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A Possible Life [Format Kindle]

Sebastian Faulks
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"In form and scope, Sebastian Faulks's new novel is an unexpected delight . . . There's little sense of Faulks overreaching with heavily researched detail . . . you trust the narrative whether it is set in a workhouse or a death camp or a recording studio . . . It's rare to see an established writer broaden his range. A tightly written, moving and exciting work of fiction that deserves success, it should thrill established readers as well as win new fans. If you think you know Faulks - or even (and especially) if you haven't enjoyed his previous novels - it's time to look again." (Telegraph)

"Like the albums that Jack and Anya agonise over, A Possible Life is more than the sum of its parts . . . the stories acquire power as resonances between them accrete. Only at the end do you realise you've been won over by their quiet, glinting virtuosity" (The Times)

"An investigation into the nature of shared human experience . . . it does what any good novel should - it unsettles, it moves, and it forces us to question who we are" (Sunday Times)

"These stories are delicate, persuasive expressions of one of the melancholies of ageing - the sorry realisation that your life has after all not been as distinctive as it felt at the time, a realisation perhaps best met by the hope that the very communality of life can yet be treasured." (Evening Standard)

"Critics often underestimate Faulks's versatility: his protean restlessness, half disguised by mainstream bestsellerdom . . . All these 'possible' lives, as they echo and overlap like Anya's own motifs, add up (I suspect) to a portrait of the artist as he approaches 60" (Independent)

Présentation de l'éditeur

From the author of Birdsong and A Week in December comes a dazzling new Sunday Times bestseller

Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire.

Across the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, a father too ashamed to acknowledge his son.

A skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar; her voice sends shivers through the skull.

Soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection - some key to understanding what makes us the people we become.

Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks's dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities. From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation: the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else's life.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1138 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 306 pages
  • Editeur : Cornerstone Digital (13 septembre 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008K4J8LU
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°147.260 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Commentaires en ligne

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
3.0 étoiles sur 5 variable 21 juillet 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Certaines histoires dans ce livre sont captivantes - pour moi surtout la dernière, l'histoire d'un jeune guitariste rock anglais qui se trouve pendant quelque temps au centre de la vie d'une singer-songwriter très talentueuse aux Etats-Unis dans les annees 70, et qui ensuite se rend compte qu'il nétait qu'une épisode dans sa vie.
L'histoire d'une servante dans la France du 18e siècle qui élève les enfants de ses employeurs et les regarde en train d'évoluer est intéressante aussi mais à la fin il y a une épisode de sa vie antérieure qui pour moi ne fonctionne pas, n'ajoute rien au personnage.
Il y a également une histoire qui se déroule dans un future proche en Italie, appauvrie et néo-libérale, une histoire d'amour très particulière, avec des personnages très attachants.
Globalement un bon Faulks, mais moins réjouissant que Birdsong ou Human Traces
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful read 9 mars 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book was endearing and interesting, a really great read. The characters were realistic and the subtle connections between stories was interesting.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 étoiles sur 5  93 commentaires
38 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Possible Masterpiece 13 novembre 2012
Par K. L. Cotugno - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
It is unclear at first why this book of 5 disparate stories, set in different times on different continents with varying main characters, has been described as a novel. 'There does not appear to be any communal connection, as in, say Cloud Atlas. Only at the end will all the parts dovetail in surprising ways. The main characters do share certain qualities -- isolation, societal outsiders, content in their solitude. They are not psychopathically xenophobic, and will react to others. But they all seem to carry with themselves a self-sufficiency in which they live their lives. They have the sense they've experienced "this" before, encountered other characters before (Where or When?).

Throughout Faulks writes gorgeous prose, creating evocative images of familiar landscapes that seem even more vibrant in his hands. The scenes in the Nazi work camp, for instance, are more brutal than previously encountered; the orphanages more realistically produced. The reader can almost smell the outer landscape and feel its heat. He is an amazing writer with an original style. Even the placement of the stories, the order in which they are arranged, is intriguing. They are not chronological, but there is a certain logic. As with Kieslowski's Blue, White and Red movies, or even with his Decalogue, there is a sense in the connections of these stories that can only be fully recognized after completion.
47 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Review of 'A Possible Life' by Sebastian Faulks 24 septembre 2012
Par CPHowe - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Described by the publisher as a novel, this latest offering by the highly-regarded Sebastian Faulks - the Financial Times says, `Faulks is beyond doubt a master,' - is in fact a collection of five stories. Each story has its own title, but they are also labelled Parts I to V, signalling that they are supposed to form a coherent whole; that they are in some way linked.

A Possible Life reminded me a little of Edward P Jones' two volumes of linked short stories, All Aunt Hagar's Children and Lost In The City. The links between Jones' stories are subtle and curious; a name might re-appear in a different context, or a location will feature again, but at a different time or with different people. The connections between the five stories in A Possible Life are even less obvious, and reflect Faulks' fascination with what makes us human. Science, consciousness, artistic creativity, families, love and the Holocaust all feature. Only once the book is finished is it possible to reflect on the stories as a collection, and try and make sense of them.

Each story traverses the whole of its subject's life, set in different times and places from 18th century France to mid-21st century Italy. The middle three stories struggled to live up to the emotional and heart-breaking narrative of the first - the stoicism and suffering of a man subject to the horrors of the Second World War - or the re-imagining of the love affair between Joni Mitchell and Graham Nash on which the fifth and final story is loosely based. The first story sets such a high standard, although it certainly has flaws, that the rest were always going to be hard-pressed to follow it. Its strength perhaps explains why I felt such disappointment at turning the page and realising that `Part II' was a completely different story.

What is it that makes the middle three stories less satisfactory? Writing about the future, unless you're a top notch science fiction writer, is always a challenge. The knowing nods to the present that make science fiction interesting - the novelty of someone reading printed newspapers instead of screens, or a reference back to the global financial crisis - have to be done extremely well, otherwise they seem a little obvious, a little contrived.

The Victorian workhouse boy who toils his way to a comfortable life, against the odds and with family challenges that test his integrity, seemed too much like a parable. And the 18th century French servant girl who leads a life of drudgery just didn't have enough depth to satisfy me, despite Faulks showing us the families for whom she works, with all their pretensions and shortcomings.

I also had a problem with the way that for just a paragraph or two, in each story, Faulks shifts the point of view away from the protagonist. It is difficult to imagine this is unintentional but when, in fiction, the point of view changes temporarily to another character then shifts back again, it is as if the writer has given up on finding a way to show us what he wants through the eyes of his protagonist. There are lots of great books where the point of view jumps around all over the place - Nicola Barker's Behindlings or The Believers by Zoe Heller - but it is unusual to find examples of what Faulks has done in A Possible Life. Perhaps he's trying to show how human consciousness flickers in and out of focus, how we can't know everything? Perhaps, but the result is unconvincing, and doesn't feel right.

Faulks' decision to put what are, effectively, five novellas into one book makes them feel compressed and constrained, but the first and the last suffer most as a result; it feels as if there are longer, deeper versions waiting to be told; that important insights and events have been skipped over; that words have been sacrificed to make space for the other three stories.

If there is a common theme in A Possible Life, it is universal: life unfolds in many different ways, often we can't control what happens, and love is difficult to find and to cope with. Isn't that what most fiction is about? It could be argued that the middle story, set in the future, about a scientific breakthrough related to consciousness and the mind, is the `answer' to the book's question, but it doesn't do enough to properly fill that role.

By packaging these stories together with the title A Possible Life, Faulks promises something more profound than two strong and three weaker stories linked by only the most tenuous of threads. Rather than judge each on its own merits I was always looking for something more, and disappointment was inevitable. The strength of the first and last stories goes someway towards redeeming the book but, in the end, Faulks does not keep his promise, and we are left with a collection that is not, really, much more than the sum of its parts.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Possible LIfe: A Novel in Five Parts 22 novembre 2012
Par Gaby at Starting Fresh blog - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
In A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts Sebastian Faulks gives us five separate stories each with a distinct flavor and each a complete whole. The stories are set in different places in Europe and different times with different characters. I'll admit that I may have been a bit distracted while reading stories 2-5 as I kept trying to find connections between the characters and stories. While each story stands on its own, I kept trying to imagine where and how the stories would connect. Unfortunately, I this attempt to pinpoint the connections detracted from enjoying the novel as a whole.

Of the five stories, the first two were my particular favorites. The first tells the story of Geoffrey in 1939, a young man in England who enters the Diplomatic Service before the start of World War II. A linguist by training and an introvert by nature, Geoffrey finds himself working with an old rival to strengthen the French Resistance and eventually lands in a POW. Others found Geoffrey off putting, but I could understand his coldness and found him to be surprisingly sympathetic.

The second tells us about Billy in 1859. Young Billy is the third of five children in a desperately poor family. At seven years of age, BIlly is sold to a work house that sounds bleak and hopeless. Reminiscent of Oliver Twist, Billy endures brutal teachers, constant hunger and cold, "I wasn't alive, I was only breathing. At night in the bed in the floor I slept. I pulled the blanket right up over my head. I didn't have any thoughts. I didn't know anything to think about. And I didn't dream neither." Patience, luck, and constant effort enable Billy to change his circumstances. As Billy prospers, his life grows complicated - and his story develops.

The next three stories are of women. The third is about Elena, a brilliant scientist in futuristic Europe in 2029. The fourth, a poor and illiterate orphan Jeanne who lived and worked in small villages in France 1822. The last tells the story of a young and beautiful musician named Anya in in 1971 as told by someone fast falling in love with her as her career takes flight. The last story is full of hope and heartbreak and the ups and downs of a life devoted to the making of unforgettable music.

A Possible Life is unusual and beautifully written. I recommend them - see which stories speak to you.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Five lives--some struggling, some striving, all wondering at the end 26 octobre 2012
Par Blue in Washington - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
"A Possible Life" is a collection of five separate novellas with only the occasional small connection between them. They are written in five time periods, although the dates given as chapter/story titles (1938, 1859, 2029, 1822 and 1971) are just place-holders for periods of time. If there is a central theme to the stories it is that life experience is more about the complexities of human relationships (or the lack thereof) than the experiencing of events. The book's/stories' perspectives seemed to me to be distinctly English, despite the setting of three of the accounts in Italy, France and the U.S. This is particularly important when the stories focus on relationships between children and parents, I think.

I found some of these tales moving at times: a man lives through the horror of a Nazi concentration camp in the service of the killers and returns to live out the rest of his years burdened with the immensity of that experience; another man is sent away as a child to a London work house by his parents but never repudiates his obligations to that family as an adult; a woman scientist participates in scientific investigation that proves that humans have no real souls; a peasant woman lives a life of unquestioning service to a loathsome bourgeois family after a profound religious awakening; and a musician becomes the enabler for a self-absorbed singer of prodigious talent at a considerable emotional cost.

But ultimately, their impact and interest are uneven overall. For the most part, these are not characters that you like very much--and you don't get the impression that the author really wants your love as much as perhaps your respect for them. These are people thrust into situations and relationships that are painful or tedious or bewildering. They all survive in one fashion or another, and sometimes their survival is a real triumph, but mostly it's just basic survival with a modest sense of satisfaction in that achievement.

While I think there is some good story-telling in these five mostly narratives, what I would have liked to see with greater generosity from the author, was warmth and even some joy in the characters. As it is, they have been given rather meager rations of both by him, which makes the book less than it could have been (in my opinion).
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Brilliant Look At Communal Memory 30 octobre 2012
Par Jill I. Shtulman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
A Possible Life is comprised of five stories - five lives - that are tied together not through the characters or plotting, but through time, space and connections.

Had I reviewed after reading the first tale - set in 1938 and focused on Geoffrey Talbot - I may have very well given this book just 3 stars. The story of a middling man who ends up veering from the career course his father had hoped for and eventually ends up being betrayed to the Gestapo while on a mission at first seemed archetypal and evocative. The unspeakable horrors of the concentration camp are powerfully told, but it almost seems as if the reader has read these descriptions before.

It soon becomes clear, though, that this is Sebastian Faulks' focal point: communal memory. As readers, we know these stories: the man who survives Gestapo atrocities and seeks to regain his ordinary life...the Dickensian orphan Billy in Victorian London who survives through sheer force of character...the brilliant scientist who struggles with the big questions of life and love...the simpleminded and devout orphan Jeanne in rural France... and the skinny, long-haired American singer who leverages her life for her art.

All of these characters are intimately familiar to us. The joy of reading this book is unearthing the connections between such disparate characters. Over and over again, details resonate, pricking our minds with the question, "Where have I heard this before?" For example, Geoffrey Talbot will enter a French farmhouse where he is ultimately betrayed; a century earlier, the peasant Jeanne will also have confronted a betrayal. Orphaned Jeanne will be reduced to sleeping on a mat of straw; years later, Billy Webb, another orphan, will be forced to make his bed on a mat of straw at a workhouse. And that workhouse? The songwriter's manager Jack, in the 1970s, will consider purchasing a flat in that Victorian workhouse where Billy once lived. And so on.

"I don't think you ever understand your life - not till it's finished and probably not then either," Billy reflects. Later, the scientist Elena, thinks, "If not just the brain but the quirks that made the individual from uncomposed matter only, it was hard to be sure where the edges of one such being ended and another began."

Life, Sebastian Faulks suggest, is difficult to fathom without consideration of our shared memory, the way we interconnect with those who came before and will come after us, and how all our lives fit into some vast unknowable puzzle. To him, we're all in this thing, like it or not, forever. This is, I believe, truly a brilliant book. Jack - who narrates the songwriter Anya's section - may have said it best: "The events and sensations, the stories and the things that make me what I am in the eyes of other people, the list of facts that make my life...They could be mine, they might be yours."
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