The Belly of Paris

The Belly of Paris

Book - 2009
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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 sellers-the fishmonger, the charcuti#65533;re, the fruit girl, and the cheese vendor-and 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 Empire-and, of course, tantalizing descriptions of its sumptuous repasts.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2009
Edition: Modern Library ed
ISBN: 9780812974225
Branch Call Number: 641.5944 Z86
Characteristics: xxx, 328 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Kurlansky, Mark


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Mar 30, 2015

"Zola researched his books much as though he were a journalist writing nonfiction."-from the introduction by Mark Kurlansky
The prolific French novelist Emile Zola, whose major work was a series of interconnected novels called the Rougon-Macquart saga (similar to Balzac's Human Comedy). Like his predecessor Balzac, Zola strove for a greater realism in the novel and explored the external forces (economic, political, social, religious) that shape characters' lives. "The Belly of Paris" is set in a Parisian food market and its theme of "the fat and the thin" (rich and poor) still resonates today. Translated and introduced by Mark Kurlanksy, the author of "Cod" and "Salt."

Jul 20, 2011

What an introduction to Paris! Quite a different world than today; an education for me for sure. The book contains a terrific glossary. Like all books I found the first half slow going as all the characters and plot was set up; the last half when much quicker.


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