The public and the press have agreed that "L'Assommoir" is M. Zola's chef d'œuvre. Against this verdict I have no objection to offer. I believe it will meet with posterity's endorsement. But although "L'Assommoir" may lift its head the highest, there are many other volumes in the Rougon-Macquart series which stand on, and speak from equally lofty platforms of art. In my opinion, these are "La Faute de l'Abbé Mouret," "La Conquête de Plassans," and "La Curée."
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