Au Bonheur Des Dames
The Ladies' DelightBook - 2001
An Bonheur des Dames is the glittering Paris department store run by Octave Mouret. He had used charm and drive to become director of this mighty emporium, unscrupulously exploiting his young female staff and seducing his lady customers with luxurious displays of shimmering silks, satins, velvet and lace. Then Denise Baudu, a naive provincial girl, becomes an assistant at the store, and Mouret discovers that he in turn can also be enchanted. With its vivid portrayal of greedy customers and gossiping staff, its lavish descriptions and sense of theatre, Au Bonheur des Dames is a rich and exciting novel. The eleventh in Zola's great cycle Les Rougon-Macquart, it is his comment on modern consumer society. In this sense it is, out of Zola's novels, 'surely the one that has most relevance for our time'.