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Hocus Pocus (English Edition)
 
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Hocus Pocus (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Kurt Vonnegut
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

From Publishers Weekly

Among the most original stylists in America today, Vonnegut vents his disgust and moral outrage with government and humanity and the entire universe in yet another scathing social/political/philosophical satire. Set in the year 2001, but jumping over the last half of the 20th century, Hocus Pocus takes on an absurdist's perspective of human history. Protagonist Eugene Debs Hartke, West Point graduate, Vietnam vet, college professor, educator of the disabled and the illiterate, is awaiting trial for a crime initially unspecified. Until this time, Hartke has diligently and good-naturedly participated in whatever was expected of him, including involvement in the evacuation of American personnel from Saigon. At one point, however, he calculates the remarkable fact that he has killed exactly as many people as he has had sex with, a coincidence that causes him to doubt his atheism. The narrative is composed of short takes in which Hartke's thoughts skip between the inconsequential and the profound, giving Vonnegut occasion to interject interesting tidbits of information, scientific and historical and otherwise. The cumulative power of the novel is considerable, revealing Vonnegut at his fanciful and playful best. First serial to Penthouse; BOMC selection; QPB featured alternate.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Revue de presse

"After you have read one of Kurt Vonnegut's gleefully pessimistic novels, his words go on colouring your world for a long time afterwards... not to read him would be to miss out on lessons that need to be learned about the age we live in." (Sunday Times)

"It is all done with voice. Vonnegut is a master of the first-person, manic-depressive stand-up." (Observer)

"Although it is set in the near future, Hocus Pocus is the most topical, realistic Vonnegut novel to date, and shows the struggle of an artist a little impatient with allegory and more than a little impatient with his own country." (New York Times Book Review)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1028 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 340 pages
  • Editeur : RosettaBooks (21 août 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005IHWCLA
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°65.936 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un futur qui ressemble beaucoup à aujourd'hui... 6 février 2013
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Pour les non inititiés, Kurt Vonnegut était un auteur de SF d'un style un peu particulier, chez lui, pas de petits bonshommes verts ou autres êtres venus de l'espace, juste des humains et ce qu'ils se font à eux-mêmes. Vous vous en doutez, le fond de ses romans n'est pas des plus gais, mais il raconte tout cela avec tant d'esprit et d'humour et les situations qu'il imagine sont tellement cocaces, que l'on passe un très bon moment de lecture avec quelques fous rires à la clé.

Dans ce livre, le héro est un vétéran du Vietnam qui, de retour aux Etats-Unis, se retrouve professeur dans une université pour gosses de riches sans grandes capacités intellectuelles. Cette université, située dans une petite ville, se trouve de l'autre côté d'un lac au bord duquel il y a une prison haute sécurité pour criminels noirs. Car à l'époque où se déroule cette histoire, les prisons sont mono ethniques car on s'est rendu compte que c'était plus facile à gérer. Elles sont également gérées par des japonais qui ont racheté la plus grande partie des Etats-Unis, en faillite suite à l'éclatement d'une bulle immobilière... hem, hem, ce roman a été écrit en 1990...

Mais chacun chez soi, on se la coule douce dans cette campagne américaine à l'ombre de Musket Mountain. Notre héro a bien chez lui sa femme et sa belle-mère, toutes deux atteintes de maladie mentale héréditaire, mais cela ne l'empêche pas de vivre pleinement sa vie d'homme.
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Hallucinant! 4 janvier 2001
Par SIMON
Format:Poche
En fait, c'est assez bizarre.... Pourquoi les japonais?? Est-ce que ce serait vraiment comme ça si les Japonais avaient vaincu la guerre contre les américains? A lire absolument!
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  103 commentaires
47 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 In the shadow of Musket Mountain 26 novembre 2005
Par Kevin G. Summers - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
This is probably my favorite of all of Vonnegut's works. It's the story of an ex-military man who becomes a teacher at a school for learning-disabled rich kids. He eventually is fired from the school for telling the students what an embarrassment it is to be an American, and he is hired by the prison across the lake. The story only gets more cynical and more sentimental from there. As each character dies, and so it goes, they are buried in the shadow of Musket Mountain when the sun goes down, a nice, poetic touch on this deeply sarcastic look at the American ruling class. I loved the alternative history lesson provided in this book, it's nice to see the positive side of American socialism and the potential it once held way back at the start of the 20th century. Hocus Pocus is one of those books I go back to ever couple of years and re-read...I like it that much.
30 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Not for the Uninitiated Vonnegut Reader, but Great for Fans 3 avril 2007
Par Gregory Baird - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Unlike the other Vonnegut novels that I have read, "Hocus Pocus" seems to come dangerously close to biting off more than it can chew -- and for the first half of the book it does. It takes a full hundred-and-fifty pages or so for Vonnegut to get a handle on all of the disparate themes that have crammed their way into this novel: racial strife, economic strife, the state of education in America, the follies of elitism, the de-humanizing effects of war (a Vonnegut favorite), love, sex, marriage, alcoholism, pride, honor, television, genetics and heredity, the outsourcing of American businesses, prison overcrowding, cultural identity ... believe it or not, I could go on. "Hocus Pocus" is too much of a hodge-podge, and it doesn't seem to know what it is trying to say or where it is drawing your attention at first. Thank goodness the second half of the book is a marked improvement. It actually ends up being enjoyable and says a lot of intelligent (if typically Vonnegut) things.

Still, there are some other problems with "HP" that could potentially turn a reader off -- particularly if they are not accustomed to Vonnegut's unique brand of storytelling. Eugene Debs Hartke is not a compelling Vonnegut protagonist; he has the quirky personality, the jaded outlook that comes with experience and the moral ambiguity, but he is surprisingly boring when you consider that he's an ex-soldier renowned for his deft and brutal technique, a sex addict and married to an insane woman to boot. He just doesn't resonate the way a Billy Pilgrim, Kilgore Trout (who makes a sort-of appearance here when one of his short stories turns up, for all you tried and true Vonnegut fans out there), or Howard W. Campbell, Jr. do in their respective stories. And the main themes that Vonnegut is expounding here have been done better elsewhere in his ouevre. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater tackled elitism and greed in a more resonant way, Slaughterhouse-Five dealt with war in a more profound story, Mother Night also features a protagonist literally on trial for his moral ambiguity but delved deeper, and the deliciously madcap Breakfast of Champions is a freight train to disaster that is much more compelling than "HP"'s central prison break.

Having said that, Vonnegut devotees like myself will undoubtedly enjoy this novel anyway -- particularly the last half. But for anyone who is not already enchanted by Vonnegut's quirks as a novelist would do better to start elsewhere (I'd suggest checking out one of the novels I just mentioned in the last paragraph instead).
Grade: B- (but give it a C if you aren't already a Vonnegut fan)
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Porn and Vonnegut 21 octobre 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
I never really considered the fact that Kilgore Trout's (Vonnegut's alter ego science fiction writing character) stories always appeared in pornographic magazines, until I saw an excerpt from Hocus Pocus in either Playboy or Penthouse, giving me an excuse to say I'd bought the magazine for its articles and stories.
It makes me wonder then about what this says about pornographic magazines. Maybe it suggests that many of them, in order to try to create an illusion of legitamacy, will take chances with literature that mainstream magazines might find to controversial.
Indeed Vonnegut's Hocus Pocus may seem controversial to some, for it talks about things that a large majority of Americans would be more comfortable ignoring. Just as the main character, Eugene Debs Hartke is fired from his teaching job for having overly pessimistic ideas, Vonnegut's book itself pulls America's skeletons out of its closet.
Perhaps what certain literature has in common with pornography, is the tendency people have to try to ignore what they both say about our society, to try to push it as far under the bed as possible.
Hocus Pocus picks at the scabs of not only America's greatest embarrassments, but also our greatest failures. Everything from television talk-shows to the Vietnam War, racism, classism, the death of our economy, and the overcrowding of prisons is laid bare in all its uncomfortable ugliness.
The difference however, between Hocus Pocus and a simple pessimistic rant, is Vonnegut's unique ability to make us laugh at it all, but without downplaying its seriousness at all. Overall it is a must read, for Vonnegut fans and for any American that wants to live honestly with him/herself.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Book (And refutation to some reviws) 1 janvier 2004
Par Relentless - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Let me first tell you that this is by far one of Vonnegut's best. The social commentary that is diguised in the form of satire is rather tremendous and poignant. It has definitely an anti-war flavor to it, but it never overshadows the real substance of the author's witticism. It's a funny book, but not "hillarious" as the back cover of this volume attests. From a different point of view, it's a rather sad book if you understand the implications of the subject matter. A very good book and would recommend to any one interested in modern and post-modern American prose.
Refutations:
* Vonnegut is a post-modernist, which implies that the book (or any work of art) can and more likely be free of classical rigidity. So, complaining that he jumps back and forth through time and places is not a good criterion to undermine this work.
* Repudiating this work because of Vonnegut's anti-war passages is as unfair as doing the same for say, Hemingway, O'Brian, Dalai Lama.
* This is a quinteseential post-moder work, and as said above, it should and does not need to conform to the cannonical rules of plot flow, time flow, and characater development. You could even call this book a Cubist work due to its subdivisions within chapters.
* This book goes much more than just war. It goes into love, sex, selling of American enterprises (and hence America) to foreign investors, race, class consciousness, and the attempt to keep the status quo by those who are ver well-off.
* This book is completely well structured. Your could easily read just one chapter and be as happy as reading the whole book. The chapters are self-sufficient and self-contained. The further chapters are elaborations of thing, characters and bits from preceding chapters.
* This is a GOOD book!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Hocus Pocus 23 décembre 2001
Par Harlow Flick - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Eugene Debs Hartke is a Vietnam veteran, teacher of the unteachable at Tarkington College, and later, a teacher of the unteachable at nearby Athena Maximum Security Prison. With insane wife and mother-in-law in tow, he examines the seemingly small choices made in life, and their unexpected consequences.
With pathos and humor, the story details his unpromising youth, appointment to West Point, firing from Tarkington, and ends with his imprisonment for allegedly masterminding the prison break at Athena.

I especially like the worldview of the protagonist. In a universe where so much is unknowable, to the best of his flawed ability to discern it, he pursues the truth. There is pain-staking honesty in his careful evaluation of both himself, and the society in which he lives. After I finished the book, I wanted to call up Eugene Debs Hartke and invite him out for a Freedom Fighter Beer. I want to hang around with him and listen to his observations on the human condition. Too bad he is fictional.

The book reminded me to keep a perspective on human ego. Just because we consider ourselves to be the most developed life form on this planet, it doesn't mean we have the right to poison it, or the self-knowledge to render just judgments, or the wisdom to rule the universe.

Kurt Vonnegut writes with loving cynicism. As you read his words, you envision him slowly shaking his head at the funny, crazy, and sometimes terrible things humans do. This book would be best enjoyed by readers that still try to figure out who the heck we are, and just what the heck we are doing here. If you are a hit and run reader, it is divided up in to many small sections. You can read it in little hunks, if you like. It is my personal favorite Vonnegut novel.
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