Therese Raquin

Thoughts trbyez trbyezgr

Thérèse Raquin

    • Written by: Emile Zola (Translated from French)
    • Narrated by: Kate Winslet
    • Length: 8 hrs
    • Format: Unabridged
  • Release Date:03-08-12 (originally pub’d 1867)
  • Publisher: Audible, Inc.
  • Program Type: Audiobook


Often repeated phrase:  Hither and thither.

This extremely dark story is INTENSE.

A young woman, Thérèse, is trapped in a loveless marriage; she hides her seething contempt well. When her husband, Camille, brings home a friend named Laurent, she secretly unleashes her duplicitous passionate side, Laurent is a non-ambitious lollygagger of a sort; he really only wishes to see if he could shag her. Dark deeds, mayhem and madness ensue.

“He enjoyed gentle quietude; waiting for the hour to strike.”

Not for the faint of heart.

I’m really not sure what Zola was trying to say. That crime never goes unpunished? That we really can’t tell what goes on in the hearts of others? That we should be content with our lot in life or else we’ll only get misery? – NO, not that last one… Perhaps, it is to never trust a cat.

Rating THREE STARS. I realize and I get that this is a classic but not my favorite. Well-written, amazingly paced, fascinating exploration of the depths of madness = imagination, etc. But I found it rather tedious once the madness ball started rolling hither and thither. Yes, I was distracted by the number of times I heard the phrase.

“That woman must have intoxicated me with caresses.”

Winslet’s narration is top-notch.

No pie, that I recall. Hard to say since it was audio and I listen in my car. Just not wise of me to take a note.


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25 thoughts on “Therese Raquin

      1. It is a different title: In Secret. When I looked it up, I saw it’s a 2013 movie, so I guess I don’t have to wait. I think we got that preview before seeing American Hustle at the OSU-area movie theater a couple of weeks ago. That whole day was a time warp (since American Hustle is a story about Abscam in the 1970s).

        1. I am looking forward to seeing American Hustle even though I know a few people who thought it awful. In fact, their opinion makes me want to see it even more. Will look up In Secret… Thanks

  1. I see Jeanne already remarked on this, but as I read the description in your review, I thought it sounded like the plot of In Secret (which I’ve only seen the preview for).

    I’m curious about the role of the cat and since I don’t have a desire to read this book, I looked it up. Huh.

  2. It’s been about 5 years since I read this one and although I don’t remember many specifics (or any hither and thithers!) I know was really taken with the whole thing… psychological effects of guilt, etc. I think I’d love an audio reread!

    1. Probably something on audio made me pick up the hither and thithering thing and once encountered-noticed, I can only say HEY! every subsequent use.

  3. I LOVED this one and didn’t even notice any ‘hithers or thithers’!! I thought it was a really good example of how regret can take over your life. Scariliy realistic and I loved the creepy atmosphere. Sorry it wasn’t for you.

    1. Oh, no no no, THREE stars is still GOOD. It just wasn’t an over the top lovefest kind of book for me. We should never apologize for a three star or really not even a two star. Please don’t think that I disliked it, it just isn’t going to be a favorite. I’m quite glad I experienced it and I appreciate your sharing about regrets taking over.

  4. I haven’t heard of this one or read anything by Zola before but you definitely have me intrigued!! I’m tempted to download it as I need more short audios. I do find that I notice repeated phrases more on audio than I do on paper. King might be a good example of that. Ayup.

    1. True, I do tend to think of Uncle Stevie when I encounter repeated phrases. Vonnegut had one in Slaughterhouse, too. It may be I wouldn’t have noticed the hither & thither if print. I wonder what it is in French and if it was a translation thing.

  5. Zola’s great but some of the later books are even better. Most of them are the Rougon-Maquart cyle, which is 20 related volumes (though you don’t have to read them in order). Some of the themes in this book come up again in La Bete Humaine, which is one of my favorites of his books. It’s set in the French railway system and it’s about what drives people to murder. It’s really good. And Germinal is also wonderful.

  6. I have never read Zola and I’m hoping to remedy that this year. I’ve heard good things about some of his other novels so I will probably start with one of those instead of this dark beast.

    1. Maybe a readalong for Germinal? later though. I don’t think I’m quite ready for him again soon. I also have the oh-yea-I-really-need-to-get-to authors starting to yell at me.

  7. Pingback: Germinal – Care's Books and Pie

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