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An Abundance of Katherines (Anglais) Broché – 16 octobre 2008


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Extrait

(one)

The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath. Colin had always preferred baths; one of his general policies in life was never to do anything standing up that could just as easily be done lying down. He climbed into the tub as soon as the water got hot, and he sat and watched with a curiously blank look on his face as the water overtook him. The water inched up his legs, which were crossed and folded into the tub. He did recognize, albeit faintly, that he was too long, and too big, for this bathtub—he looked like a mostly grown person playing at being a kid. As the water began to splash over his skinny but unmuscled stomach, he thought of Archimedes. When Colin was about four, he read a book about Archimedes, the Greek philosopher who’d discovered that volume could be measured by water displacement when he sat down in the bathtub. Upon making this discovery, Archimedes supposedly shouted “Eureka!” [1] and then ran naked through the streets. The book said that many important discoveries contained a “Eureka moment.” And even then, Colin very much wanted to have some important discoveries, so he asked his mom about it when she got home that evening.

“Mommy, am I ever going to have a Eureka moment?”

“Oh, sweetie,” she said, taking his hand. “What’s wrong?”

“I wanna have a Eureka Moment,” he said, the way another kid might have expressed longing for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

She pressed the back of her hand to his cheek and smiled, her face so close to his that he could smell coffee and makeup. “Of course, Colin baby. Of course you will.”

But mothers lie. It’s in the job description.

Colin took a deep breath and slid down, immersing his head. I am crying, he thought, opening his eyes to stare through the soapy, stinging water. I feel like crying, so I must be crying, but it’s impossible to tell because I’m underwater. But he wasn’t crying. Curiously, he felt too depressed to cry. Too hurt. It felt as if she’d taken the part of him that cried.

He opened the drain in the tub, stood up, toweled off, and got dressed. When he exited the bathroom, his parents were sitting together on his bed. It was never a good sign when both his parents were in his room at the same time. Over the years it had meant:

1. Your grandmother/grandfather/Aunt-Suzie-whom-you-never-met-but-trust- me-she-was-nice-and-it’s-a-shame is dead.

2. You’re letting a girl named Katherine distract you from your studies.

3. Babies are made through an act that you will eventually find intriguing but for right now will just sort of horrify you, and also sometimes people do stuff that involves baby-making parts that does not actually involve making babies, like for instance kiss each other in places that are not on the face.

It never meant:

4. A girl named Katherine called while you were in the bathtub. She’s sorry. She still loves you and has made a terrible mistake and is waiting for you downstairs.

But even so, Colin couldn’t help but hope that his parents were in the room to provide news of the Number 4 variety. He was a generally pessimistic person, but he seemed to make an exception for Katherines: he always felt they would come back to him. The feeling of loving her and being loved by her welled up in him, and he could taste the adrenaline in the back of his throat, and maybe it wasn’t over, and maybe he could feel her hand in his again and hear her loud, brash voice contort itself into a whisper to say I-love-you in the very quick and quiet way that she had always said it. She said I love you as if it were a secret, and an immense one.

His dad stood up and stepped toward him. “Katherine called my cell,” he said. “She’s worried about you.” Colin felt his dad’s hand on his shoulder, and then they both moved forward, and then they were hugging.

“We’re very concerned,” his mom said. She was a small woman with curly brown hair that had one single shock of white toward the front. “And stunned,” she added. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” Colin said softly into his dad’s shoulder. “She’s just— she’d had enough of me. She got tired. That’s what she said.” And then his mom got up and there was a lot of hugging, arms everywhere, and his mom was crying. Colin extricated himself from the hugs and sat down on his bed. He felt a tremendous need to get them out of his room immediately, like if they didn’t leave he would blow up. Literally. Guts on the walls; his prodigious brain emptied out onto his bedspread.

“Well, at some point we need to sit down and assess your options,” his dad said. His dad was big on assessing. “Not to look for silver linings, but it seems like you’ll now have some free time this summer. A summer class at Northwestern, maybe?”

“I really need to be alone, just for today,” Colin answered, trying to convey a sense of calm so that they would leave and he wouldn’t blow up. “So can we assess tomorrow?”

“Of course, sweetie,” his mom said. “We’ll be here all day. You just come down whenever you want and we love you and you’re so so special, Colin, and you can’t possibly let this girl make you think otherwise because you are the most magnificent, brilliant boy—” And right then, the most special, magnificent, brilliant boy bolted into his bathroom and puked his guts out. An explosion, sort of.

“Oh, Colin!” shouted his mom.

“I just need to be alone,” Colin insisted from the bathroom. “Please.” When he came out, they were gone.

For the next fourteen hours without pausing to eat or drink or throw up again, Colin read and reread his yearbook, which he had received just four days before. Aside from the usual yearbook crap, it contained seventy-two signatures. Twelve were just signatures, fifty-six cited his intelligence, twenty-five said they wished they’d known him better, eleven said it was fun to have him in English class, seven included the words “pupillary sphincter,” [2] and a stunning seventeen ended, “Stay Cool!” Colin Singleton could no more stay cool than a blue whale could stayskinny or Bangladesh could stayrich. Presumably, those seventeen people were kidding. He mulled this over—and considered how twenty-five of his classmates, some of whom he’d been attending school with for twelve years, could possibly have wanted to “know him better.” As if they hadn’t had a chance.

But mostly for those fourteen hours, he read and reread Katherine XIX’s inscription:

Col,

Here’s to all the places we went. And all the places we’ll go. And here’s me, whispering again and again and again and again: iloveyou.

yrs forever, K-a-t-h-e-r-i-n-e

Eventually, he found the bed too comfortable for his state of mind, so he lay down on his back, his legs sprawled across the carpet. He anagrammed “yrs forever” until he found one he liked: sorry fever. And then he lay there in his fever of sorry and repeated the now memorized note in his head and wanted to cry, but instead he only felt this aching behind his solar plexus. Crying adds something: crying is you, plus tears. But the feeling Colin had was some horrible opposite of crying. It was you, minus something. He kept thinking about one word—forever—and felt the burning ache just beneath his rib cage.It hurt like the worst ass-kicking he’d ever gotten. And he’d gotten plenty.

(1) Greek: “I have found it.”

(2) More on that later.

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year

"Fully fun, challengingly complex and entirely entertaining." Kirkus, starred review

“Laugh-out-loud funny…a coming-of-age American road trip that is at once a satire of and tribute to its many celebrated predecessors.” –Horn Book, starred review

“Imagine an operating room at the start of a daring but well-rehearsed procedure and you will have something of the atmosphere of “An Abundance of Katherines”: every detail considered, the action unrolling with grace and inevitability.” --New York Times Book Review

“Funny, sweet, and unpredictable.” –The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The laugh-out-loud humor ranges from delightfully sophomoric to subtly intellectual.” –Booklist, starred review



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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 272 pages
  • Editeur : Puffin; Édition : Reprint (16 octobre 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 9780142410707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142410707
  • ASIN: 0142410705
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,9 x 1,9 x 20,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.6 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (5 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 285 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Guinea Pig VOIX VINE sur 29 septembre 2014
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
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Eh bien voilà la solution : lire un autre livre de John Green !

J'ai adoré ce roman, où j'ai retrouvé bien des atouts de l'auteur : des adolescents brillants, spirituels, tourmentés mais positifs malgré tout, des personnages incroyablement vivants, des dialogues drôles et pertinents, un éclairage indirect des adultes remarquable (un des atouts de l'auteur, qui aime présenter des relations parents-ados positives ; shocking, je sais).

Cette histoire est d'abord très distrayante, avec les malheurs de Colin, un jeune homme surdoué qui se cherche en cherchant l'amour, mais uniquement à travers des jeunes filles portant le prénom de Katherine... ce qui peut n'être qu'une très mauvaise idée, bien sûr ! Il décide de partir, en compagnie de son meilleur (et seul) ami, Hassan, un jeune musulman spirituel et rebelle (sa rébellion s'exprimant par le refus absolu de tout effort), faire un road-trip. Road-trip qui sera rapidement interrompu pour un séjour inattendu, suite à une rencontre fortuite.

Le personnage de Colin est très réussi : touchant, exaspérant, immature, insupportable, parfois très bizarre mais pourtant très familier dans ses errances. Celui de Hassan, en demi-teintes, est exceptionnel de subtilité.

Le thème de base est amusant : Colin a réalisé qu'être un enfant puis un ado surdoué (QI au plafond, connaissances phénoménales dans certains domaines) ne valait rien en soi. Connaître, apprendre, savoir, ne faisait pas de vous un génie. Pour cela il fallait faire une différence, vivre son Eurêka.
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4 commentaires Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par TeensReadToo sur 16 février 2011
Format: Broché
Gold Star Award Winner!

If you had the opportunity to devise a theorem that could correctly predict the outcome of a romantic relationship, would you do it? If it worked, would you use it? Can it even be done? This is the problem plaguing Colin Singleton, recent high school graduate, nearly former child prodigy, hopeful genius. Colin, you see, has a significant problem. He falls in love quite easily, which in and of itself isn't such a bad thing. The fact that all of his loves, nineteen of them to be exact, have been named Katherine can even be explained away by some form of twisted scientific method. What can't be explained, though, is why Colin has been dumped by all nineteen of those Katherines.

When he's dumped by the love of his life, Katherine XIX, he finds himself in a bad place. He can no longer call himself a child prodigy, since he's graduated from high school. He's not a genius, because he's never come up with anything that will change the world. There's an empty place inside of him where his latest Katherine's love used to live, and he doesn't know what to do with himself. Until Hassan Harbish (Muslim, but not a terrorist) devises a way to get Colin out of his funk--a road trip. With no destination in mind, the two set off in The Hearse, Colin's car, and go where the road leads them.

Where it leads them is a small town called Gutshot, Tennessee, where Colin gets the urge to see the supposed grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It's also where the two meet Lindsey Lee Wells and her mother, Hollis. Not to mention where they get to live in a giant Pepto Bismol-pink house on a hill, interview employees of a factory that makes tampon strings, and eat Monster Thickburgers at the local Hardee's.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par PoissonRose sur 30 septembre 2013
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Une belle histoire, qui se lit facilement, bien écrite avec des passages parfois très drôles.
Les personnages sont tous attachants et même si il n'y a aucun suspense on ne peut pas reposer le livre. Je le conseille vivement!
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Ouiam sur 16 février 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Funny premise. Funny characters and story. I hope John Green writes for a more adult public, he seems to be targetting youn adults, and he's very good at it. But I would like to see stuff for more twenty-something readers.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Max C sur 19 septembre 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Not the best John Green and yet an unavoidable one. What a charming teenage story. It reads as a lesson to love.
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