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The Belly of Paris

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The Belly of Paris Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chapter One

In the silence of a deserted avenue, wagons stuffed with produce made their way toward Paris, their thudding wheels rhythmically echoing off the houses sleeping behind the rows of elm trees meandering on either side of the road. At the pont de Neuilly, a cart full of cabbages and another full of peas met up with eight carts of turnips and carrots coming in from Nanterre. The horses, their heads bent low, led themselves with their lazy, steady pace, a bit slowed by the slight uphill climb. Up on the carts, lying on their stomachs in the vegetables, wrapped in their black-and-gray-striped wool coats, the drivers slept with the reins in their fists. Occasionally the light from a gas lamp would grope its way through the shadows and brighten the hobnail of a boot, the blue sleeve of a blouse, or the tip of a hat poking from the bright bloom of vegetables-red bouquets of carrots, white bouquets of turnips, or the bursting greenery of peas and cabbages.

All along the road and all the nearby routes, up ahead and farther back, the distant rumbling of carts told of other huge wagons, all pushing on through the darkness and slumber of two in the morning, the sound of passing food lulling the darkened town to stay asleep.

Madame François's horse, Balthazar, an overweight beast, led the column. He dawdled on, half asleep, flicking his ears until, at rue de Longchamp, his legs were suddenly frozen by fear. The other animals bumped their heads into the stalled carts in front of them, and the column halted with the clanking of metal and the cursing of drivers who had been yanked from their sleep. Seated up top, Madame François, with her back against a plank that held the vegetables in place, peered out but saw nothing by the faint light of the little square lantern to her left, which barely lit one of Balthazar's glistening flanks.

Come on, lady, let’s keep moving, shouted one of the men who was kneeling in turnips. “It’s just some drunken idiot.

But as she leaned over she thought she made out a dark patch of something blocking the road, about to be stepped on by the horse.

You can't just run people over, she said, jumping down from her wagon.

It was a man sprawled across the road, his arms stretched out, facedown in the dust. He seemed extraordinarily long and as thin as a dry branch. It was a miracle that Balthazar had not stepped on him and snapped him in two. Madame François thought he was dead, but when she crouched over him and took his hand, she found it was still warm.

Hey, mister, she called softly.

But the drivers were growing impatient. The one kneeling in the vegetables shouted in a gruff voice, “Give it up, lady. The son of a bitch is plastered. Shove him in the gutter.

In the meantime, the man had opened his eyes. He stared, motionless, at Madame François, with a look of bewilderment. She too thought that he must be drunk.

You can't stay there, you’re going to get yourself run over, she told him. “Where were you going?

I don't know,” the man replied in a feeble voice. Then, with great effort and a worried face, “I was going to Paris, and I fell. I don't know . . .

Now she could see him better, and he was pathetic with his black pants and black overcoat, so threadbare that they showed the contou

Synopsis:

Emile Zola (1840 1902) was born in Paris and worked as a journalist before turning to fiction. With the publication of L'Assommoir, he became the most famous writer in France. His work has influenced

Synopsis:

Chapter One

In the silence of a deserted avenue, wagons stuffed with produce made their way toward Paris, their thudding wheels rhythmically echoing off the houses sleeping behind the rows of elm trees meandering on either side of the road. At the pont de Neuilly, a cart full of cabbages and another full of peas met up with eight carts of turnips and carrots coming in from Nanterre. The horses, their heads bent low, led themselves with their lazy, steady pace, a bit slowed by the slight uphill climb. Up on the carts, lying on their stomachs in the vegetables, wrapped in their black-and-gray-striped wool coats, the drivers slept with the reins in their fists. Occasionally the light from a gas lamp would grope its way through the shadows and brighten the hobnail of a boot, the blue sleeve of a blouse, or the tip of a hat poking from the bright bloom of vegetables--red bouquets of carrots, white bouquets of turnips, or the bursting greenery of peas and cabbages.

Synopsis:

Part of Emile Zola's multigenerational Rougon-Macquart saga, The Belly of Paris is the story of Florent Quenu, a wrongly accused man who escapes imprisonment on Devil's Island. Returning to his native Paris, Florent finds a city he barely recognizes, with its working classes displaced to make way for broad boulevards and bourgeois flats. Living with his brother's family in the newly rebuilt Les Halles market, Florent is soon caught up in a dangerous maelstrom of food and politics. Amid intrigue among the market's sellersthe fishmonger, the charcutiere, the fruit girl, and the cheese vendorand the glorious culinary bounty of their labors, we see the dramatic difference between "fat and thin" (the rich and the poor) and how the widening gulf between them strains a city to the breaking point. Translated and with an Introduction by the celebrated historian and food writer Mark Kurlansky, The Belly of Paris offers fascinating perspectives on the French capital during the Second Empireand, of course, tantalizing descriptions of its sumptuous repasts.

About the Author

EMILE ZOLA (1840-1902) wrote his first major novel, Thérse Raquin, in 1867, and the publication of L’Assommoir ten years later made him the most famous writer in France. His work has influenced authors from August Strindberg to Theodore Dreiser to Tom Wolfe.

MARK KURLANSKY is the New York Times bestselling and James A. Beard Award–winning author of The Last Fish Tale, The Big Oyster, Cod, Salt, and other books. He translated numerous pieces from French, Spanish, and Italian (including passages from The Belly of Paris) for his food anthology Choice Cuts. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781588368553
Publisher:
Modern Library
Subject:
Fiction : Classics
Translator:
Kurlansky, Mark
Translated by:
Mark Kurlansky
mile Zola:
Author
Author:
Kurlansky, Mark
Author:
Zola, +mile
Author:
Mark Kurlansky
Author:
Zola, Emile
Subject:
Paris (france)
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Gastronomic Literature
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20090512
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
328

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Belly of Paris
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Product details 328 pages Random House Publishing Group - English 9781588368553 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Emile Zola (1840 1902) was born in Paris and worked as a journalist before turning to fiction. With the publication of L'Assommoir, he became the most famous writer in France. His work has influenced
"Synopsis" by , Chapter One

In the silence of a deserted avenue, wagons stuffed with produce made their way toward Paris, their thudding wheels rhythmically echoing off the houses sleeping behind the rows of elm trees meandering on either side of the road. At the pont de Neuilly, a cart full of cabbages and another full of peas met up with eight carts of turnips and carrots coming in from Nanterre. The horses, their heads bent low, led themselves with their lazy, steady pace, a bit slowed by the slight uphill climb. Up on the carts, lying on their stomachs in the vegetables, wrapped in their black-and-gray-striped wool coats, the drivers slept with the reins in their fists. Occasionally the light from a gas lamp would grope its way through the shadows and brighten the hobnail of a boot, the blue sleeve of a blouse, or the tip of a hat poking from the bright bloom of vegetables--red bouquets of carrots, white bouquets of turnips, or the bursting greenery of peas and cabbages.

"Synopsis" by , Part of Emile Zola's multigenerational Rougon-Macquart saga, The Belly of Paris is the story of Florent Quenu, a wrongly accused man who escapes imprisonment on Devil's Island. Returning to his native Paris, Florent finds a city he barely recognizes, with its working classes displaced to make way for broad boulevards and bourgeois flats. Living with his brother's family in the newly rebuilt Les Halles market, Florent is soon caught up in a dangerous maelstrom of food and politics. Amid intrigue among the market's sellersthe fishmonger, the charcutiere, the fruit girl, and the cheese vendorand the glorious culinary bounty of their labors, we see the dramatic difference between "fat and thin" (the rich and the poor) and how the widening gulf between them strains a city to the breaking point. Translated and with an Introduction by the celebrated historian and food writer Mark Kurlansky, The Belly of Paris offers fascinating perspectives on the French capital during the Second Empireand, of course, tantalizing descriptions of its sumptuous repasts.
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