Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, August 8, 2014

Money (L'Argent) by Emile Zola - 1891

Money is the 18th novel of 20  in Emile Zola's grand Rougon Macquart Cycle.  It focuses on the foundation, management and eventual scandal ridden down fall of an investment bank.  A lot of what goes on in the novel sounds much like the criminality that goes  on in giant banks world wide today.  It is a story of greed, grandiose schemes based on fantasies and fraud, of business leaders who care only about themselves, who gladly hurt thousands and thousands just to make themselves a bit richer, of idiots in control. 

Zola gives us a lot of detail about how one started a bank in France in 1890, how you sold stocks and found investors.  We learn a good bit about the lives of those who start the bank.  We also meet middle class people who invest all of their life savings in bank stock.  This being Zola, we know things will end badly for them.

Money is interesting for its portrayal of the business side of the banking and stock market in France.
Maybe I have, after 17 prior novels in the cycle, reached  Zola overload but I did not become very interested in the characters in the novel.  

Two to go! 

Mel u

1 comment:

Amateur Reader (Tom) said...

Desperate Reader put up a post about the same book earlier today.

Getting them all read will be a nice achievement.