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People of the Book (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 2008

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Less flash and more substance than The Da Vinci Code . . . The stories of the Sarajevo Haggadah, both factual and fictional, are stirring testaments to the people of many faiths who risked all to save this priceless work."
- USA Today

"As full of heart and curiosity as it is intelligence and judgment."
-The Boston Globe

"Intelligent, thoughtful, gracefully written and original."
-Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

"Erudite but suspenseful . . . one of the most popular and successful works of fiction in the New Year."
-Alan Cheuse, NPR / "All Things Considered" --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

Présentation de l'éditeur

The "complex and moving"(The New Yorker) novel by Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks follows a rare manuscript through centuries of exile and war

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called "a tour de force"by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century S pain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding-an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair-only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 400 pages
  • Editeur : HarperPerennial; Édition : 1st Harper Perennial Edition (1 octobre 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0007177429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007177424
  • Dimensions du produit: 13 x 3,2 x 19,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 57.746 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par susan L. le 4 février 2012
Format: Broché
Le livre est arrivé dans les delais et en bon état.
dommage que le nom de l'ancien propriétaire soit écrit sur la couverture intérieure. Mais çela n'empêchera pas de le lire. J'en suis contente.
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Merci pour votre commentaire. Si ce commentaire est inapproprié, dites-le nous.
Désolé, nous n'avons pas réussi à enregistrer votre vote. Veuillez réessayer

Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 815 commentaires
244 internautes sur 260 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
No spoilers here 6 janvier 2008
Par ash - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Id been waiting for this book since I read the excerpt in the New Yorker last month. It didn't disappoint. The vignettes of each time period were expertly done, all of the characters well drawn, the history as timely as today. The love of books, history, art come through very well through the entire book. The horrors of the past and how they keep repeating themselves was very well expressed without being hammered into the reader. Given my track record with this author (I didn't care for her other two fiction books, tho I do love her non fiction), I was very very impressed.

Two things that are keeping this from being a five star for me. There was too much about Hanna. Her character obviously is important, but the whole love affair, her problems with her mother, all of that could easily have been taken out. And that last chapter sounded like something from a Mission Impossible movie, and was totally unnecessary.

The other thing was the ommission of Leila's meeting with Sula's son, in Israel. This is described in the article but for some reason was left out of the book. Its a beautiful and moving moment, and needed to be there.

That being said, I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for an excellent read.
454 internautes sur 489 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"Book burnings. Always the forerunners. Heralds of the stake, the ovens, the mass graves." 1 janvier 2008
Par Luan Gaines - Publié sur
Format: Relié
In 1996, as rare book expert Dr. Hanna Heath examines the Sarajevo Haggadah, an illuminated Hebrew manuscript from 15th century Spain, she carefully removes a series of artifacts that, under laboratory examination, will offer insight into the remarkable journey of this unusual text. Having survived the Serb-Bosnian war, the haggadah yields precious clues that allow Hanna to reconstruct the attrition of time: the fragment of an insect wing, an apparent wine stain, a white hair, salt crystals. It requires all of Heath's considerable skills to trace the evidence through the centuries to the book's origin. One of the earliest illuminated Hebrew books to feature figurative art, this haggadah has been repressed by medieval Jews for religious concerns. Perhaps made in mid-4th century Spain, when Jews, Christian and Muslims peacefully coexisted, the manuscript begins its troubled journey in the Spanish Inquisition and expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

An Australian, Dr. Heath embraces the acerbic wit of her culture, clumsy at the communication skills so easily wielded by others; of a more contemplative nature, she is devoted to the historic value of the volumes she restores. Troubled by a chronic antagonism with her neurosurgeon mother, the young woman has built a life around her work in compensation. Meanwhile, Hannah's romantic curiosity is piqued by the enigmatic man assisting her at the museum in Sarajevo, widower Dr. Ozrem Karaman, his infant son profoundly brain-injured and wife killed in the war's crossfire. Her emotions in turmoil, Hanna's natural impulse is to soothe Ozrem's pain; unfortunately, she cannot forestall the inevitable or alter fate. Hannah turns to her work- for Hanna, books speak to objectifiable history, while feelings are impossible to confine.

The human component of the book's journey brings a particular poignancy to this novel, Hanna's obsession with ancient texts, Ozrem's tragic loss, the passage of the haggadah from hand to hand through years of religious strife, the thoughtful preservation of history's great treasures. The actions of years past speak to the present, a haunting reminder of man's inclination to destroy that which he does not understand.

Extraordinary people drive the story, from Sarajevo to Vienna to Boston, an intense investigation via scientific methods of chaotic times, religious and political unrest. Each era is revealed through the actions of characters circa 1940, 1894 and 1609, the journey of the haggadah and its protectors, the book hidden from those who would obliterate an invaluable artifact: "To be a human being matters more than to be a Jew, a Muslim, Catholic or Orthodox." Time's guardians reach through the years to pass the haggadah from one century to another. Hannah's task is to overcome personal defeats, trust her instincts and evaluate the evidence, so that a new generation may learn from the courage of the old. Luan Gaines/ 2007.
234 internautes sur 260 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"A book is more than the sum of its materials. It is an artifact of the human mind and hand." 1 janvier 2008
Par E. Bukowsky - Publié sur
Format: Relié
"The People of the Book," by Geraldine Brooks, opens in Sarajevo in 1996. Under the watchful eyes of bank security guards, Bosnian police officers, two United Nations peacekeepers, and an official UN observer, a thirty-year-old Aussie named Hanna Heath has been hired to perform an exacting task. She is about to examine a precious fifteenth century codex, the Sarajevo Haggadah, "one of the rarest and most mysterious volumes in the world." Hanna's impressive qualifications include honors degrees in chemistry and Near Eastern languages as well as a PhD in fine art conservation, which as she patiently explains, is very different from book restoration. She knows her materials intimately: calf's intestine, pigments, gold leaf, and parchment are some of the tools of her trade. The Haggadah, which was created in medieval Spain, is "a lavishly illuminated Hebrew manuscript made at a time when Jewish belief was firmly against illustrations of any kind."

The book first came to light in 1894. After passing through many hands, it disappeared in 1992, when the Sarajevo siege began. After four years, it suddenly reappears and an Israeli expert, Amitai Yomtov, awakens Hannah at two o'clock in the morning to tell her the exciting news. Most scholars believed that the book had been stolen or destroyed during the fighting. It turns out that the head of the museum library in Sarajevo, Ozren Karaman, placed the Haggadah in a safe-deposit box for safekeeping. "Can you imagine, Channah?" Amitai exclaims. "A Muslim, risking his neck to save a Jewish book." Now, UN officials want an expert to inspect the Haggadah for signs of damage.

Although she is technically proficient and has written many highly-regarded papers in her field, Hanna brings something extra to the table. "It has to do with an intuition about the past. By linking research and imagination, sometimes I can think myself into the heads of the people who made the book." Indeed that is exactly what Brooks does in this meticulously crafted work, with its beautifully realized, three-dimensional cast of characters and its compelling and richly textured plot. As Hanna delves into the history of a priceless text, the reader is transported to 1940 Sarajevo, 1894 Vienna, 1609 Venice, 1492 Tarragona, and 1480 Seville. Along the way, we gain insight into the political, religious, and social turmoil that has beset the Jewish people over the centuries.

The author alternates chapters set in 1996 with those that take place further back in the past. As the story progresses, we come ever closer to the secret of who created this magnificent work of art. The journey is all the more wonderful because of the people who accompany us: Lola is a Sarajevan Jew who joins the partisans during World War II; destiny brings her to an Albanian scholar who will protect both her and the Haggadah from the Nazis. In Venice, we meet a bitter and sick Austrian bookbinder, Herr Florien Mittl. Ironically, this virulent anti-Semite is entrusted with the painstaking job of rebinding the Haggadah. In Venice, an alcoholic priest named Giovanni Domenico Vistorini is a censor of the Inquisitor. He may allow the Haggadah to "pass" or declare it a work of heresy and consign it to the flames. David Ben Shoushan, a poor Hebrew scribe in Tarragona, Spain, fills his mind with holy letters as he prepares to make his own vital contribution to the Haggadah. The final pieces of the puzzle fall into place in Seville, Spain, at the time of the Jews' expulsion.

Against the backdrop of these tumultuous historical events, we observe the vitriolic Hanna soften, mature, and fall in love with Ozran Karaman, whose hidden grief after suffering a series of tragedies may prevent him from reciprocating her affection. An irritated Hanna repeatedly clashes with her aloof and disapproving mother, a highly respected neurosurgeon who has always belittled her daughter's work. In the book's one misstep, the author allows a bit of melodrama to taint her otherwise impeccable narrative when the protagonist uncovers some startling truths about her identity.

Geraldine Brooks shows how the Haggadah's fate illuminates the prejudice and mindless persecution that have too often poisoned communities and nations throughout the world. Ozren wonders why more people do not realize "that to be a human being matters more than to be Jew or a Muslim, [or a] Catholic." This is an engrossing, poignant, and skillfully constructed novel. It is a marvel of storytelling at its best.
48 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"A book is more than the sum of its materials. It is an artifact of the human mind and hand." 14 janvier 2008
Par Bookreporter - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Every year at Passover, Jews around the world gather for a festive meal at which they are commanded to retell the epochal story of the Exodus from Egypt. The text for that retelling is known as the "haggadah," the root of which is the Hebrew verb "to tell." Today, it is estimated that there are more than 3,000 versions of this book, a compendium of biblical excerpts, rabbinic commentary, stories and poems. In her emotionally resonant new novel, Geraldine Brooks spins an intricate and moving tale of one of them, the Sarajevo Haggadah, and its stirring, almost miraculous, story of survival.

The true story of the haggadah's narrow escapes from destruction, chronicled in a December 3, 2007 New Yorker article by Brooks (featuring a color reproduction of one of the haggadah's striking illustrations), is so fantastic it seems almost impossible to fictionalize it. But what Brooks does so convincingly is what empathetic historical novelists do best --- offer us rich insights into the interior lives of both real and fictional characters that reveal the human drama behind a fact-based story. As one of the book's characters reminds us, "a book is more than the sum of its materials. It is an artifact of the human mind and hand."

The novel opens in the spring of 1996, after the Bosnia hostilities have ceased, leaving the city of Sarajevo a shattered remnant of its former self. Hanna Heath, a brash young conservator of medieval manuscripts from Australia, is summoned to the National Museum of Bosnia to restore the 15th century codex, featuring 34 pages of striking illuminations. Her discovery in the manuscript of a butterfly wing, a wine stain, a residue of sea salt and a fine white hair launch the novel's other narrative thread, as Brooks transports us in extended flashbacks to reveal the source of these items and thereby recount the haggadah's history.

Brooks's recreation of five historical epochs --- Sarajevo in 1940, Vienna in 1894, Venice in 1609 and Spain in 1492 and 1480 --- is so rich with period detail, lavishly and yet effectively displayed, that one stands in awe of the thoroughness of her research. In each era the existence of the haggadah is threatened. Most dramatic, and most grounded in historical fact, is the story of how the book --- only moments away from almost certain destruction by the Nazis --- was hidden by the chief librarian of the Bosnian National Museum and then stored for the balance of World War II among Korans and other Muslim religious books in a remote mosque.

The chapter recounting the haggadah's jeopardy in early 17th century Venice is almost as heart-stopping. There, Giovanni Domenic Vistorini, the censor of the Inquisitor whose job it was to consign heretical works to the bonfire, sits with his pen poised above the parchment before deciding to spare it from the flames. All of the novel's historical sections are so packed with vivid detail and complex characters --- princes, rabbis, artists, scribes and bookbinders --- that each time the narrative returns to its contemporary setting we're eager to be transported back in time and, once there, find ourselves longing to linger.

What also sets this novel apart from more conventional works of historical fiction are the sophisticated themes that suffuse the narrative: the persistence of religious persecution, issues of religious and personal identity, and the close relationship between Muslims and Jews among the most prominent. Those ties may seem particularly startling to those familiar only with the Middle East conflict, and offer perhaps a glimmer of hope that someday they can be revived.

Although it doesn't detract unduly from the impressiveness of the novel, the contemporary narrative suffers in comparison to the historical segments. There is a melodramatic subplot describing the fractured relationship between Hanna and her mother Sarah, an eminent but emotionally distant neurosurgeon, from whom Hanna ultimately learns a jealously guarded family secret. And Hanna's love affair with Ozren Karaman, the Bosnia librarian who protected the haggadah at the outset of the Bosnian hostilities, has a perfunctory feel to it.

Geraldine Brooks most likely had herself in mind when Hanna observes, "By linking research and imagination, sometimes I can think myself into the heads of the people who made the book. I can figure out who they were, or how they worked. That's how I add my few grains to the sandbox of human knowledge." Following on her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel MARCH, in PEOPLE OF THE BOOK she continues to raise the bar for practitioners of this literary genre.

--- Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg (
245 internautes sur 283 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lack of Feeling 16 février 2008
Par Rick Mitchell - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I was disappointed in this book. It had all the elements I love: an ancient book, the Sarajevo Haggadah, history and a bit of mystery. The format was very promising. A book restorer is commissioned to restore the Sarajevo haggadah, an ancient book with fantastic illustrations used by Jewish families during the seder that tells the story of the exodus from Eqypt.

After the promising format, unfortunately, it is downhill.

The restorer, Hanna, is a cold calculating young woman who elicits absolutely no sympathy. She hates her mother, and when the two meet, it is hard to tell who is worse. However, the restorer's role is only a lesser part of the novel.

As Hanna works on the book (covered in a scant few pages), she recovers bits of "evidence" about the books history - an insect's wing, a crystal, a wine stain among them. These then transport the novel into bits of historical fiction. For instance, the reader is brought to pre-WWII Bosnia where the book is taken by a young resistance fighter where it captures the wing. Like the others, the story is short and not long enough to get into any of the characters before the reader is transporter to another place in history and introduced to new stories and characters who play a role in life of the haggadah.

None of the stories are particularly captivating. Ms Brooks does not have the ability of a good short story writer to get the reader involved in a character right off the bat, so the stories do not draw the reader in. This made them a bit tedious. The best was the last which told the story of the fictitious illustrator.

There is some very good history contained within the stories and this is the redeeming quality of the novel. The stories capture the oppressed experience of the Jews from Spain to Bosnia from 1400 onward. I felt the stories fell short of captivating the reader and the common thread of the restorer was cold and unsympathetic. The "mystery" at the end is contrived and not very interesting.

The message is in the mixing of the Islamists, Christian and Jews. In each story there is some experience of tolerance and mingling among the three, so the ideal is set next to the attending prejudice.

Unfortunately, the very good historical aspects of the book elevate it to a merely mediocre novel.
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