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Frog Music: A Novel [Livre audio, Version intégrale] [Anglais] [CD]

Emma Donoghue , Khristine Hvam

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Donoghue proves herself endlessly inventive....[She] nails both the period details and the atmosphere-think sweltering heat waves, dumping grounds for unwanted babies, and smallpox epidemics. This is the kind of book that will keep you up at night and make you smarter."—Julie Buntin, Cosmopolitan

"A riveting murder mystery.... Fans of Emma Donoghue's previous book Room...will be shocked yet delighted by the change of pace in her new novel."—Nathan Rostron, Bookish

"Fans of Donoghue's Room should be thrilled at the arrival of FROG MUSIC."—San Diego Magazine

Présentation de l'éditeur

From the author of the worldwide bestseller Room: "Her greatest achievement yet...Emma Donoghue shows more than range with FROG MUSIC--she shows genius." -- Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life

Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.

The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny's murderer to justice--if he doesn't track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It's the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.

In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue's lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.3 étoiles sur 5  255 commentaires
77 internautes sur 83 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "Facts as hard as rocks." 1 avril 2014
Par Amelia Gremelspacher - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This novel is set with engaging historical detail of San Francisco in 1876, It is based on a true murder mystery of that time, and its characters are intriguing occupants of an underworld that in fact existed. Jenny dressed as a man, and in that era cross dressing could result in prison. Her name will evoke dozes of hits online. Blanche worked as a dancer and entertained men on the side to support her "fancy man" Arthur. Their one year old son P'Tit had been farmed to be raised in the country.

What follows is a fascinating and horrifying account of real baby farms, homes in the business of tending infants and children for money and which were most often appaling in their conditions. The entire view of the underside of the glittering post gold boom San Francisco is evoked in detail that allows the reader entry into this closed world. The characters are multi-dimensional, and each is fascinating in her own right.

This book appears to be a large departure from her previous work. In fact, "Room" shares with this novel the world of women struggling against the strictures in which they find themselves. Donoghue also has a back list including "Slammerkin" another historical novel with women who must make a living in a world who sees their worth in strictly defined limits. Some graphic scenes are portrayed, but frankly I found the state of the baby farm to be more shocking than the sexual scenes. I found this book to be interesting, well written, and educational. References are provided at the end that include the genesis of the songs sung by the characters in question. I recommend this book.
135 internautes sur 155 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Ehh - hate to say, but I just didn't like it... 1 avril 2014
Par Bookasaurus - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
I loved Emma Donoghue's previous best seller, Room. So when I first heard about Frog Music, I was so excited to read it. Unfortunately, I was completely disappointed.

Frog Music, which is set in 1870s San Francisco in the midst of an incredibly warm summer and a smallpox epidemic, takes up the story of a real historical figures. Jenny Bonnet, a fast-talking, pants-wearing frog hunter befriends Blanche Beunon, a French burlesque dancer and prostitute. One night, Beunon flees her Arthur, her pimp and boyfriend. Blanche follows Jenny outside of the city to plot her next move. Trouble is close behind, though, and through the window one night, Jenny is shot and killed. The story follows Blanche's quest to discover her friend's murderer.

I was taken quickly with the historical aspects (having just finished and loved Kate Manning’s My Notorious Life) and cursory descriptions of the book as a whole. I do have a better picture of 1876 San Francisco - the ravaging impact of smallpox, the racial tension with Chinese immigrants, and the Gold Rush sentimentality.

However, despite all of my excitement, even as I first sat down to read, I was unable to really get into the story. Part of the issue was, I didn't really like any of the characters. Also, the book started to get explicit. Blanche is a woman who loves sex and has quite a few rough encounters that are fairly hard-core.

I have trouble with plots in which very few characters are good or appealing (Breaking Bad, for instance, yes, I know, it's blasphemy to dislike that show, but I do). In part because Blanche is so inherently flawed and selfish, and given that the novel was rife with explicit sex scenes, my distaste started to add up early and quickly. Additionally, the plot kept moving back and forth in time, over the few weeks preceding and following the murder, which I found a bit frustrating and confusing. The book had extremely long chapters, only 8 in about 400 pages, which I generally dislike as well. Finally, the pace of the plot was fine, but the story itself just wasn't all that engaging.

All and all, I just didn't like it. The book took me about 2 weeks to read, mostly because I just didn't really care what happened next. So, my recommendation? Skip it.
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Emma Goes a Little Over the Top 10 avril 2014
Par Jamakaya - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I am a big fan of Emma Donoghue but I did not think "Frog Music" was up to her excellent standards. I think she set out to deal with some heavy issues in a popular format, the whodunit, but the result is an overstuffed melodrama.

On the positive side: The murder mystery that is central to the story is compelling and the solution to the murder is surprising and thought-provoking. The social underside of San Francisco in 1876 plays a big role and, through the story, Donoghue exposes the alarming levels of discrimination and brutality that existed in the so-called "good old days." I loved the character of Jenny Bonnet, the frog-catching cross-dresser who is the catalyst for the transformation of the protagonist. Jenny is a real character in the mold of that old bee charmer, Idgie Threadgoode. There are witty asides scattered throughout the book, some aimed at the Irish (Donoghue's tribe, so it's OK). An interesting Afterword presents facts about the real crime that is fictionalized in the book.

On the downside: There are too many cardboard characters - mostly one-dimensional villains just this side of Snideley Whiplash. The flashback and flash-forward structure promotes suspense but becomes cumbersome and a little confusing, even to this careful reader. The heroine, Blanche, was hard to relate to, partly because she is sexually wanton, mostly because she is shallow and a nit-wit about her own exploitation. Despite Donoghue's skill at depicting mother-child bonds, I had a hard time buying Blanche's newfound maternal devotion.

Some of the writing in "Frog Music" disappoints. I will never forget the startlingly original similes that brought Donoghue's Slammerkin to life. In "Frog Music," we get "wrung out like a rag," "sick as a dog" and "limp as old cabbage." This might be a stylistic use of Old West vernacular but, after almost 400 pages with dozens of these cliches, it became grating and perhaps indicative of lazy writing. I wanted to holler, "Whoa, Nellie!" As much as I admire Donoghue's social consciousness, I got fatigued by the piling on of issues like child abuse, the sex trade, economic exploitation, and racial, sexual and gender bias - these on top of disease, jealousy, revenge, murder! Some of the scenes were so over-the-top they made me roll my eyes or laugh, and I'm pretty sure that was not the author's intention. "Frog Music" would have been more effective both pared down and toned down.

Having admired Room: A Novel, Slammerkin, Hood: A Novel, Touchy Subjects and Astray by Donoghue, I will always give her the benefit of the doubt. I look forward to her next book.
43 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Altogether exciting, suspenseful, tragic, unsavory, and scandalous 1 avril 2014
Par Monika - Publié sur
Frog-catcher Jenny Bonnet, an unorthodox young woman often jailed for wearing men's clothing, is shot dead one evening, the bullet narrowly missing her friend Blanche Beunon, a former circus horseback rider turned exotic dancer. In her new novel Frog Music, Emma Donoghue takes this actual unsolved murder from the intense heat wave and smallpox epidemic of 1876 San Francisco and creates a powerful look into the lives of the city's outcasts.

There's so much inside this story that gives a clear picture of societal attitudes and norms of the time, including matters tucked away out of sight, out of mind. The latter being, without giving anything away, one of the most appalling and heart-wrenching things I've read about in a long time.

Frog Music is altogether exciting, suspenseful, tragic, unsavory, and scandalous. Its characters are gritty and flawed in all the best ways. Donoghue writes in a naturally beautiful style, interspersing smatterings of French throughout (there's a glossary in the back of the book), but the pace is quick, which kept me turning page after page.

There is so much more I want to say, but I'm holding back because those things caught me by surprise as I was reading. Let's just say, I think this book would give reading groups a wealth of topics to discuss.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Based on true story / Frog Music does captivate / And lots of sex too! 10 avril 2014
Par S. Goldstein - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Frog Music is a very enjoyable literary mystery. Donoghue does an excellent job of painting a detailed portrait of 19th century San Francisco. As a medical person, I found her descriptions of smallpox top notch. You really feel like you are living through a heat wave (which would be welcome right now to this mid-westerner!). She clearly did her research, which likely led to the one negative of this book for me - just a bit too many danged songs. After a while I found myself skimming the pages every time another song broke out. These weren't Pynchonesque period parodies, rather actual songs from the time.

Another word of warning/inticement to read (depending on your prudishness) - this book has quite a bit of sex in it. And it's not Harlequin Romance-quality sex either. It's dirty! Bonus for me, but may not be for some.
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