Read by Juliet Stevenson
Published in 1867, Thérèse Raquin is the novel which established Zola’s reputation as a writer who forensically explored the darker side of human nature. Thérèse is a half Algerian orphan, brought up in provincial France by her aunt and married off to her sickly cousin Camille. His ambition takes the three of them to Paris, where they set up home in the dank and dingy backstreets that run down to the Seine. The relentless tedium of life for Thérèse is eventually broken by the presence of Camille’s unscrupulous friend Laurent, sparking a series of increasingly desperate acts. Thérèse Raquin is a gritty and thought-provoking novel of sexual compulsion and its consequences on the lives of four people and a tabby cat.
Running Time: 8 h 36 m
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Digital ISBN: 978-1-78198-399-7 Cat. no.: NA0535 Produced by: John Foley Edited by: Thomas Goose Translated by: Henry Vizetelly (updated) BISAC: FIC004000 BIC: FC Released: April 22
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English actor Juliet Stevenson’s nuanced performance of this classic tale of obsession lures listeners into a nineteenth-century Parisian storefront, where lust and shadows lurk. Unhappily married to her sickly cousin, Camille, and working in her aunt’s dingy clothing store, Thérèse Raquin starts an affair with Camille’s colleague. After murdering Camille, the lovers are haunted to the point of madness by their crime. Stevenson’s straightforward narration exemplifies Zola’s famously scientific approach to storytelling, which studied ‘temperaments, not personalities.’ The book has little dialogue, releasing Stevenson from inventing French accents, but when needed, her pronunciation of the Parisian streets and neighborhoods is perfect. Her vibrant alto pitch, crystalline enunciation, and expressive reading enliven Zola’s descriptive writing, sending listeners deep into Paris’s underworld.