatred. Before you don your barrister's wig and get all indignant about it, I want you to remember that the question is whether you could, not whether you would. We don't even need to consider all (or any) of the deterrents that would stay your machete-wielding hand—such as moral conscience or the threat of punishment. I am only wondering if you think that, in a moment of emotional heat or psychological abandon, your mind and body would allow you to, say, pull the trigger, thrust the blade, or hold down the pillow. (Assume for the sake of this discussion that you are mechanically capable or strong enough to kill your victim. This is a question about will, not about the precision of your aim.)Émile Zola's La Bête Humaine is predicated on the assumption, I think, that most humans have murderous inclinations stowed away in their psychological hope chests and that it's only a matter of how difficult it is to pick the lock. The first chapter introduces us to a railway station employee named Roubaud and his wife Séverine—a seemingly contented and loving couple who are spending an afternoon in Paris. They're having a pleasant enough lunch—when one thing leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another, and—long story short: Séverine admits that she was repeatedly molested as a child by her guardian, the prestigious and powerful Grandmorin. (I know. Talk about losing your appetite.) In response to the revelation, Roubaud does what any reasonable and compassionate husband would do under the circumstances: he beats the living shit out of Séverine and threatens her life. A regular Renaissance man. He's not upset at the crime of molestation and the victimhood of his wife—he's enraged because in the used car lot of brides, he bought himself a lemon... a used and abused woman whose odometer had been rolled back. Too bad he can't trade her in for a showroom new model—but trust me here: Showroom new models are pretty hard to come by in France. Most kids have their first torrid love affairs when they're eight, I think. Being a 'sensible' man, Roubaud decides not to kill Séverine. He may beat her a while longer to work out his frustrations, but then he'll move on to Plan B: Kill Grandmorin. Always crazy like a fox, Roubaud figures he'll implicate Séverine in the crime so she won't ever spill the beans. (And—hey—since she's the lemon in this transaction, she should do some of the dirty work... Am I right or am I right?) You may think you've been spoiled upon, but the preceding events all occur within the first chapter. This is actually only the gentle prelude to the madness which will follow. (And by madness, I'm referring particularly to the events in Chapter Ten—which, by the standards of 19th century literature, are pretty shocking and over-the-top.) Make no mistake: this is a violent and cynical book. Although the major characters are differently bad, none of them is perceptibly good, even in the most degraded sense of the term. We may understand them—to varying degrees—but the elaboration of their universal impulses into (grisly) action makes me think that Zola needed a good SSRI.Oh. And to answer my own question: I think that I could in fact summon the will (if I desired, which I don't) to kill someone, merely out of spite. I recently watched the film God Bless America (directed and written by Bobcat Goldthwait) in which a middle-aged schlub (played by the guy who plays Freddy Rumsen on Mad Men) and a teenage girl go on a killing spree. Their targets are all the most loathsome people in our culture (in my humble opinion, and theirs too), such as pandering political pundits, reality TV stars, people who won't shut up in movie theaters, and so on. Even though the film isn't terribly well-made on the whole, I was vicariously thrilled by it. Apparently Bobcat Goldthwait and I have the same things stowed away in our hope chests.

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2019-03-29 04:15

    I am convinced that if Émile Zola had been alive and at work in the second half of the 20th Century, he would be known today as one of the greatest modern screenwriters France ever produced. Zola's novel La Bête Humaine, along with being a piercing analysis of violent proclivities and their influence on male/female sexual dynamics, has a rocket-speed plot leaving you tight-shouldered, gasping, and bug-eyed from its very first chapter. Despite a lull near the middle of the book which is necessary for both character development and the strategic planting of later plot points, the motor on this beast of a novel, deceptively yet appropriately framed by the inner-workings of French train-lines in the latter 19th Century, continues to throttle up until its crashing finale. In case you hadn't noticed yet, I thought it was as fantastic, intelligent, frightening, and engrossing a thriller as Hollywood manages to produce on a really good day.Having written much before cinema's time, Zola is argued to be one of, if not the greatest contributor to literary naturalism, a movement which sought (through blunt, shocking prose) to depict the external, uncontrollable forces resulting from living within a complex society as having an almost puppet-master effect on the thoughts and deeds of its anonymous, infinite citizenry. You are what you eat, breathe, see, suffer; environment is everything. Furthermore, the seedier sides of life have bigger talons, gripping greater numbers and leading to a prevalence of evil over good. Life is hard, but the ones living it are even harder, and so on the wretched violence snowballs right along with the evil in men's hearts. I am not saying that I totally agree with this assessment. I would like to think that the forces of evolution, technological/scientific advancement, and the resulting more widespread awareness of social ills and ability to address them would have the opposite effect and would serve to move us toward a more Utopian societal state, though of course all the while racking up its own casualties across the world due to its specific pitfalls. The troubles of the modern world aside, I am not some shoeless sort running around banging a homemade bongo talking about how much nicer it would be to live in a mud hut in the middle of nowhere surviving off of squirrel carcasses. I appreciate doctors/medicine, heating and air conditioning units, moving pictures, the world wide web, and electrically-powered transportation. And let's face it: even bicycles were cutting-edge technology at one point. I love my bike, but please shut up about 'em already. But I digress... Zola mostly finds me naïve, though he does see the roots of "the beast in man" in what he refers to repeatedly in the text as "the thirst to avenge ancient wrongs", specifically in this story's (main) villain's case as "that resentment that had grown as it had come down from male to male ever since the first one had been betrayed in some cavern." The forward march of modernity is simply the outward manifestation of masculine ego pummeling back the "gentler sex" (god, I hate that phrase), one which feeds and further infests carnal urges to possess and destroy purity, to own all that is femininity and docility through murderous force. The metaphor Zola embraces is apt for its time: the train is depicted repeatedly in the text as the ultimate symbol of power, a blade cutting across the previously unsoiled landscape and racing forward intent on domination and eventual destruction. It is the setting for, cause of, and/or soundtrack to every violent deed committed in the novel. It is the tarnished masculine ego, the once-wronged caveman, the Adam that Eve has manipulated and had cast from paradise, using its overwhelming force to once and for all win the battle of the sexes. It is rape, torture, and abuse, loneliness, rejection, and isolation. It is the sleek, handsome, charming serial killer. In short, it is all together one giant, interconnected verification of the beast within man. At the same time, the train's engine is depicted as the long-sought submissive female lover. He who operates this powerful force is guiding her hand, and she obeys subserviently at long last. This leads to the rare moments of dark humor in the novel, which I will give you a little taste of now. I know that this is a long quote, but trust me when I say it is worth it. Zola didn't seem the sort to laugh much, but either he or his translator (ironically named Leonard TANCOCK) surely couldn't help but snicker at this gem of a passage where Zola is explaining the feelings that one male characters has for the train engine he is in charge of:So he loved Lison with masculine gratitude, for she got away or stopped promptly, like a vigorous and docile mare; he loved her because over and above his regular wages she earned him money, thanks to fuel bonuses. She steamed so well that he saved a great deal of coal. He had only one thing against her and that was that she needed too much oiling, the cylinders in particular consumed quite unreasonable amounts of oil, an insatiable thirst, a real debauch. He had tried to keep her within bounds, but in vain. She at once got short of breath, she had to have it, it was part of her character. He had resigned himself to overlook this gluttonous passion of hers...As the fire was roaring and Lison was gradually getting up pressure Jacques gave her the once-over, inspecting each one of her parts, trying to find out why that morning she had gobbled down more oil than usual. He could find nothing amiss, she was shining and clean, with the sparkling cleanliness telling of a driver's tender care. He could constantly be seen wiping her, polishing her, particularly at the journey's end, and he rubbed her hard, just as they rub down horses steaming after a long gallop, taking advantage of the fact that she was hot so as to clean off stains and splashes more easily. He never pushed her too hard either, but kept at a regular speed, avoiding delays which necessitate unpleasant spurts to catch up.Now THAT, my friends, IS WHAT HE SAID.In short, this book rules. Adieu! *Update: this book is about a crime of passion, the ensuing bumbled police investigation, gubberment cover-ups, misplaced blame, false imprisonment, sexual affairs, borderline molestations, gossip, spousal abuse, jealousy, rage, the deterioration of love, violent death heaped upon violent death, and the causes behind and internal justification of the urge to kill either for revenge or due to serial compulsion. Basically, there's a lot more going on than just trains being powerful. I guess I should've mentioned all that earlier.

  • Edward
    2019-04-26 23:16

    IntroductionNote on the TranslationSelect BibliographyChronology--La Bête HumaineExplanatory Notes

  • MJ Nicholls
    2019-04-05 01:15

    Nice to be back in the Zolan bosom: multiple histrionic murderers, meticulous locomotive nous, and a splash of hopeless determinism. The seventeenth novel in the Rougon-Macquart series features some of Zola’s most breathtaking descriptions of bleak rural backwaters, trains in their brutal firebreathing phallic infancy, hopeless provincials devising schemes to escape their predetermined lives of hate and misery, implausible gruesome murders committed by almost every character, and humorous courtroom antics. As usual, Zola delivers the point with the subtle wallop of a heavyweight boxer, but with his usual scalpel-sharp prose, translated here with aplomb by Mr. Roger Whitehouse.

  • Carmo
    2019-04-08 02:08

    Émile Zola fazia parte da minha lista de leituras há muitos anos, mas só em 2014 li o primeiro deles - Naná. A partir daí todos os que li me pareceram melhores, todos se tornaram inesquecíveis, e A Besta Humana é, sem dúvida, o melhor de todos eles.E no entanto, é uma história tenebrosa; tão crua, tão brutal, tão avassaladora! É um livro que nunca mais se esquece, que choca por revelar o Ser humano nas suas piores vertentes.Aqui não há inocentes, todos são culpados; da inveja, da ganância, do ciúme, da traição, todos são vítimas de si próprios, ou, segundo o raciocínio do autor, vítimas da sua herança genética. Zola acreditava que o factor hereditário determinava a personalidade e o comportamento do ser humano, seria inútil tentar contrariar esse destino.Se em Germinal fiquei sensibilizada com a "humanidade" que atribuiu aos cavalos, aqui aconteceu o mesmo com os comboios. Atrevo-me a dizer que as máquinas foram tão humanamente caracterizadas que sofremos por elas cada vez que têm um acidente ou algo corre mal.Soberbo também no final! O último parágrafo é uma visão algo apocalíptica do futuro, do mundo que vivemos hoje; um mundo que viria a tornar o homem um ser dependente da indústria e da tecnologia.

  • Teresa Proença
    2019-04-06 00:52

    "De um clássico toda a releitura é uma leitura de descoberta igual à primeira."Italo CalvinoLi A Besta Humana quando tinha vinte e poucos anos e apaixonei-me por Emílio Zola. Na altura, li tudo o que encontrei dele (anos depois comprei mais alguns livros mas, não sei porquê, não os li). Sempre que apanhava algum potencial leitor a jeito impingia-lhe A Besta Humana, que foi tão lido que o meu primeiro exemplar está que parece um baralho de cartas (entretanto já comprei mais dois). Agora, voltei a lê-lo - confesso com algum receio de que, mais de três décadas depois, a magia se tivesse perdido. Mas Calvino tem razão. Embora eu me lembrasse de tudo, li-o com a mesma paixão da primeira vez. Porque este é um livro de paixões. Arrasadoras que só se saciam com a morte. Com o crime. Gosto de ler policiais violentos, e já li muitos, mas nenhum me transmitiu tão fortemente a compulsão de matar. Matar por amor. Matar por ambição. Matar por ciúme. Matar por prazer. Há duas coisas neste romance que me assombraram ao longo dos anos:A humanidade que Zola transmite aos comboios - particularmente à máquina Lison - símbolos de vida, no sentido de futuro e de evolução, e simultaneamente de morte;E Flore. Uma mulher solitária, independente e corajosa; uma guerreira selvagem que sabe o que quer e executa, sem hesitar, o que decide fazer. O final é sublime. Julgamos saber qual é, mas não sabemos...Para terminar, deixo a bonita opinião da Carmo, com quem, em boa hora, me aventurei a repetir esta viagem. Obrigada Carmo.(Alex Colville, Horse and Train, 1954)

  • Jason
    2019-04-22 02:53

    Okay folks, my first 5-star rating in 2009. I'm stingy with 5-stars, but Emile Zola delivered, again, after about 25 other books this year. When I enjoy classic writers like Thoreau, Dickens, Hawthorne or playwrights like Shakespeare or Whitman, I sometimes overlook nuances or miss the unexpected metaphor or misinterpret the character flaw that destroys the protagonist. Not so with Zola. No way! His themes and messages come at you like an over-steamed locomotive. Zola's characters wield their Shakespearian flaws with brute force. There's no time or space for nuance, for subtleties, for guesswork. Instead, Zola bangs the reader over the head with attributes that can only be described as beastly. The actors in The Beast in Man are absolutely spring-loaded from the first 2 chapters. Jealousy, rage, spousal abuse, murder, poisoning, and a perverse, australopithecine compulsion to kill women. Zola's greatest gift as a writer is dredging up the most repugnant, atavistic urges in man—-urges about which your own superego may have had unintentional, fleeting, nightmarish thoughts, but never told anyone, and then hid safely away from your id—-and carrying them out to their mesmerizing conclusion. I was drawn to the story like a lurid onlooker at a street fight before the cops arrive, afraid to intervene, but overcome by an unexplainable need to watch the beating, punch for punch, busted nose for broken rib, and shaking afterward with an overload of adrenalin.Zola is a naturalist. Wikipedia defines Naturalism as a literary movement that began in mid-nineteenth century France and, in the introductory paragraph, specifically affirms Zola's contributions, later declaring that the word 'naturalism' actually came from Zola himself, describing the departure his writing took from the overused literature of Realism. Wikipedia states that Naturalistic works: “often include uncouth or sordid subject matter... a frankness about sexuality along with a pervasive pessimism...exposed the dark harshness of life, including poverty, racism, sex, prejudice, disease, prostitution, and filth...as a result, naturalistic writers were frequently criticized for being too blunt...another characteristic of naturalism is determinism...basically the opposite of the notion of free will...a character's fate has been pre-determined, usually by environmental factors, and that he/she can do nothing about it...there tends to be in naturalist novels a strong sense that nature is indifferent to human struggle.”The Beast in Man takes place on, near, and around trains. The movement of these heavy, belching transports is an awesome milieu, as it seems each character is inexorably moved, equally without the power of immediate brakes, toward their final destination. And the destination for these characters is adultery, homicide, suicide, and prison. The actors challenge their fates, but are relentlessly tormented to act on impulse, to act as if they were scripted to do this (and only this) from birth. In the case of X___X, his compulsions are so overwhelming and his tendencies written so convincingly that readers want him to kill—need him to kill—to comprehend the universal question, can man live after satisfying such beastly urges? How does society deal with such a creature? The naturalist's answer: by accusing the wrong man, thus ascribing a fate 'by environmental factors...that [the accused] can do nothing about.”The Beast in Man is not a mass market paperback, so don't expect a story like the current page-turners on sale at your large grocery store book aisle. Zola takes his time to build characters, but his delivery is outstanding. His writing is beautiful, powerful, mellifluous. Some scenes are shocking and graphic, all the more testament to his break from Realistic literature. Two examples of his writing that I especially liked:While beating his wife: ”There was no abating Y___Y's fury. The moment it did seem to have begun to wane, it would flare up again, like a sort of intoxication, wave on wave of it, increasing and carrying him away in fits of dizziness. He was no longer master of himself fighting empty space, tossed by every gust of the hurricane of violence which lashed him, till he was reduced to the utter depths of all-absorbing need to assuage the howling beast deep within him. It was an immediate physical need, a starvation of a body which hungered for vengeance, a force contorting him and giving him no respite till he should satisfy his need. Still striding up and down, he began to thump his temples with his fists, crying in agonized tones: 'Oh, whatever shall I do, whatever shall I do?' Since he had not killed this woman at once, now he could not kill her at all. His poltroonery in letting her live made him itch with rage."While fighting on the small engine platform of a speeding train: ”He had managed to catch hold of the side of the tender. They both slithered on their constricted deck, the steel plates dancing dangerously under their feet as they wrestled silently, their teeth grinding, each trying to heave the other through the narrow cab doorway, which as only protection had a single bar across. It was no easy task. Fed to the full, the locomotive rushed on and on. They swept through Barentin and plunged into Malaunay tunnel, still at death grips, backs straining against the coals, heads banging against the water-cistern, trying to avoid the red-hot firebox door, which scorched their legs every time they stretched out. For a moment, X___X thought he might be able to raise himself up enough to shut off steam, to bring help and get free from this lunatic, out of his mind through drink and jealousy. For, being the smaller man, he was beginning to lose strength, knew there was already no hope of throwing Z___Z off. He was already beaten. He felt his hair rise on his head as the fear of falling swept through him. But as he made a supreme effort, and felt out with one hand, the other guessed what he was at and with iron grip on X___X's haunches, suddenly lifted him off the ground as if he had been a little child. The locomotive rushed on and on. The train burst noisily out of the tunnel and swept through the grim, bleak countryside. They dashed through Malaunay station at such speed that the A.S.M on the platform there did not even see the two men destroying each other on the moving thunderbolt. Then, with a final effort, Z___Z flung X___X out, but, just as X___X felt space round him, in his desperation he succeeded in clutching at Z___Z's neck, so convulsively that he dragged his murderer down with him. A double wild cry, voices of murderer and murdered confused in one, broke against the wind and was dispersed into nothingness. They fell together and as these two men, who so long had been like two brothers, went down, the draught of the train drew them in under the wheels, to be cut up, chopped to pieces, still laced together in a terrible embrace. Their bodies were afterwards found headless, legless, two bleeding trunks, with arms still enlaced one about the other, in suffocating grasp.” A friend says that Zola's writing is a bit overwrought. I disagree. That's why I read Zola, to be shocked. To see a side of humanity that you know exists, but rarely see. How many movies have you seen in the last couple years where there was a discharge of gunfire? Quite a few. How many times in your real life have you seen a discharge of gunfire in public? Probably none. The comparison works for Zola. I know man can be a beast, but I don't see it that often, so I read Zola for an up-close view.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-04-17 20:56

    My first Emile Zola and I am impressed.Emile Zola (1840-1902) was a French novelist who attempted to do an Honore de Balzac (1799-1850), another French novelist. The young Zola read Balzac's La Comedie Humaine (The Human Comedy) that consists of 91 finished and 46 unfinished works (stories, novels, essays and for some of the unfinished ones, just titles). Definitely inspired to have his own, Zola wrote interrelated 20 novels and collectively called them Les Rougon Macquart. The series follows a fictional family living during the Second French Empire (1852-1870) and is said to be an example of French naturalism.I found the novel very engaging. It deals about the frailty of human beings and the fact that a dark side, i.e., the human beast lurks somewhere in the recesses of our minds. While reading I was choosing the character that the title refers to and my pick was Jacques Lantier, seemingly the most evil of them all. However, upon closing the book, I felt that almost all the characters contributed to the what happened in their lives and all of those characters had that beast in them. This proved for me, that, not only we decide for our lives but also some of our decisions are influenced by our emotions that can be traced from past events. I am planning to read five or six more novels from this series, so for my own record, I'd like to put here where is Jacques Lantier in the scheme of things. Wiki says: Lantier is an engine driver on the line and the family link with the rest of Les Rougon-Macquart series. He is the son of Gervaise (L'Assommoir), the brother of Étienne Lantier (Germinal) and Claude Lantier (L'Œuvre), and the half-brother of the eponymous Nana. I will have this as a quick reference when I read those other 1001 books.And I am raring to find copies of them. I am sure they are as engaging as this one.

  • Ben Loory
    2019-04-18 23:55

    i avoided naturalism for a long time, i always thought it was going to be really dry and boring stuff, social criticism and whatnot, stories about people reduced to poverty by unfair labor practices who then get caught stealing shoes or something and get executed in the town square... but these zola books are the exact opposite, all the conflict is coming from inside the characters, everyone's bursting with hatred and jealousy and nebulous urges to kill and maim and destroy; everyone in this book is on the verge of killing someone, and most of them actually do! though sometimes the wrong people... it's basically like a bret easton ellis novel except everyone's good too, they are human as well as human, they're not all just a bunch of sociopathic morons... anyway, this thing MOVES like crazy and it's just one white-knuckle suspense sequence after another, it's kind of incredible really. reading this, the thing that pops into my head is, "oh, and then everybody just copied this for another 120 years??" i don't really see a lot of advancement from here. things went interior and got a little more high-falutin' i guess... but there's not really much to be improved upon in this... it's pretty much perfect i think.Clenching his teeth, he pursued her without a word. There was a brief struggle and she was back by the bed. She shrank away, desperate, defenceless, her nightdress torn off."Why, oh God, why?"He brought down his fist and the knife nailed the question in her throat.

  • knig
    2019-04-16 23:02

    Who knew, but Zola was a card carrying trainspotter. This, btw, is a sport alive and well in the UK. I think Zola may have started it though, but shhh....In any event, its quite clear to me the main character here is La Lison, the train engine on the Rouen to Paris track. Having lovingly endowed it with life, just like Jessica Rabbit, and perhaps in a fit of temporary insanity, Zola ‘kills’ it off at the halfway mark. Then...sheesh: whats one to do? Can’t rewrite at this late stage, bills are pressing (these guys wrote for money back in the day, when there was money to be made from writing), so in a fit of blind, helpless rage Zola takes it out. On. Every. Single. Character. If La Lison goes, then ...so must everyone else, for whats the point of living on without the Little Engine that Could. Now, I thought this book would be about a psychopath who, a la Jack the Ripper, scurmungles about French society offing the toffs. Because Vladimir Nabokov told me so, in Lolita. But nay. Jacques is homicidal, just like Jim Thompson’s Sheriff Lou, but, he is a mere bit player. In this version of all the worlds all a stage, there is equal air time allotted to all kinds of Faces. They pivot around the plot with one end in mind: hell bent on killing each other, and themselves. Then, they die. Its like Ballard’s High Rise has spilled out on to the streets of 19c France and running amock reaper in hand. In the end, I’m not sure who the real human beast was: the motley crew of characters, La Lison, or Zola himself.

  • Jenny
    2019-04-02 00:52

    The best so far in the Rougon-Macquart cycle for me. Mostly because this time around I didn't feel he constructed and manipulated the psychology of his characters to serve the plot so forcefully, which sometimes makes his character studies lack depth or consistency in other books. Yes, he's not the most subtle of authors by far, but I am getting used to that (well, I've had the previous 16 books of the cycle to practice on). Zola hardly ever opts for less then the portrait of a society in crisis and this time around I was deeply impressed with how he tied the individual stories of his characters into the larger picture of the politics at the time.Quite often in Zola novels there's a non-human protagonist next to a human set of protagonists. In former novels this has been the town, or the micro-cosmos of a market place, this time around it's the railways, namely the locomotive La Lisonand he does so masterfully. Zola uses the railways as a symbol for the increasing industrialization during the Second Empire, and the struggle of controlling the driving engines becomes a metaphor for the anticipated decline of both the Second Empire as well as the family Rougon-Macquart.This book is a lot of things in one so it seems, a dark, disturbing thriller and character study, a comment on the French criminal-justice system and it's entanglement with politics, leading to the corruption of the former, as well as a book about the decline of an Empire. 'The beast within' which Zola explores within the handful of characters of this book, seem to translate easily into an seemingly unleashed (and in Zola's description blood-thirsty) mass of soldiers being transported to the battle fields of 1870/1871 later in the book.

  • Orcun
    2019-04-04 22:21

    Hayvanlaşan İnsan, psikolojik romanın (ve hatta, kimi yönleriyle psikolojik gerilimin) öncülerinden biri sayılabilir. Zola, bu olgunluk dönemi başyapıtında, sadece toplumsal gerçekliği ve acımasız modern hayatı tüm yönleriyle kuşatmakla kalmıyor, derinlerdeki psikolojik gerçekliğe de dokunuyor. Roman boyunca, trenlerin mekanik mükemmelliğiyle yarış halinde, insan zaaflarının, karanlık içgüdülerin geçit töreni yaptığını görüyoruz. Sevme tutkusuyla yok etme tutkusunun iç içe geçtiği, her bir karakterin karanlık yönünün incelikle işlendiği bu romanın, şimdiye kadar okuduğum en iyi kurmaca yapıtlardan biri olduğunu rahatlıkla söyleyebilirim.

  • Jim
    2019-04-14 23:51

    I first read this book more than twenty years ago. It made an impression on me then, and still makes an impression on me -- in exactly the same way. La Bete Humaine is a strange work in that most of the main characters commit murder, are murder victims, or at the very least contemplate committing murder. All the characters are connected in some way with the railroad that connects Le Havre with Rouen and Paris. There is a certain bestial passion that drives their characters to contemplate and commit crimes, often for rather trivial reasons.The classic case is Misard, a railroad employee at a remote railroad crossing at La Croix-de-Maufras, who slowly poisons his wife Phasie because she has 1,000 francs which she has hidden on their property and refuses to tell him of the location. Parallel to these crimes is the French criminal justice system on the eve of the Franco-Prussian War and in the last days of the Emperor Napoleon III. Only two of the murders are prosecuted, and the Le Havre prosecutor, Denizet, is more intent on putting together a "package" that adheres logically and aesthetically than actually ferreting out who did the crimes. Injustice prevails because Denizet gets it wrong, and the politician in Paris who has a better idea of who is guilty decides not to act because it would be politically inappropriate. Zola makes me think of the sculptor Rodin. Both take their raw material and hack away at it until the resulting object is both beautiful and forceful, like Rodin's famous statue of Balzac, or Zola's La Bete Humaine, Nana. or Germinal.

  • Teresa Proença
    2019-04-01 02:13

    "De um clássico toda a releitura é uma leitura de descoberta igual à primeira."Italo CalvinoLi A Besta Humana quando tinha vinte e poucos anos e apaixonei-me por Emílio Zola. Na altura, li tudo o que encontrei dele (anos depois comprei mais alguns livros mas, não sei porquê, não os li). Sempre que apanhava algum potencial leitor a jeito impingia-lhe A Besta Humana, que foi tão lido que o meu primeiro exemplar está que parece um baralho de cartas (entretanto já comprei mais dois). Agora, voltei a lê-lo - confesso com algum receio de que, mais de três décadas depois, a magia se tivesse perdido. Mas Calvino tem razão. Embora eu me lembrasse de tudo, li-o com a mesma paixão da primeira vez. Porque este é um livro de paixões. Arrasadoras que só se satisfazem com a morte. Com o crime. Gosto de ler policiais violentos, e já li muitos, mas nenhum me transmitiu tão fortemente a compulsão de matar. Matar por amor. Matar por ambição. Matar por ciúme. Matar por prazer. Há duas coisas neste romance que me assombraram ao longo dos anos:A humanidade que Zola transmite aos comboios - particularmente à máquina Lison - símbolos de vida, no sentido de futuro e de evolução, e simultaneamente de morte;E Flore. Uma mulher solitária, independente, corajosa, que sabe o que quer e executa, sem hesitar, o que decide fazer. O final é sublime. Julgamos saber qual é, mas não sabemos... Para terminar, deixo a bonita opinião da Carmo, com quem, em boa hora, me aventurei a repetir esta viagem. Obrigada Carmo.(Alex Colville, Horse and Train, 1954)

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-20 01:58

    Although it was written in 1890, this book has the elements of a classic film noir - love, sex, and murder. Others must have thought so, too, since it's been made into films five times. The story is set in and around railways, with trains being an important element of the plot. This translation of the novel was written by Roger Whitehouse, published in 2007. I recommend reading a modern translation, since the sex scenes - while not very explicit - are essential to the plot, and might not be as plainly written in an earlier translation. A gritty, powerful book worth reading.

  • Hadrian
    2019-04-26 03:57

    Violence and the beast within. Zola exercises his very considerable talents on sex and murder. Is it any wonder that a majority of violence against women is committed by a romantic partner of some sort? He hits the mark on a topic only too crucial and tragic and one that must be fought back against and understood.

  • Linda
    2019-04-12 22:08

    The novel is dark and brutal with plenty of fights, sex and more murders than in any modern book. The story begins with a brutal scene between a married couple. Then, it just escalates into a crescendo of violence. ”The beast within” is such a contrast to the prudent writing of Victorian England.Zola is examining the cause of violence. Jeaolusy, hatred and egoism are common factors, as well as the more unusually emphasized concept of atavism. Not one person is good. Every single one is very flawed and selfish, perhaps with the exception of the Cabuche, becoming a kind of martyr, carrying the burden of the defects of man. Zola doesn't portray women as particularly good creatures, but as guilty and evil as men, only that the conventions have made them think they need a man to do the deed, with Flore as an interesting exception. Of course, being a strong individual and able to make decisions and execute them, good or bad, Flore had to be very physically strong and big boned – described as manly, because a woman apparently can't be all that and still be feminine. On the other hand, Severine, a more timid woman - easier to like and identify with - made not so different decisions, which prove that Zola found women, regardless of their more or less modest or timid personality, as good or bad as men.Despite all their flaws, the characters are easy to care for because they are portrayed as very human, perhaps more so than we might apprehend. They were not good nor exceptionally bad, just emotional and not very controlled, which, of course, brought disaster. Other factors are the occasion and surroundings. The concept of good and evil is very much a matter of circumstances, but all characters have the ability to be both. Everything exists in man. Every human being has a violent nature. What makes certain people commit murder is just due to circumstances. Another theme is the repercussions of succumbing to one's instincts. ”The beast within” is a refreshing, experimental analyses of violence and its core, origin and consequences. The railroad with its passing, unknowing, uncaring trains is a colorful contrast to the emotions living inside the characters, and the modern ways contribute to hide and repress the violent human nature, the beast within, making them appear civilized. As well as today. Civilization, with the conception of man above beast, might be just an illusion.

  • Scarlett
    2019-04-12 20:55

    Zola se u svom serijalu Rugon-Makarovi bavi pitanjem uticaja genetike i nasleđa na karakter pojedinca i ne mogu da zamislim bolji roman od ovoga koji predstavlja naturalizam u književnosti. U prevodu, Zola ovim potvrđuje da u svađi "isti si otac" i "takva je bila i tvoja baba-tetka" zaista mogu imati smisla.Žak je naizgled mirni mašinovođa koji u svakom dodiru sa ženom, pogotovo u naletu strasti ili bliskosti, oseća duboku telesnu potrebu da ubije. Opisi njegove poremećenosti su realni toliko da poželite da vas pisac razreši napetosti i da da olakšanje junaku. Njega možemo opisati kao instinktivnog, rođenog ubicu, a osvrt na osnivača njegove nezakonite loze, Antoana Makara - nemoralnog, bezobzirnog i pokvarenog pijanca, daje dodatnu dimenziju ovoj priči. Zbog toga preporučujem svima da pre bilo koje Zoline knjige prvo pročitanju "Uspon Rugon-Makarovih", jer tu je postavljen temelj njegovog dela i tu se nalaze koreni porodičnih bolesti. "Čovek-zver" nije samo priča o Žaku, mračni motivi i sumnjive radnje obeležavaju svakog učesnika ovog psihološkog trilera (koliko je to moglo biti triler u 19. veku). Žene su mučene ljubomorom i osvetom, muškarci instinktivnim besom i životinjskim porivima, pohlepa, krađa, silovanja, ubistva, sve je tu. Kada se pojavila pred kraj Zolinog života, ova knjiga je bila skandalozna, a nije teško razumeti ni zašto. Ima mnogo uznemirujućih opisa zavođenja pred zločin, planiranja samoubistva, krvavih svađa. Zola je pravi majstor da stvori jezivu atmosferu svojim opisima, ali i da vas natera da strepite za zločinca, navijate za preljubnicu i radujete se kraju onih koji će biti pokradeni i prevareni. Čudna osećanja, a opet - svaka preporuka za čitanje.

  • Victoria
    2019-04-07 00:15

    Écouté en livre audio, merveilleusement lu par Éric Herson-Macarel.Un roman intense, rempli de noirceur, qui interroge l'hérédité et la nature humaine. La plume riche et précise de Zola est toujours un plaisir.J'ai toutefois trouvé l'intrigue assez longuette, surtout que je ne me suis absolument pas attachée aux personnages (aucun d'entre eux, même pas un petit peu, c'est fort quand même !). Je n'ai pas non plus été très sensible aux thèmes abordés – je crois que la période du développement industriel n'est clairement pas ma préférée.

  • Joana Marta
    2019-03-30 02:51

    Seria que isso provinha de muito longe, do mal que as mulheres tinham feito à sua raça, do rancor acumulado de macho em macho, desde a primeira traição no fundo das cavernas? E sentia também, na sua loucura, uma necessidade de batalha para conquistar a fêmea e domá-la, a necessidade perversa de a pôr morta às costas, como uma presa que se arranca aos outros para sempre. O crânio rebentava-lhe com o esforço, não conseguia encontrar uma resposta, demasiado ignorante, pensava ele, o cérebro demasiado pesado, naquela angústia de um homem arrastado para actos a que a sua vontade era alheia e cujo motivo havia desaparecido nele. Jacques Lantier é maquinista, e diz sofrer de uma “pancada” hereditária, da qual toda a sua família padece. No seu caso, Jacques, sofre de um distúrbio, de um desequílibrio que lhe tolda o discernimento, não se domina, toma quase a forma de um animal enraivecido que apenas obedece aos seus instintos mais primários. Os Roubaud, especialmente Séverine, vêem o seu caminho cruzado com o de Jacques, devido a um terrível homicídio num dos comboios. Todos três são testemunhas perante circunstâncias que os implicam de formas diferentes. Os primeiros iam no mesmo comboio que a vítima, já Jacques viu do exterior, a carruagem onde se deu o homicídio enquanto este decorria, mas sem quaiquer certezas, uma vez que o comboio se movimentava a 80 km/h. Este é o crime central de toda a obra, mas não é o único. São vários os cenários de suspense e violência que constroem este A Besta Humana, de forma abominável e misteriosa. Mais uma vez, Zola presenteia-nos com um rol muito variado e intrigante de personagens, cheguei a ter de ler frases mais do que uma vez, de forma a criar metalmente os elos que ligavam cada uma delas e não me perder. Passando-se o relato na ferrovia francesa do século XIX, durante todo o livro ouve-se, e sente-se, os comboios a passar. O vento que trazem consigo e que fica já depois de se afastarem, as suas luzes que alumiam o caminho durante a noite, o barulho incessante e ritmado dos carris, os apitos e sons, toda a azáfama de passageiros entre estações. Consegui sentir tudo isto logo nas primeiras páginas e não mais me largaram todas estas sensações até ao final.E é neste ambiente que A Besta Humana nos é descrita, os instintos homicidas do ser humano, as características psicológicas que retratam esta condição. Tendo sempre especial relevância Jacques, que no entanto consegue coibir-se sempre no último instante, também todas as outras personagens parecem ser dominadas por certos actos violentos e homicidas em certas situações. E, também de que forma, o avanço da tecnologia industrial contribuiu para tudo isto. Um livro pejado de suspense, que nos impele a lê-lo de forma frenética…A única dúvida que me fica é: porque é que eu não prestei atenção às minhas aulas de Francês??Porquê???!! Como eu gostava de poder ler estes livros na sua língua original… =)

  • Elizabeth (Alaska)
    2019-03-31 02:13

    This is a departure for Zola - at least for the 16 of 20 novels in the series I have read so far. "Set at the end of the Second Empire, when French society seemed to be hurtling into the future like the new railways and locomotives it was building, The Beast Within is at once a tale of murder, passion, and possession and a compassionate study of individuals derailed by the burden of inherited evil." This sentence from the GR description will help you understand what you might expect - what it doesn't tell you is that this is a thriller.OK, so the description tells you there is a murder - this is not really a spoiler as it happens very early in the novel. Not only is that not a spoiler, but you will know early in the novel who does the murder. So how can this be a thriller? With most novels, you want to know what happens next. In this novel, Zola makes you fearful of what might happen next. I admit I'm not very good at guessing what an author might have in store for his characters, but I think Zola will keep you guessing in this one right up until the last few pages.Zola was even better at characterization in this, if that is possible. What is interesting is that much of the action takes place on and around trains, and that one train especially is one of the characters. Oh, not in any fantasy sort of way, but the railroad is such an important feature. He uses it to set the pace in several chapters and a vehicle (pun intended) for the action in others.

  • Flora
    2019-03-29 03:52

    A huge disappointment, given my high hopes that it would live up to its reputation as a sort of French "Crime and Punishment." Zola's work is aways praised for its penetrating psychological "realism," but his fiction has always struck me as being pretty thin in this regard, with the symbolism (and rhetorically-motivated characterization) so transparent that its pointillist social detail begins to look more like the mere fetishism of surfaces than penetrating "naturalism." I'm not sure how else to put it, but this book was just way too frontal lobe for my taste. Sigh.

  • Rosa Ramôa
    2019-04-24 23:12

    O abominável ser humano...besta humana!!!"Que importavam as vítimas que a máquina esmagava no caminho! Não ia ela também para o futuro, indiferente ao sangue derramado? Sem condutor no meio das trevas, fera cega e surda, indómita, rodava, atulhada dessa carne para canhão, desses soldados já estupidificados de fadiga e embriagados, que cantavam." Émile Zola, “A Besta Humana”

  • Marius
    2019-04-27 01:09

    Nu este primul meu Zola. Am mai citit şi Germinal acum mulţi ani şi îmi amintesc că descrierea suferinţelor şi mizeriei minerilor m-a deprimat.Ei bine, "La Bête humaine" este mult mai interesant, cu sex şi violenţă, perversiuni şi crime. Am găsit în carte analize psihologice atât de fine cum numai la scriitorii ruşi găsesc.Bineînţeles, concepţia naturalistă a autorului este prezentă şi în acest roman, violenţa este transmisă ereditar din vremuri imemoriabile, mediul social are influenţă decisivă asupra personalităţii. De exemplu, impulsul criminal îl copleşeşte pe Jacques Lantier doar la simpla vedere a goliciunii feminine. El se teme de acest impuls ucigaş, simte că se transformă într-o bestie pe care n-o poate controla şi de aceea se culcă cu amanta doar pe întuneric, din prevenţie. Autorul explică acest imbold criminal ca pe o acumulare a urii strămoşilor lui împotriva femeilor, ca un fel de răzbunare a unei ofense vechi transmisă ereditar din tată-n fiu."Omorâm din raţionament? Nu omorâm decât sub impulsul sângelui şi al nervilor, un rest din străvechile lupte, din necesitatea de a trăi şi din bucuria de a fi puternic."Mi-a plăcut şi felul în care Zola a personalizat locomotiva lui Lantier. A poreclit-o Lison. Îi place s-o strunească şi s-o îngrijească, o simte nărăvaşă şi cu toane uneori, o iubeşte ca pe-o femeie. Când locomotiva este distrusă într-un accident, Lantier suferă îngrozitor, ca după pierderea unei iubite. Nu la fel suferă şi când îi taie gâtul amantei sale. Mi-ar plăcea să citesc şi alte romane din ciclul ”Les Rougon-Macquart”. Am găsit doar ”Nana”, ”Bucuria de a trăi”, ”La paradisul femeilor” şi ”O pagină de dragoste”.Sunt fascinat de calitatea editării cărţilor de la Adevărul: până la mijlocul romanului, comisarul gării se numea Cabuche, nume identic cu al unui lucrător în mină, suspect de omor; la mijlocul cărţii numele comisarului este schimbat în Cauche, cum e şi în original, ca până la sfârşit să redevină Cabuche. De asemenea, locomotiva se numeşte Lissone (varianta traducătorului) iar o dată se numeşte Leone. O asemenea nepăsare a editurii faţă de cititor este foarte supărătoare.

  • Conor
    2019-04-22 04:07

    So, I started this because I found it in a book bin, and because I'd read Zola's name quite a few times. I picked up speed with it because a friend on here was also reading it. These things gave me impetus to read it, which is good when approaching classical literature, as most of it is, for lack of a better phrase, a goddamn bore.Now then, the reason I'm not giving this five stars is because there are a lot of times when it is a bore, and the lulls in the action are also lulls (not to be confused with LOLZ) in the fun, wherein the descriptive text feels as boring as the lack of events.The four stars are well deserved though; when things are moving, they're doing so in a way that recalls cinema more often than literature, and it's, well, action, action, and action. Moreover, the over arching themes are interesting enough for me to feel like I've tapped into a decent bit of French literary history while enjoying all of previously stated and triplicated gobs of gooey goodness. Or, if you need a metaphor as badly as I feel I need a conclusion to this review: It's like meeting up with someone who's holding a dry essay on this history of the French novel up to their face, and punching them through the essay. The paper is still boring, but now ACTION FILLED!

  • Maryam
    2019-03-29 01:54

    This just suffered from my 7months of not reading slump:))) otherwise it wasn't that bad but it wasn't enjoyable either. The pace really picked up towards the end so it was alright I didn't struggle with reading it. But I s2g if I read one more line about trains I'll stab my eyeballs out.

  • Denis
    2019-04-25 00:12

    Like most kids of my generation, I read a lot of Zola's famous novels - all classics in France. I loved them all, but I remember especially this one, maybe because of the wonderful Renoir's movie adaptation. When social realism meets human passions, you get Zola, a writer of immense talent and inspiration, who, from novel to novel, had an amazing gift to construct intricate stories, all linked to each other yet all unique, refracting French society in all its complexities, and dealing with raw emotions to which most of his characters were to succumb. This specific novel, about the railway and a fatal love affair, is one of his most famous, and is arrestingly modern (hence the contemporary visions that Renoir, and later Fritz Lang, gave of the story).

  • Rowena
    2019-04-01 03:17

    I've been giving away a lot of 5 stars lately (usually I'm pretty stingy with my fives) - but this book is phenomenal. I don't know why there isn't an English edition listed here on Goodreads - because I would have thought everyone would have been reading this book! Well they should ... It's about a natural born killer trying to suppress his urges. It takes us deep into the human psyche and explores what makes good people evil.If you're like me, and can't read French, its title is 'The Beast in Man' ...