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The Last Summer of Reason (Anglais) Broché – 13 août 2007

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This elegant, haunting novel takes us deep into the world of bookstore owner Boualem Yekker. He lives in a country being overtaken by the Vigilant Brothers, a radically conservative party that seeks to control every element of life according to the laws of their stringent moral theology: no work of beauty created by human hands should rival the wonders of their god. Once-treasured art and literature are now despised. Silently holding his ground, Boualem withstands the new regime, using the shop and his personal history as weapons against puritanical forces. Readers are taken into the lush depths of the bookseller's dreams, the memories of his now-empty family life, his passion for literature, then yanked back into the terror and drudgery of his daily routine by the vandalism, assaults, and death warrants that afflict him. From renowned Algerian author Tahar Djaout we inherit a brutal and startling story that reveals how far an ordinary human being will go to maintain hope. Tahar Djaout (1954-93) was an Algerian novelist, poet, and journalist, and the author of twelve books, including Les vigiles, winner of the Prix Mediterranee. An outspoken critic of the extremism stirring his nation, he was assassinated by an Islamic fundamentalist group. The manuscript of this novel was found among his papers after his death.

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The Omniscient Eye can light up at any moment to take your confusions and your little schemes by surprise or to tear you away from your shameful conspiracies. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"Who dares swear to the appearance of the following day?" 2 janvier 2002
Par Mary Whipple - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
It is profoundly affecting to read a book which is not in its final form because its author was assassinated. Doubly moving for the reader is this book's warning cry against mindless practitioners of fundamentalist oppression, the very people responsible for the author's death in Algeria. Djaout clearly knew he was in danger, knew why he was in danger, and knew why he, along with other writers and artists, represented a threat to single-minded fanatics in his country, yet he continued to create, leaving behind this final book, a legacy not just to compatriots who might feel like lonely soldiers against intolerance but to lovers of books throughout the world who sometimes take for granted the power and glory of a free press.

Almost plotless, the book reveals the thoughts and feelings of Boualem Yekker, a lonely man who finds himself living "a blank life" in a society which has been subsumed by the Regulators of Faith, zealots who worship a god of vengeance and punishment and do not recognize love, forgiveness, or compassion. Several far more compelling, but unwritten, stories parallel this plot, however. First is the powerful story which the reader cannot help but conjure of the author's own travails as a writer trying to find an outlet for his creativity within a similar society, and his eventual assassination. Equally compelling is the interior story the reader cannot help but create, and which I believe the author expected his reader to create, of what his own life would be like under similar circumstances.

Poetic and thoughtful, Djaout makes the world of a fanatical theocracy come alive, a world which many readers, like myself, could read about but not even begin to understand in the days after September 11. By allowing us to share the thoughts of a man whose "opinion of life was too high for him to make do with its shadow, its wrapping, and its peelings," we are granted entrée into such a world. Perhaps this is Djaout's greatest and most heartfelt gift to a public which did not listen in time to save his life. This is a stunning book from which only the most jaded reader will emerge unmoved and unchanged. Mary Whipple
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Viewpoints of the Author Through a Character 28 décembre 2001
Par David Fields - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The Last Summer of Reason
Algeria is a country that was almost besieged by fundamentalism, and the fundamentalist leaders had targeted anything that they personally perceived as being a threat to their own brand of religion. Thar Djaout wrote this small novel as a reflection of his own experiences in that country, which he was assassinated for his writings and viewpoints.
The book outlines the terror that besieged Algeria in the past, and outlines the horror that the leaders of the fundamentalist leaders had done to that country during the civil war. It involves a character named Boualem Yekker who refuses to give up his views for the sake of protecting himself from harm. As you read this book, you will see that soon it becomes clear that one extremist becomes much like the other, until they all become one face and the character of the very people that surround Tahar Djaout become one faceless mass. This book is more about Tahar Djaout and his experiences in this horror, than about Boualem Yekker, the character he uses to convey the story.
For Tahar Djaout , as for the character outlined in this novel we would hope for a happy ending. US troops bomb the extremists and help reestablish a more reasonable regime. Something like what we would read in today's headlines. Possibly Tahar Djaout would go into exile, and write more poetry, and his words ring out as a voice of reason against a growing tide of hatred in his country. Perhaps it would all go back to the way it was. But it was never to be again. The last sentence Tahar Djaout wrote before he was assassinated by extremists in his country was "will there be another spring?"
Read this to find out what the world can lose without its poetry and poets. Tahar Djaout was a great, humanitarian, poet, and author who was snuffed out by those that were bent on destroying anything that was opposite to them. This novel is a reflection of his life, and a reflection of what those who hate freedom would like to see for all of us.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
faults not faults 13 mai 2002
Par "oxygenate" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
how can the editorial review fault this book for a 'threadbare' plot? it was found in his papers after his death. it wasnt a finished product! but besides that, the book is excellent. never have i found a book which takes you into a place so swiftly. i am so glad i decided to read this book and recommend to anyone who hasnt or is wavering on whether or not to try it.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Other Side of the Story 18 avril 2008
Par Blue Stocking - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Tahar Djaout's story is a "must read" for a number of reasons. First, for the English reader, the author constructs with great vividness and emotion the fear, sadness, and personal questioning that occurs when political groups slowly invade human freedoms. There are many passages that created extrordinary mental pictures and a brief understanding of the overwhelming emotions involved when extreme groups threaten and intimidate basic human freedoms.
Second, this book provides important insight to the other side of the battle against extremism. Few understand or even think about the places in the world where extremism has taken hold and what that means to the people and the culture of that country. Djaout's novel walks the reader through the emotions of uncertainty, questioning, anger, and fear.
The Last Summer of Reason provides a larger scope for the conflict between the world and extremists. The Western culture is not the only culture under attack - other cultures have been smothered under, where extremism has taken hold. If books are carriers of civilizations, then Tahar Djauout's novel carries the Western reader to a civilization struggling survive and to the other side of the conflict.

[...]- Join the discussion! Generating more demand for foreign literature translations into English.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Moving and thought-provoking 31 mars 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
At 145 pages, you can read this in a day, but it will stay with you longer than that. You really experience with the character, Boualem Yekker, the gradual removal of liberties, and his own acceptance of his inevitable death, and feel his pain as you would your own. It is also impossible to read about the threats to the character Yekker and wonder how much was fiction and how much was truth as Djaout suffered from repression before his death. A small but very powerful book -- a powerful voice silenced too soon.
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