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May We Be Forgiven
 
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May We Be Forgiven [Format Kindle]

A. M. Homes
3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse


 
Praise for May We Be Forgiven

“An entertaining, old-fashioned American story about second chances…A.M. Homes is a writer I’ll pretty much follow anywhere because she’s indeed so smart, it’s scary; yet she’s not without heart…May We Be Forgiven [is] deeply imbued with the kind of It’s A Wonderful Life-type belief in redemption that we Americans will always be suckers for, and rightly so.” —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
 

“Cheever country with a black comedy upgrade…Homes crams a tremendous amount of ambition into May We Be Forgiven, with its dark humor, its careening plot, its sex-strewn suburb and a massive cast of memorable characters...its riskiest content, however, is something different: sentiment.  This is a Tin Man story, in which the zoned-out Harry slowly grows a heart.” —Carolyn Kellogg, The Los Angeles Times
                                                                        

“Darkly funny…the moments shared between this ad hoc family are the novel’s most endearing…Homes’ signature trait is a fearless inclination to torment her characters and render their failures, believing that the reader is sophisticated enough – and forgiving enough – to tag along.”  —Katie Arnold-Ratliff, Time Magazine
                                                                      

“Homes, whose masterful handling of suburban dystopia merits her own adjective, may have just written her midcareer magnum opus with this portrait of a flawed Nixonian bent on some sort of emotional amnesty.” —Christopher Bollen, Interview
 

“At once tender and uproariously funny…one of the strangest, most miraculous journeys in recent fiction, not unlike a man swimming home to his lonely house, one swimming pool at a time:  it is an act of desperation turned into one of grace.” —John Freeman, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A big American story with big American themes, the saga of the triumph of a new kind of self-invented nuclear family over cynicism, apathy, loneliness, greed, and technological tyranny…this novel has a strong moral core, neither didactic nor judgmental, that holds out the possibility of redemption through connection.”  –Kate Christensen, Elle
 

“Heartfelt, and hilarious…Although Homes weaves in piercing satire on subjects like healthcare, education, and the prison system, her tone never veers into the overly arch, mostly thanks to Harold – a loveably earnest guy who creates his own kind of oddball, 21st century family.” –Leigh Newman, O The Oprah Magazine
 

“A.M. Homes has long been one of our most important and original writers of fiction. May We Be Forgiven is her most ambitious as well as her most accessible novel to date; sex and violence invade the routines of suburban domestic life in a way that reminded me of The World According to Garp, although in the end it’s a thoroughly original work of imagination.” –Jay McInerney

“This novel starts at maximum force -- and then it really gets going. I can't remember when I last read a novel of such narrative intensity; an unflinching account of a catastrophic, violent, black-comic, transformative year in the history of one broken American family. Flat-out amazing.” —Salman Rushdie
 
 
“I started this book in the A.M., finished in the P.M., and couldn’t sleep all night. Ms. Homes just gets better and better.” —Gary Shteyngart

 
“What if whoever wrote the story of Job had a sense of humor?  Nixon is pondered.  One character donates her organs.  Another tries to grow a heart.  A seductive minefield of a novel from A.M. Homes.” —John Sayles

 
“I started reading A.M. Homes twenty years ago. Wild and funny, questioning and true, she is a writer to go travelling with on the journey called life.” —Jeanette Winterson

Présentation de l'éditeur

Harry is a Richard Nixon scholar who leads a quiet, regular life; his brother George is a high-flying TV producer, with a murderous temper. They have been uneasy rivals since childhood. Then one day George loses control so extravagantly that he precipitates Harry into an entirely new life.

In May We Be Forgiven, Homes gives us a darkly comic look at 21st century domestic life - at individual lives spiraling out of control, bound together by family and history.The cast of characters experience adultery, accidents, divorce, and death. But this is also a savage and dizzyingly inventive vision of contemporary America, whose dark heart Homes penetrates like no other writer - the strange jargons of its language, its passive aggressive institutions, its inhabitants' desperate craving for intimacy and their pushing it away with litigation, technology, paranoia. At the novel's core are the spaces in between, where the modern family comes together to re-form itself. May We Be Forgiven explores contemporary orphans losing and finding themselves anew; and it speaks above all to the power of personal transformation - simultaneously terrifying and inspiring.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 813 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 368 pages
  • Editeur : Granta Books (11 octobre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008YJAAEA
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°53.848 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Irene G. 21 octobre 2013
Par Irene G.
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Read this long book (480 pages) in two days without being fed up or bored. Loved the hero, Harry and the way his life changed in the course of the year covered by the book. Felt there could have been some better editing - some parts did seem unnecessary. This was a certain American Way of Life book, with most of the characters very rich and with personal and family problems. Extremely funny, the dialogues and Harry's thoughts were sharp and very witty. Recommend this to people who like to read American famlily novels and who enjoy humour in a book.
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 En un instant tout bascule ! 18 mai 2014
Par D. Legare TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS VOIX VINE
Format:Format Kindle
Harry, professeur d’histoire, passionné par ses recherches sur Richard Nixon, mène une vie tranquille aux côté du son épouse Claire. Mais voilà qu’un soir, sa belle-sœur Jane l’appelle pour qu’il aille chercher son frère Georges au commissariat pour une simple histoire d’accident de la route. C’est en fait bien plus grave qu’elle ne le lui dit car Georges est en garde à vue et ne rentrera pas à la maison. Jane, inquiète de la tournure des évènements demande alors à Harry de passer la nuit auprès d’elle. C’est alors que la vie d’Harry bascule dans un étourdissant déluge de catastrophes tragi-comiques.

A.M. Homes reprend ici le même procédé que dans ‘This Book Will Save Your Life’ en mariant avec virtuosité tragique et invraisemblance comique. On se laisse entraîner avec amusement dans cette profusion de mésaventures graves-mais-pas-si-graves, avec un anti-héros qui prend corps sous nos yeux. Un livre à consommer avec plaisir et légèreté.
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0 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 boring rubbish 8 février 2013
Par Roland
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I bought this book after seeing it praised on France 24 tv.
I never got past page 100 and woulkd never want to read another book by the author.
Don't buy it.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  202 commentaires
33 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A powerful story of despair and redemption exposing the heart of darkness at the core of suburban life 15 octobre 2012
Par Bookreporter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In novels like THE END OF ALICE and MUSIC FOR TORCHING, A.M. Homes hasn't shied away from grim subjects, pedophilia and school gun violence only two of them. Her new novel returns to familiar territory --- the American suburbs --- to tell a powerful story of despair and redemption, all the while probing what she's consistently sought to expose, in the vein worked by writers like Richard Yates and John Cheever, as the real heart of darkness at the core of suburban life.

Homes observed in a recent interview that "Despite the sense that things are looking up now, there remains an ongoing level of discomfort, an unarticulated anxiety about what will `go wrong' next." That's the spirit that looms over this story. It begins with two violent acts perpetrated by George Silver, a prominent television executive with anger management issues and the younger brother of Harold Silver, the story's narrator. The first is a car accident that kills a mother and father, leaving behind their young son. The second, George's murder of his wife when he returns home to find her in bed with Harold, launches Homes' protagonist on a lurching journey of self-discovery.

Though the disasters that cascade over Harold (divorce, illness and job loss only a few of them) at times rises almost to a Job-like level, that's where the similarities to the biblical character end. On his own behalf the most he can say is, "Before this happened, I had a life, or at least I thought I did; the quality, the successfulness of it had not been called into question." Clearly, he's more acted upon than actor.

In contrast to his outwardly successful brother, Harold is a historian specializing in the study of Richard Nixon, a man he considers "the bridge between our prewar Depression-era culture and the postwar prosperous-American-dream America." He's toiled for years on a Nixon monograph that's grown to 1,300 pages, but it's only the discovery of a cache of short stories written by the disgraced president that offers him a glimpse of professional relevance. Grimly determined to teach disengaged students about events like the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Watergate scandal, Harold is informed by his department chair that the traditional view of history instruction must be abandoned for one that's "future-forward," in which students explore the "world of possibility," not the fossilized past.

With his sister-in-law dead and his brother incarcerated, Harold moves into their Westchester County home to assume custody of Nate and Ashley, their adolescent children. In the Thanksgiving dinner that opens the novel (it closes on that holiday a year later), Harold observes them as they "sat like lumps at the table, hunched, or more like curled, as if poured into their chairs, truly spineless, eyes focused on their small screens, the only thing in motion their thumbs." What quickly becomes clear, though, is that their emotional intelligence is more highly developed than any of the adult characters. At their urging, Harold brings Ricardo, the young survivor of the car accident, into the household. That decision, along with Harold's deepening sense of responsibility for these children, so damaged by the acts of self-absorbed "grownups," allows Homes to roam the landscape of our fractured, hybrid families, contrasting them with the genetic legacy that's contributed to some of the Silvers brothers' dysfunctional behavior.

Only a writer of Homes' sensibilities would anchor her protagonist's redemption in Internet sex. Cheryl, the housewife Harold meets in that venue, becomes an odd sort of conscience, pushing him toward becoming a better version of himself, as she's urging him on to more misbehavior. In the way it exposes the tortured soul of its narrator, MAY WE BE FORGIVEN is a spiritual cousin to novels like Joseph Heller's SOMETHING HAPPENED, Don DeLillo's WHITE NOISE and Jonathan Franzen's THE CORRECTIONS.

Homes administers frequent doses of humor to leaven the seriousness of her concerns. That wit is deployed, not to mock or amuse, but instead to reflect our lives back to us in a fresh, often startling, way. Whether it's a swingers' club gathered at a suburban strip mall for a night of laser tag, some bizarre permutations of the American correctional system or the ministrations of an event planner arranging a South African bar mitzvah that's among the most unusual in the history of Judaism, Homes displays her penchant for putting a distinctive spin on the oddities of contemporary culture. That's a talent that can't be underestimated in a time when every day's news brings stories more inconceivable than anything conjured out of the imagination of the most talented writer of what passes for realist fiction.

And it's a reminder that, despite her book's title, Homes is a social satirist, not a moralist. Even with her sometimes painful bite, she demonstrates real compassion for her characters, and it's that depth of feeling that keeps us engrossed in their story. Because the truth is that for all its unsentimental, at times cynical, view of the current American psyche, at the end of this wild ride Homes' take on our current predicament is a fundamentally optimistic one.

Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg
39 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "An Extended Kumbaya Chant" 15 octobre 2012
Par Cary B. Barad - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This novel embodies a clash of two literary themes. The opening chapters are quite spicy--garnished with quirky, kinky, violent, depraved and hypersexual scenarios--followed later by a Pollyannaish morality tale which turns into one extended Kumbaya chant. In these chapters a sugary patina is applied to just about everyone-- the pets, the geriatric set, the children, the adulterers, etc. Suddenly, all are supersensitive philosophers, global ecumenicists--respectful, improbably intelligent, well-behaved and philanthropic. Money never seems to be a problem to these folks and exorbitant spending sprees ensue. To be quite honest, however, the Richard Nixon thread is done very well and the literary quality is actually quite high overall. As a result, I have no problem giving this book a 4-Star rating.
63 internautes sur 73 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Much Much Better than these reviewers are writing 9 octobre 2012
Par J. S. bartley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I've read two of Homes' books before and loved both of them. When I read the awful reviews on Amazon, I debated whether to read it or not. In general, I won't read a book unless it's rated 4 stars and above. I really enjoyed this book. The only reason that I don't give it 5 stars is that I realize that this is not a book for many people. I enjoyed Harold's ride of life through the book. I thought he became a pretty good person despite his background and the bad things that happen to him in the book. I think his sex life is totally unbelievable but since I thought this book was filled with comedy, I took the sex sequences as part of the comedy. I enjoyed the Nixon side of the book because I was around during his presidency and the mess he made of it. I liked how Harold's life just grew around him, almost without him trying, because he was basically a nice guy. Most families have some type of dysfunction in them and Harold's family has plenty. However, who would not care for a sick brother or sick mother? Who would not care for the other characters that come into Harold's life. I think Homes has a good insight into our lives and it shows in this good book.
26 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 As the world turns 11 décembre 2012
Par JoAnne Goldberg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I don't have a lot of patience with books that don't deliver. Forgiven may be the longest book I've read all year, but never once was I tempted to skip to the end and move on to the next candidate on the nightstand. Reading the book was like sinking into an impossibly comfortable chair: I simply took pleasure in being immersed in the story and feel a little lost now that I have finished.

There are a bunch of downer reviews here that focus on the book's grim beginning and a few other sordid plot points. But a 25-words-or-less summary of Forgiven doesn't do the book justice. In fact, this is not a book with much of a plot, although a lot happens, ranging from the mundane to the no-seriously-that-could-never-have-happened. The action-packed first chapter sets the tone: readers who are willing to jump in and hang on after that whirlwind introduction are the kind of people who can ignore their inner skeptics and enjoy the ride.

Mostly, Forgiven is about characters who undergo significant transformations over the course of a year (a fact that Homes feels compelled to broadcast; we get the point). Homes has the ability to infuse a fairly large cast with such authenticity that by the time I was halfway through the book, Harry and his entourage seemed like old friends, or family, or maybe people I didn't like very much but still appreciated for their quirkiness. With a deft hand and trenchant wit, she keeps the reader not just engaged but eager to flip to the next page.

Not that this book is for everyone, as the single-star reviews will attest. It's not a fast-paced mystery, its characters are not glamorous, and the thematic foundation is of the mundane middle-aged angsty sort. But if you like dark humor, if you're not above snark, and if you are looking for a book to live in for a few hundred pages, Forgiven may be your next new favorite too.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Modern fairytale with too-easy happy ending 8 décembre 2013
Par Alan A. Elsner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This novel begins with an act of horrific violence that is frankly unforgivable. So my answer to the question implied by the book's title is "no." But there is an easy kind of redemption embedded in the book designed to let the protagonist (and the author) off the hook and make the reader feel good. That probably explains why reviewers loved this book and festooned it with prizes. I enjoyed it well enough - but never bought into the fairy tale aspects of the plot.

As the book begins, we are around a Thanksgiving table. The father of the family, the brutal and mentally-disturbed George Silver, is carving turkey. His two children, aged 10 and 11 sit like lumps at the table diddling with their devices. In the kitchen, George's brother Harry is kissing George's wife Jane.

Fast forward a few weeks: George is involved in a hit-and-run killing a couple in the other car and leaving their son an orphan. George bursts into his house, finds Harry and Jane together and smashes Jane in the head with a vase or something. She is fatally injured, lingers for a chapter or two in a coma and then is switched off. Harry assumes responsibility for the two children.

At first, this book seems like a progression of Harry's life downhill. He's a professor at a minor college teaching kids about Richard Nixon, the subject of an unfinished book he's been writing for years. Harry kind of admires Tricky Dicky - another character on a downward spiral. We get a lot about Nixon in this book - some real, some imagined. It seems to stand for a kind of metaphor but the meaning remained elusive for me.

Somewhere along the line, Harry hits bottom and starts to take responsibility. He begins by taking care of the family pets (the two kids are in boarding school) and then becomes more involved with the children. He begins to gather a weird community of misfits around himself -- and everyone draws strength from everyone else.

There are some bizarre episodes in this book, somewhat surrealistic and somewhat funny. But the serious intent seems to rest around the idea that if we can only connect with one another as humans, we can succeed. By the time the next Thanksgiving rolls around, Harry is OK, the kids are OK, the orphaned victim of the hit-and-run is OK, the woman who received Jane's transplanted heart is OK, the Nixon book is OK and they have even transformed a village in South Africa.

But of course this is just a fantasy. The author clearly prefers her moral dilemmas heavily diluted. In one telling episode, the 11-year-old daughter is sexually molested by her teacher at the boarding school. Remember, her psychotic father has just murdered her adulterous mother, leaving her in the care of her adulterous uncle. Instead of relating to this as a horrific crime that demands both punishment for the abuser and therapy for the victim, Harry uses it as a way of exerting $250,000 from the school to hush up the incident. That's not OK.

This book has its strengths but I do feel the critics who fell over backward to lavish uncritical praise ignored its very real weaknesses.
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