His Excellency Eugène Rougon by Émile Zola

Reading a political novel right after election (in Indonesia, where I live) is really not a good choice! But it's Zola, and I thought if there's any writer who could make politics - the most boring subject for me - slightly interesting, it should be Zola (he wrote about miners poetically in Germinal, after all!) I'm not entirely wrong, this sixth book of Rougon-Macquart cycle provides some enjoyable...

The Bright Side of Life by Émile Zola

The twelfth novel of the Rougon-Macquart cycle turned out to be the most autobiographical of Zola's. He wrote The Bright Side of Life when he was 44 years old, and was in one of his much mental instability cases caused by the death of his two friends – one of them was his mentor: Gustave Flaubert – then followed by his mother's. From age 30, Zola too has been suffering from necrophobia(irrational...

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

The third published detective novel of Dame Agatha Christie brings us to Northern France, to a village called Merlinville-sur-Mer. Hercule Poirot has been enjoying a successful career of a private detective since his triumph in Styles case. He is now sharing a room in London with his companion-sidekick: Captain Arthur Hastings, who would take again his role as narrator for this story.It all begins...

An Officer and A Spy by Robert Harris

I have been interested in the Dreyfus Affair ever since I read Zola's J'Accuse! about two years ago. Then lately Michael Rosen's The Disappearance of Émile Zola let my interest sparked again. Yet, these two books only cover the affair from Zola's point of view; or rather, Zola's fight and struggle during Dreyfus Affair; they do not touch its core. It is in this field has Robert Harris done a terrific...

The Sin of Abbé Mouret by Émile Zola

Serge Mouret is the son of Marthe Mouret (nee Rougon) and François Mouret, son of Ursule Mouret (née Macquart); meaning he has both Rougon and Macquart bloods running in his vein. Serge has two siblings: Octave (who is most Rougon than the others—appeared in The Ladies Paradise and The Conquest of Plassans); and Désirée, a retarded girl, of whom Serge took under his care.Like all the tribe members,...

A Love Story by Émile Zola

Une Page d'Amour is the eight novel in Rougon-Macquart series, if you follow Zola's recommended order of reading. Helen Constantine titled this new translation published by Oxford World's Classics with A Love Story, instead of 'an episode of love'—the closest translation to Zola's original title—because she found that this book is not only about love affairs, but also represents Zola's love for...

The Phantom of the Opera: Second Reading

Some books must surely be read more than once to get into all the layers it contains! On my first reading of Phantom about seven years ago, I was fascinated more by its gothic theme than by the grotesqueness of its back story. Only now on this second reading did I fully grasp the scary reality underneath the fantastic story; even more because it’s so relevant with the world we live now.I don’t...

Raw (2016) – Ganjilnya si Calon Dokter Hewan

Dibuka dengan sebuah kecelakaan mobil, lalu diperkenalkan Justine, yang tak bisa makan daging. Ia mahasiswi baru calon dokter hewan. Sebuah kejadian waktu ospek menjadi trigger bangkitnya sesuatu yang ganjil di tubuhnya. Tubuhnya keluar angka satu, tiga.. Hmm, bukan gitu. Tubuhnya keluar hewan kecil yang hobi nyolong timun. Hmm, bukan gitu juga. Aku bisa jelaskan. Itu […]

The Earth by Émile Zola

Brutal and violent! Zola is all out in this fifteenth novel of The Rougon Macquart cycle. I can feel how Zola’s love for his land was woven into an intense and emotional novel. And the blow! His crude way in telling the story really surprised me this time—the brutal rape and murder scenes… particularly the last one (yes, there’s more than one murder!). It really haunted me for few days.Jean...

[Review] Germinal by Emile Zola

Title: GerminalAuthor: Emile ZolaPublisher: Gramedia Pustaka UtamaPublished: November 7th 2016 (first published 1885)Page: 880pISBN: 9786020335339Siapa Zola sebenarnya? Hidup dikomunitas atau lingkungan seperti apa orang ini? Apa saja yang mempengaruhi perspektifnya? Pertanyaan-pertanyaan itu muncul ketika saya menutup buku ini. Mungkinkah Zola pernah menjadi bagian dari masyarakat pekerja tambang?...
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