Leighton Pugh provides a meticulous performance of this tragic novel, embracing the drama of Zola's details and immersing himself in the protagonist Gervaise's misfortunes. Eking out a living as a laundress, Gervaise is derailed by the perils of drink--the book's title is often translated to mean "The Drinking Den"--and the horrors of poverty. Many scenes are drawn out to the extreme, and Pugh is patient with the details, devoting careful attention to subtle accents and a multitude of distinctive voices. Pugh is a bright light in a bleak story; his lively pace and capable delivery make this novel accessible. The question is whether the listener is prepared to take a look at such a sad life. L.B.F. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2022]
Trade Ed. Naxos AudioBooks 2019
DD ISBN $27.30
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