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All He Ever Wanted: A Novel (Anglais) Broché – 20 janvier 2004

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Présentation de l'éditeur

"A marriage is always two intersecting stories." This realization comes perhaps too late to the husband of Etna Bliss-a man whose obsession with his young wife begins at the moment of their first meeting, as he helps Etna and her companions escape from a fire in a hotel restaurant, and culminates in a marriage doomed by secrets and betrayal. Written with the intelligence and grace that are the hallmarks of Anita Shreve's bestselling novels, this gripping tale of desire, jealousy, and loss is peopled by unforgettable characters as real as the emotions that bring them together.

Biographie de l'auteur

Anita Shreve is the author of nine critically acclaimed and bestselling novels. Although she was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1975, Shreve felt she couldn't make a living as a fiction writer so became a journalist, whilst beginning her first novel, Eden Close. With its publication in 1989, she gave up journalism for writing fiction full time, thrilled, as she says, with "the rush of freedom that I could make it up. "She lives in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 336 pages
  • Editeur : Back Bay Books; Édition : Reprint (20 janvier 2004)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0316735736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316735735
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 2,5 x 21 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 501.119 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Couverture | Copyright | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Format: Broché
Deux êtres se rencontrent, Edna et Nicholas.Dès le début, les dés sont jetés, il l'aime d'un amour obsessionnel, elle ne l'aimera jamais mais l'épousera tout de même.Ils vont apprendre à se connaître sans jamais véritablement se comprendre.Anita Shreve parvient à dépeindre l'amour dans toute sa complexité.Le portrait qu'elle dresse de la femme en tant qu'être à part entière m'a fait pensé au livre de V.Woolf: a room of one's own et aux personnages féminins dans les romans de Doris Lessing.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 157 commentaires
29 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Shreve at her very best! One of my favorite books of 2003! 15 janvier 2004
Par Nancy R. Katz - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Like Fortune's Rocks and Sea Glass, All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve is a book filled with wonderful characters set against a historical background of social mores and traditions. And as she did in he previous historical novels, the author offers her readers a wonderful novel and one that left me wishing for another book by Anita Shreve.
All He Ever Wanted begins during a fire when Nicholas Van Tassel, a professor at a small college in New Hampshire, spots a young woman and accompanies her home that evening. Almost immediately Nicholas becomes besotted with the woman Ms. Etna Bliss and begins courting her. From this point of the narrative, Shreve moves the scene to a time many years later as Nicholas recounts the story of his love for Etna on a train as he is bound for his sister's funeral in Florida. At this point Shreve becomes almost a modern day Edith Wharton as through Nicholas we come to learn about his views of society in the early 1900's through 1930. As readers, we watch as Nicholas becomes further obsessed with Etna, thwarts a rival for a competitive position at the college and eventually comes under scrutiny for a transgression he did many years before. And as these events are taking place we also watch as Nicholas' and Etna's relationship begins to spiral out of control and wonder how this will all be resolved. For in the end all Nicholas ever wanted is the love of Etna.
I highly recommend this book to those readers who have enjoyed Anita Shreve in the past and for those who may want to read her for the first time. The author has a wonderful ability to put her readers right between the pages of the book. In addition the narrative evokes the language and society of the 1900's. Shreve has done an excellent job of describing these events from the point of view of a man deeply in love and this book makes for a very worthwhile read. I enjoyed it so much that I rated it among my ten top favorite reads for 2003.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Why spend time with someone so thoroughly unpleasant?! 15 juin 2004
Par BarkLessWagMore (Horror After Dark Crew Member) - Publié sur
Format: CD
All He Ever Wanted begins with a hotel fire in the early 1900's. The narrator of the story (who is recounting his past while en route to his sister's funeral) bachelor Nicholas Van Tassel, a stuffy professor at a snotty boys' school, is inside the hotel when the blaze begins but leaves unscathed. During this tragedy where twenty people perish in a fiery death he meets the woman of his dreams, Etna Bliss.
Etna's "handsome" face, her lovely waist and her other womanly attributes haunt his every thought. Even her name, Bliss, brings lusty thoughts to his mind (and starts my skin to crawling). His infatuation is all consuming and before long he begins to pursue her with all of the gusto of a starving dog drooling over a choice bit of meat. She eventually agrees to a date where he learns, a bit to his dismay, that she has a brain as well as fine breasts and is surprisingly literate. They read stories together and seem to get along well but when he makes a move or turns the conversation towards the personal she immediately gives him the cold shoulder. I should add that Nicholas is described as the most un-athletic man on earth with a slight paunch and a balding pate. The sexual attraction seems entirely one-sided and a bit creepy. At this point I would've put the book aside unfinished as I found Nicholas Van Tassel boring beyond belief and far too pompous. However, since I was listening to this in its unabridged format and I was stuck in traffic I continued to torture myself with Nicholas Van Tassel's words (expertly read by a narrator who reads in a purposely haughty way).
Despite the fact that Etna does not return his feelings of undying love he insists that they marry and, oddly enough, she agrees! Thus begins their awkward life together. During their years of marriage they parent two children (and, thakfully, we are spared the oogey details of their sterile love making ~ thank you Mr. Van Tassel for speedily skipping by those bits and saving me a few shudders!) and seem to get along decently enough as they plod along through their days. Nicholas gives Etna a nice life and the freedom to do whatever she wishes but sadly the love Nicholas aches for is never returned by Etna. Nicholas, the poor love starved sap, is grateful just to have her for his wife and doesn't complain about her complete lack of affection towards him. But things begin to change when he discovers that Etna has been hiding things from him. This is where the book finally picked up and actually engaged my full attention.
At this point Nicholas *almost* becomes a sympathetic character if you can believe it (though he is still a thoroughly unpleasant fellow)! He is riddled with insecurities and although he has been married to a woman he cherishes for years he will never be a happy or successful man. His world begins to spiral out of control as he simultaneously discovers Etna's been keeping secrets and learns the position he's been longing to have at the University may be forever out of his reach.
Nicholas's festering jealously and over-reaction to Etna's secret (which was odd but not nearly as devastatingly earth-shattering as I'd anticipated), however, ruin any smidgen of pity I may have felt for him just a few chapters earlier. Author Shreve successfully paints an unpleasant picture of a thoroughly unpleasant man caught up in a situation of his own making. Reading Nicolas Van Tassel's vitriolic comments and actions for pages on end was a depressing experience that I won't be repeating any time soon!
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Strong characters, good plot twists 22 juin 2004
Par B. McEwan - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I've read all of Shreve's novels and this one is near the top of my list. The heroine, Etna, is a powerful figure, but in the tradition of the period in which Shreve writes, Etna must keep her power undercover and hidden from her husband, a boorish professor at a local New England college.
The source of Etna's power -- perhaps the very power itself -- is her ability to hold a part of herself back from her husband and family. She keeps secrets, both of fact and of feeling, so that her integrity as a person can't be breached by a husband who feels entitled to know and own her totally. I identified deeply with Etna's need to do this, as I believe many women will who have been married to men who at first seemed innocuous but after a few years of marriage are revealed to be unbearably possessive. In self defense, Etna must keep her true self contained and hidden from her husband's impulse toward emotional rape.
While that may sound a bit strong, it seems very legitimate to me. I found the fact that Etna creates a personal studio space for herself -- and keeps it secret from her husband -- a natural response to his overwhelming intrusiveness. It's a testament to Shreve's ability to finely draw her characters that a reader such as myself can so thoroughly identify with the heroine's emotions, as well as feel stifled by a fictional character such as the husband.
Overall, this is a very good novel with enough depth and action to entertain readers without being shallow.
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Gripping and Unforgettable 25 février 2004
Par Wendy Kaplan - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Anita Shreve simply does not write ordinary books. Even her lesser efforts tend to leave the reader gasping for air at the end--and "All He Ever Wanted," one of her best, in my opinion, is breathtaking in the same shocking way.
Written entirely from the point of view of a stodgy male college professor circa 1900, this is the story of a passion so intense, so unlike the writer himself, that it is scarcely believable, especially when related in the stilted flowery language of the day.
Nicholas Van Tassel, a rather ordinary pedantic with nothing particularly unusual about him, happens to be in a hotel restaurant when it catches fire. This single pivotal episode in his otherwise unremarkable life changes him forever--it is during the rescue effort that he encounters Miss Etna Bliss, and falls head over heels into a passion that borders on, indeed IS, an obsession.
Hampered by the extreme rules of etiquette governing proper men and women of the day, Van Tassel nevertheless pursues Miss Bliss, finally persuading her to marry him despite her the fact that, as she honestly tells him, she does not love him. Love will come, thinks Van Tassel, hardly able to believe his luck in winning his prize. And that hope, that fantasy, that overwhelming obsession of his entire being, eventually destroys the narrator, his wife, and his entire family.
Shreve stays in character completely and thoroughly, managing to evoke the failings of the man himself, the restrictions of the society in which he lives, and the hopelessness of his obsession without ever once betraying herself. It is safe to say that the author stays well in the background while letting Van Tassel tell his own tragic story.
I consider this book a minor masterpiece. Shreve is an acquired taste, I know--but truly innovative and absolutely original in every book she writes. "All He Ever Wanted" is no exception.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Never judge a book by it's...title 3 mars 2004
Par book yeti - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Never having the pleasure of reading any of Shreve's works prior to delving into "All He Ever Wanted", I admittedly formed an unfair and premature opinion of the novel based on its somewhat flimsy melodramatic title. However, I was soon to discover that it is definitely a fitting and descriptive cover for the thespian narrative that unravels within. I was also taken unaware that this was a period piece, set in New England in the early part of the 20th Century - a fact I was all too happy to uncover, as I am an aficionado of period works.
"All He Ever Wanted" is a heart-wrenching account of unrequited love, obsession, jealousy and betrayal; exploring the most intense (and at times, darkest) workings of the human heart. Dreary and rather depressing, this candid narrative painstakingly chronicles a marriage of convenience gone sadly awry. It is written in the voice of Nicholas van Tassel, an English literary professor at a small college in New England as he ponders upon the memories of his fateful past...
One harrowing evening after escaping a restaurant fire, van Tassel happens upon the striking Etna Bliss and is instantaneously enraptured. Here commences their somewhat stifled and confusing courtship. Ultimately, their marriage forces each character to make critical compromises that will change their lives forever: Man gives up romantic ideal of marriage (knowing full well his wife does not love him) if only to `possess' her for himself; Woman relinquishes hope of marrying someone she loves and settles instead for a man who offers her freedom and a degree of independence (which is ultimately counterfeit).
Although the story is a little slow and one-dimensional at the outset, as the plot proceeds the reader will be taken in by the rich detail and character definition that quickly develops. The letters between certain characters were also a nice touch, allowing a glimpse into their personal thoughts - a unique perspective for the reader, digressing temporarily from the narrator's recital.
All in all, I must say I was thoroughly impressed by Shreve's shrewd portrayal of affections not reciprocated in "All He Ever Wanted" is a theme all too familiar in the human game of love.
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