The result of the latest Classics Club Spin was revealed today.
The idea of the Spin was to list twenty books from my Classics Club list, number them 1 to 20, and the number announced by the Classics Club represents the book I have to read before 30th October 2022. The number that has been selected is…
And this means the book I need to read is…
The Fortune of the Rougons by Émile Zola
The Fortune of the Rougons is the first in Zola’s famous Rougon-Macquart series of novels. In it we learn how the two branches of the family came about, and the origins of the hereditary weaknesses passed down the generations. Murder, treachery, and greed are the keynotes, and just as the Empire was established through violence, the “fortune” of the Rougons is paid for in blood.
Set in the fictitious Provencal town of Plassans, The Fortune of the Rougons tells the story of Silvere and Miette, two idealistic young supporters of the republican resistance to Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup d’etat of December 1851. They join the woodcutters and peasants of the Var to seize control of Plassans, and are opposed by the Bonapartist loyalists led by Silvere’s uncle, Pierre Rougon. Meanwhile, the foundations of the Rougon family and its illegitimate Macquart branch are being laid in the brutal beginnings of the Imperial regime.
I’m happy with this as I’ve read very little by Zola and would like to read more. I originally had Germinal on my Classics Club list but found it difficult to get into, so decided to replace it with this one. It’s the first in the Rougon-Macquart series and my edition is translated by Brian Nelson.
Have you read this? If you took part in the Spin, are you pleased with your result?