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Summary

The irresistible power of money, a lever that can lift the world. Love and money are the only things.

Aristide Rougon, known as Saccard, is a failed property speculator determined to make his way once more in Paris. Unscrupulous, seductive, and with unbounded ambition, he schemes and manipulates his way to power. Financial undertakings in the Middle East lead to the establishment of a powerful new bank and speculation on the stock market; Saccard meanwhile conducts his love life as energetically as he does his business, and his empire is seemingly unstoppable.

Saccard, last encountered in The Kill (La Curée) in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series, is a complex figure whose story intricately intertwines the worlds of politics, finance, and the press. The repercussions of his dealings on all levels of society resonate disturbingly with the financial scandals of more recent times. This is the first new translation for more than 100 years, and the first unabridged translation in English. The edition includes a wide-ranging introduction and useful historical notes.

©2014 Valerie Minogue (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • J.
  • 05-07-16

A forgotten gem

Wall Street shenanigans are nothing new. Zola wrote about the French equivalent in 1891. Zola's works stand the test of time and it's a shame he is read so little today. Saccard is deliciously bad. You can't help liking him just for his shear mendacity and financial chutzpah. A 19th c. version of Bernie Madoff . Napolean Ryan is perfect as a narrator every bit as brilliant with character voice as Fredrick Davidson.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 27-02-17

Old School Bernie Madoff!

Amazing book about the rise and fall of a Madoff's great-great-great-great-great French grandfather! The greatest lesson we can learn from history is that history repeats itself and if we don't learn from the past then we are destined to repeat it.