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The Flood

Émile Zola

Book Overview: 

A well-to-do French farm family is destroyed by a flood. The story, thrilling to the very end, is told from the point of view of the family’s 70-year-old patriarch. The story speaks of the helplessness of mankind in the face of the forces of nature.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .e talk about the heavy rains of the last few days. Some seem to think that they will cause trouble."

In effect, it had rained for sixty hours without stopping. The Garonne was very much swollen since the preceding day, but we had confidence in it, and, as long as it did not overflow its banks, we could not look on it as a bad neighbor.

"Bah!" I exclaimed, shrugging my shoulders. "Nothing will happen. It is the same every year. The river puts up her back as if she were furious, and she calms down in a night. You will see, my boy, that it will amount to nothing this time. See how beautiful the weather is!"

And I pointed to the sky. It was seven o'clock; the sun was setting. The sky was blue, an immense blue sheet of profound purity, in which the rays of the setting sun were like a golden dust. Never had I seen the village drowsing in so sweet a peace. Upon the tiled roofs a rosy tint was fading. I heard a neighbor's laugh, then the voices of. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I kept on scratching my head after finishing this book. My forefinger and middle finger drumming on my skull and a new sort of disconcerting bewilderment in my eyes!

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