Just finished reading Emile Zola's Nana (chosen to coincide with my recent trip to Paris...totally apropos.) While from the title it might sound like a boring novel about someone's grandmother, let me assure you: This tale of a bodacious courtesan in Belle Epoch Paris is completely scandalicious! Nana tears through men like an allergy sufferer does Kleenex. Men cannot resist her (she's the Paris Hilton of her day) and by the time she's done with them, they are either dead, financially-ruined or emotional wrecks.
The descriptions of the ladies' outfits are worth the read alone, and tales of outrageous parties, life in the theater, and, of course, Nana's exploits (with both men AND women) are equally riveting.
"A ruined man fell from her hands like ripe fruit, to rot on the ground."
On IMDB, there appear to be loads of movie-versions and mini-series (albeit mostly foreign.) The most promising may be this 1968 version directed by John Davies.
Still, I'm ready for another big remake...maybe starring Kate Winslet or Angelina Jolie? -- Amy