"Pot-Bouille," or "Piping Hot!" as the present translation is called, is an inquiry into the private lives of a number of individuals, who, while they follow different occupations, belong to the same class and live under the same roof. The house in the Rue de Choiseul is one of those immense "maisons bourgeoises," in which, apparently, an infinite number of people live.
"Pot-Bouille" is a terrible satire on the "bourgeoisie" - a novel dealing with the home-life of the middle-classes. The pungent odour of life it exhales, as well as its scorching satire on the middle-classes, will be relished by all who prefer the fortifying brutalities of truth to the soft platitudes of lies.
As a satire "Piping Hot!" must be read; and as a satire it will rank with Juvenal, Voltaire, Pope, and Swift. (George Moore)
More info about the Rougon-Macquart series at Wikipedia.