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Grayson: Library Edition (Anglais) Lecteur digital à contenu audio pré-chargé – 12 mars 2007


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

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Extrait

One

There's something frightening, and magical, about being on the ocean, moving between the heavens and the earth, knowing that you can encounter anything on your journey.

The stars had set. The sea and sky were inky black, so black I could not see my hands pulling water in front of my face, so black there was no separation between the sea and the sky. They melted together.

It was early March and I was seventeen years old, swimming two hundred yards offshore, outside the line of breaking waves off Seal Beach, California. The water was chilly, fifty-five degrees and as smooth as black ice. And I was swimming on pace, moving at about sixty strokes per minute, etching a small silvery groove across the wide black ocean.

Usually my morning workouts started at 6 a.m., but on this day, I wanted to finish early, get home, complete my homework, and spend the day with friends, so I had begun at 5 a.m.

There were vast and silent forces swirling around me: strong water currents created by distant winds and large waves, the gravitational pull of moon and sun, and the rapid spinning of the earth. These currents were wrapping around me like long braids of soft black licorice, and I was pulling strongly with my arms, trying to slice through them.

As I swam, all I heard were the waves, rising and tumbling onto shore, the smooth rhythm of my hands splashing into the water, the breaths that I drew into my mouth and lungs, and the long gurgling of silvery bubbles rolling slowly into the sea. I slid into my pace, and I felt the water below me shudder.

It wasn't a rogue wave or a current. It felt like something else.

It was moving closer. The water was shaking harder and buckling below me.

All at once I felt very small and very alone in the deep dark sea.

Then I heard a sound. I thought it was coming from the ocean's depths.

At first it seemed to be a whisper, then it grew louder, steadily, like someone trying to shout for help but unable to get the words out. I kept swimming and trying to figure out what was happening.

The sound changed. It became stranger, like the end of a scream.

In my mind, I quickly went through a list of the ocean sounds I knew and compared them with what I was hearing. There were no matches.

The hairs on my arms were standing straight out.

Whatever it was, was moving closer.

The ocean was charged with energy. It felt uncertain and expectant, like the air just before an enormous thunderstorm. The water was electric.

Maybe that was it; maybe the water was warning of an approaching squall. Maybe energy from distant winds and torrential rains was being transmitted through the water.

I checked the sky above and the distant horizon.

Both were dull and as black as ink and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

I lifted my head to see the wave height. The shore break wasn't increasing and there weren't any wind waves. Not even dimples on the ocean's surface. There was no sign of a storm.

It didn't make sense. The energy in the water was intensifying. I felt like I was sitting on a tree branch beside a nest of angry, buzzing bumblebees.

All at once, the sea's surface erupted nearby. There was a rushing and plunking sound.

Like raindrops hitting the water. But nothing was falling from the sky. This was wrong.

Very wrong.

Out of the darkness, things were flapping into my face, flicking off my arms and head. It was like swimming through a sea of locusts, and with each impact my muscles tightened. I was tingling with fear, and all I wanted to do was to turn and sprint for shore.

But I told myself, Stay calm. You need to focus. You need to figure out what this is.

Taking a deep breath, I looked down into the deep black sea.

Thousands of baby anchovy were darting through the water like lit sparklers.

Blinded by panic, they were frantically tearing away from their schools and leaping out of the ocean like popcorn cooking on high heat. They were trying to evade something larger.

Light was exploding around me like hundreds of tiny blue flashbulbs constantly firing.

When I turned my head to breathe, something leaped into my mouth, wiggled across my tongue, and flapped between my teeth. It was larger than the water bug I once inhaled on a lake in Maine, larger than an anchovy.

Without thinking I spat it back into the sea. It had bright silver sides and was about six inches long. It was a grunion, a fish nearly twice as large as the baby anchovy. The grunion were chasing the anchovy, snatching them from the water and swallowing them whole.

More grunion were swimming in, bumping into my thighs, raking their pointy fins across my shoulders, but I smiled. The grunion had returned. Every year the grunion return to California in the spring and summer. They wait just offshore for the full moons or new moons when the tide is high, so they can swim ashore and lay their eggs. It always seems to be a miracle that they return every year and know exactly where and when to swim ashore.

A lone male grunion, a scout, swims ahead, and if the coast is clear, hundreds of female grunion follow him in, each with as many as eight male grunion swimming alongside. They choose a special wave, one that is on the receding tide so that it will carry them higher onto the beach, and the female's eggs will not be washed out to sea.

Once a female reaches the beach, she digs a hole in the sand with her tail, then wiggles back and forth, drilling herself down into the soft wet sand until she is buried all the way up to her lips. There she lays up to three thousand eggs, and one of the male grunion arches around her and releases his milt to fertilize the eggs. Then the adult grunion swim back to sea while the eggs incubate in the warm sand for ten days. Then the baby grunion hatch and ride the tide back out to sea to begin their lives in the ocean.

I loved to watch them come ashore and I loved to go grunion hunting. It was a big event in Southern California. In summer, I would meet friends on the beach on moonlit nights and wait for the grunion. We'd spread our large bright-striped beach blankets on a berm, at the crest in the beach, beyond the reach of the incoming waves. We'd sit wrapped up in more warm woolly blankets, sometimes alone, or sometimes snuggled up with friends to stave off the cool, damp swirling ocean breezes. We'd talk, in muffled tones so no one would scare the fish away, about boyfriends and girlfriends, about summer plans and BBQs, about our lives and our families, our dreams and how we felt. We'd explore our lives, and sometimes touch hands under the blanket. We, too, were restless, awaiting our own high tide.

Someone in our group would whisper excitedly, "There he is!"

We'd jump to our feet, scanning the beach for a single fish. When we spotted one flopping on the sand, we'd watch and wait for what seemed like forever. Then a few minutes later, a wave would lift hundreds of grunion up. This wave would be so heavily laden with fish, it would rise more slowly than any other. As it curled, its dark glassy face would be altered by hundreds of grunion heads and tails protruding at all angles.

The wave would crash onshore and the grunion would spin and tumble across the sand, flipping, flopping, and pulling themselves beyond the water's edge. Their gills would beat in and out as they gasped for air. It seemed amazing to me that they could hold their breath for two or three minutes, and that they had to leave the sea and return to shore to continue the cycle of life. In utter fascination we'd watch this dance.

As soon as the grunion finished laying their eggs, they'd flip and flop back toward the water, and at that moment we'd charge across the sand, kicking mud on the backs of our legs and trying to scoop the grunion up with our bare hands.

They were always slippery, squirmy, and quick and harder to hold on to than a warm cube of butter. My friends and I might catch a few grunion, but none of us had the heart to take them home and cook them with a dusting of cornmeal and eat them as some people did. Somehow that would have spoiled the magic of all that we had witnessed. We were happy to catch them in our hands, feel the pulse of life racing through their bodies, and release them back into the warm salty waves.

As I swam I felt a strong connection with the agile schools of grunion and I thought I was lucky to be swimming with them—until I realized that they were attracting a small school of albacore tuna.

Usually the tuna lived and migrated twenty miles or more off the coast, but the abundance of food had lured them in. Albacore tuna are large fish. They weigh between twenty and forty pounds. They are shaped like giant oval beech leaves and have dark blue backs and gray-blue sides and bellies. They are very fast swimmers: they swim as if they are turbocharged.

At first I enjoyed feeling the way the water wavered and yawed as the tuna zipped to the right and left of me. But when they started leaping out of the water to catch the grunion, I grew concerned. I didn't want to be hit by a forty-pound tuna. I pulled to the right and then off to the left, but they were everywhere.

Then it happened. A big tuna weighing maybe twenty-five pounds rocketed out of the water. He smacked into my back and I jumped very high. Then another bounced off my shoulders. I started giggling. I had to roll on my side and catch my breath. It was raining tuna. What a weird, wild, and wonderful thing.

It occurred to me that these tuna would probably attract larger fish and the only larger fish I could think of were sharks. So I decided to move closer to shore, away from the feeding throngs. As I got nearer to land I started watching what was happening in the homes on the north side of the pier.

People were starting to get up. Second-floor windows that had been dark gray and vacant were becoming large glowing squares of gold, and as the people moved into their bathrooms and then downstairs more windows became gold squares. I imagined how warm it must be inside those homes. I let my mind enfold me in that golden warmth.

I was cold. The Pacific water temperature in March is in the mid-fifties; the surrounding water was constantly pulling heat from my body. It was like being wrapped up in a warm blanket on a snowy day and then having someone pull the blanket off. To overcome the heat loss, I had to swim at a rate fast enough to create heat, but still my skin always felt cold; it was as cold as the water. I could feel the cold working its way deep into my muscles.

An offshore breeze carried the warm sweet smells of smoky bacon and fried eggs, buttery pancakes, and the rich acidic aroma of brewing coffee across the water. I had been swimming for more than an hour and my stomach was grumbling loudly. All I had to do was reach the north jetty, turn around, and swim the last half mile back to the pier and then I'd be finished with my workout.

I was starting to relax, stretching out my arms, feeling my hands and arms pulling the thick water, feeling the rotation of my shoulders and core, and the light kick of my feet. My body was slipping through the water like silk sliding across ultrasmooth skin. My breaths were long and easy, and I felt good: I was back into my pace, moving with the flow of all creation. Everything was in sync, the currents flowing around me, the song of the ocean, the breeze—except everything below was strangely still.

All the fish had disappeared.

Lifting my head, I looked to my right and then to my left. I couldn't see anything. I put my face back down, and stared into the water through clear goggles. It was like looking into a well at midnight. I couldn't see anything, but I knew something was there.

The water began shaking harder than before and I was being churned up and down as if I was swimming through a giant washing machine. The water shifted, and I was riding on the top of a massive bubble. It was moving directly up from below, putting out a high-energy vibration. I felt like there was a spaceship moving right below me. I had never felt anything this big in the water before.


From the Hardcover edition. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

“Realmente para lectores de todas las edades. Una fábula y una experiencia, gracias no sólo al espíritu hermoso y generoso de la autora, sino también a su increíble don para describir a la naturaleza”. —Anne Rice --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .



Détails sur le produit

  • Lecteur digital à contenu audio pré-chargé
  • Editeur : HighBridge Audio; Édition : Unabridged (12 mars 2007)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1598959271
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598959277
  • Dimensions du produit: 3,2 x 11,4 x 20,3 cm
  •  Souhaitez-vous compléter ou améliorer les informations sur ce produit ? Ou faire modifier les images?


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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 112 commentaires
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"Something had brought us together. Something much bigger than the two of us." 9 février 2008
Par Mary Whipple - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
(3.5 stars) When seventeen-year-old Lynne Cox is finishing her morning swim between Seal Beach pier and the San Gabriel River jetty, south of Los Angeles, she is hungry and cold. It is March, and the water temperature is in the fifties, but Lynne, a serious open-water swimmer, is in training, regularly doing three-hour workouts in the cold Pacific. When she discovers that a baby gray whale is following her to shore, she realizes that the baby must have lost its mother. Remaining in the water, alone except for the whale, she continues swimming on the chance that the baby, whom she names Grayson, will hear its mother vocalizing or that the mother will find them.

For the next couple of hours, she and the whale swim the one-and-a-half miles from the pier to an offshore oil rig in deep, often rough, water. The whale is confused, often diving deep and disappearing for ten minutes or more at a time, and Lynne begins to despair. When he finally disappears for a very long time and shows no signs of resurfacing, Lynne, close to hypothermia and discouraged, decides to head back to shore, alone.

By now this story is so well known that it gives nothing away to say eventually there is a happy resolution. For Lynne Cox, however, there is a much bigger story than "just" the reunion of the baby and its mother. For her, this experience has been a test of her strength, her will, and her faith, resulting, finally, in her personal triumph.

A morality tale about the interconnections of man and nature, Grayson is full of the "truths" drawn by a sensitive seventeen-year-old who sees the baby whale in human terms. She thinks only positive thoughts, sending mental messages to the baby whale and to his mother, telling them that she will help them find each other. She explains that "there are two ways of thinking--one of possibility and hope, the other of doubt and impossibility," adding that sometimes "the things that make the least sense to other people make the most sense to me."

Thirty years have passed since this experience, the author tells us, and she believes she learned much about life from it, never doubting her romantic conclusions or the words-to-live-by that she presents throughout her narrative. Though the author originally wrote this book for adults, its popularity among junior high students speaks to its appeal. The world she describes is not the nature of "tooth and claw" or the survival of the fittest. It is a world in which humans can interact with nature through positive thoughts and energy, and those, in turn, can reunite a baby whale and its presumably loving mother. n Mary Whipple
25 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A must read! 1 août 2006
Par Armchair Interviews - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Champion swimmer Lynne Cox's new memoir Grayson is the powerful and remarkable story of one day in the life of Cox and a baby gray whale she named Grayson. It was an ordinary day that became a race to save the life of the months old baby whale that had been separated from his mother.

While training for a major swimming event, Cox, then age seventeen, was swimming off Seal Beach in southern California. It was early morning (5:00 a.m.) and Cox wanted to start practice early so she could spend the day with friends. As she neared the finish of her practice she felt an unusual and unfamiliar presence in the water with her. It soon became apparent that a baby whale was following her. Although Cox was tired, she couldn't leave the water because the whale would follow her onto shore and die.

Cox, with help from her old friend Steve, made plans to find Grayson's mother. Time was of the essence as baby whales drink over 50 gallons of milk a day and are completely dependant on their mothers. If Grayson's mother were not found soon, he would die. But mother whales are very protective and Cox's life is jeopardized by helping Grayson. With little thought for her personal safety, Cox and Grayson start a race for life.

Grayson is a beautiful story told with deep love and emotion for Grayson and the experience. Cox's writing is lyrical, motivational and expressive. Her words are so 'right on' that you feel you are in the water searching, playing and living, along with the swimmer and whale.

Armchair Interviews says: Grayson is a must read. Your heart will sing and you'll want to share the experience with others.
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Brilliantly Written . . . A Beautiful Story All Readers Will Love! 7 août 2006
Par Peter Thomas Senese - Author. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Lynn Cox has written a timeless masterpiece in this brilliantly written story of the unexpected ocean journey she found herself on one early dark morning in Southern California. Accompanied with 'Grayson', an orphaned baby gray whale lost from its migrating mother off the coast of California's Seal Beach, Lynn Cox takes the reader onto a most exhilarating oceanic adventure in search of the orphaned whale's nursing mother.

As the reader journey's through the pages and the dark crisp water of the Pacific, you find yourself on your own odyssey - listening, feeling, and understanding what it is to trust yourself no matter what the circumstances life hands you are. With each powerful and purposeful stroke of Lynn's arm cutting into the water, you are reminded of the strength of your own will and capability. And as the sun cuts thru the early morning darkness and the journey to find Grayson's mother continues, we are all reminded that sense of will and purpose is boundless.

I found the metaphor and imagery used in this joyfully wonderful true-life adventure to be so vivid and sharp and pulsating that I can't recommend this wonderful story enough to readers of all ages . . . and if you know someone who is not a person who dives into a good story - Grayson is as good a book as any I have ever read - and a great place for any potential reader to begin in reacquainting themselves with the wonderment of reading and the imagination, and perhaps a re-visit with themselves.

`Grayson' is a timeless masterpiece I have read and re-read. From one author to another, I would like to thank Lynn for, after all these years, sharing with all of us the adventures of that magical day you were blessed with on Seal Beach.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Vivid Imagery 21 août 2006
Par Cecelia Cody - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The author draws the reader into her experience through vivid word imageries. We join her as she dives deeper, " entering a mermaid's world where color and light were transformed into liquid. I swam through colors, through liquid silvers, whites, yellows, greens, purples, and blues. It was like diving into bubbly white champagne, into clear gin, deeper into swaying walls of chardonnay... I passed a world of shimmering julep green, through merlots and grape...finally into the deep water the color of blueberry juice.

And later in the book Lynne Cox recounts "the water changed to a bright purple blue and it was like floating on Van Gogh's irisis."

You will be enchanted by the imagery, calmed by the waves, and yet excited at the same time by the challenge of the rescue, will she make it, will Grayson be saved. The story has all the enthusiasm of a sporting competition, the beauty of nature, and will awaken the sensitivity of humans to the dangers of our fellow earthly inhabitants - the animal world.
11 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Read this book to your daughters! 5 novembre 2006
Par Katherine Waits - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I have two daughters, one in kindergarten, one in fourth grade, and every night I read them both to sleep with a chapter from this amazing book. Not only is it well written, but it tells the story of a teenage girl who has tenacity of spirit to swim in the cold ocean every day before dawn to train for swimming long distances. In doing so the writer/swimmer tells of how she faced her fears in those cold, dark swims and how she passionately loves the ocean and all the mysteries it contains. My girls were mesmerized by her story, and while the five year old fell asleep a lot sooner than my fourth grader, none of us could ask for a better story to read together. What a great message this book gives kids; to face the unknown, to have faith in oneself, to work hard for a goal that many people couldn't imagine, and all the while respecting and caring about our environment! Cox captures details about the tiniest of creatures to, naturally, the touching story of Grayson, a lost baby whale she stuggles to help. Grayson is filled with fascinating details about marine life off the Orange County coastline, specifically, Seal Beach, and reminds us all that there is something mysterious and wonderful about how connected we are and that we bear a responsibility to honor that connection. I loved this book! All of us reading it (ages 5, 9 and 45) couldn't wait to get to the next chapter. Frankly, I think Grayson really should be included in all fourth grade lesson plans and curriculums; it's so informative about marine biology and contains such a great tale of the inner strength of young people! Read Grayson to your children! Not only will you love the story yourself, but they'll thank you for the lessons it contains later on. All children, especially girls, need more role models like Lynne Cox.
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