Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

I am working my way through the classics and I find it easier to listen to them rather than read them. Probably something to do with the language and the style of writing.

Therese Raquin is grim.  It is also a little gruesome. Not what you would describe as an up-beat read! It reminded me a little of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell Tale Heart, in both stories the crime haunts the murderers into a state of madness.

Set in the claustrophobic atmosphere of a dingy haberdasher’s shop in Paris, Therese Raquin tells how the heroine Therese, and her lover, Laurent, kill her husband, Camille, but are subsequently haunted by visions of the dead man and prevented from enjoying the fruits of their crime.

They attempt to reconcile their crime through violence, accusations, silence, lust  and remorse.  All to no avail. They are destined to live through the crime over and over until it drives them mad. This is not giving anything away. It is not a whodunit. Zola tells the story in a very matter of fact manner that possibly make the story even more un-nerving.