Leighton Pugh's superb narration immerses listeners in this audiobook, which is part of the author's Rougon-Marquet series. Despite the beauty of Zola's language, the subject matter of this novel is challenging. Listeners must pay close attention to take in the complicated plot, which involves murder, homicidal ideation, and physical violence, including sexual abuse. Pugh's thoughtful characterizations, especially of women, and his even pacing settle listeners into the gripping story. His fine accents and facility with French words help establish the late-nineteenth-century French setting. This time period ushered in the Machine Age, and Pugh captivates listeners with riveting depictions of railway transport and its impact upon community life. There is a decidedly theatrical quality to this story, which is wonderfully brought forth on audio. M.J. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine [Published: JANUARY 2022]
Trade Ed. Naxos AudioBooks 2021
DD ISBN 9781781983553 $39.00
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