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Prodigal Summer [Format Kindle]

Barbara Kingsolver
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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There is no one in contemporary literature quite like Barbara Kingsolver. Her dialogue sparkles with sassy wit and earthy poetry; her descriptions are rooted in daily life but are also on familiar terms with the eternal. With Prodigal Summer, she returns from the Congo to a "wrinkle on the map that lies between farms and wildness." And there, in an isolated pocket of southern Appalachia, she recounts not one but three intricate stories.

Exuberant, lush, riotous--the summer of the novel is "the season of extravagant procreation" in which bullfrogs carelessly lay their jellied masses of eggs in the grass, "apparently confident that their tadpoles would be able to swim through the lawn like little sperms," and in which a woman may learn to "tell time with her skin." It is also the summer in which a family of coyotes moves into the mountains above Zebulon Valley:

The ghost of a creature long extinct was coming in on silent footprints, returning to the place it had once held in the complex anatomy of this forest like a beating heart returned to its body. This is what she believed she would see, if she watched, at this magical juncture: a restoration.
The "she" is Deanna Wolfe, a wildlife biologist observing the coyotes from her isolated aerie--isolated, that is, until the arrival of a young hunter who makes her even more aware of the truth that humans are only an infinitesimal portion in the ecological balance. This truth forms the axis around which the other two narratives revolve: the story of a city girl, entomologist, and new widow and her efforts to find a place for herself; and the story of Garnett Walker and Nannie Rawley, who seem bent on thrashing out the countless intimate lessons of biology as only an irascible traditional farmer and a devotee of organic agriculture can. As Nannie lectures Garnett, "Everything alive is connected to every other by fine, invisible threads. Things you don't see can help you plenty, and things you try to control will often rear back and bite you, and that's the moral of the story."

Structurally, that gossamer web is the story: images, phrases, and events link the narratives, and these echoes are rarely obvious, always serendipitous. Kingsolver is one of those authors for whom the terrifying elegance of nature is both aesthetic wonder and source of a fierce and abiding moral vision. She may have inherited Thoreau's mantle, but she piles up riches of her own making, blending her extravagant narrative gift with benevolent concise humor. She treads the line between the sentimental and the glorious like nobody else in American literature. --Kelly Flynn

From Publishers Weekly

HA beguiling departure for Kingsolver, who generally tackles social themes with trenchantly serious messages, this sentimental but honest novel exhibits a talent for fiction lighter in mood and tone than The Poisonwood Bible and her previous works. There is also a new emphasis on the natural world, described in sensuous language and precise detail. But Kingsolver continues to take on timely issues, here focusing on the ecological damage caused by herbicides, ethical questions about raising tobacco, and the endangered condition of subsistence farming. A corner of southern Appalachia serves as the setting for the stories of three intertwined lives, and alternating chapters with recurring names signal which of the three protagonists is taking center stage. Each character suffers because his or her way of looking at the world seems incompatible with that of loved ones. In the chapters called "Predator," forest ranger Deanna Wolfe is a 40-plus wildlife biologist and staunch defender of coyotes, which have recently extended their range into Appalachia. Wyoming rancher Eddie Bondo also invades her territory, on a bounty hunt to kill the same nest of coyotes that Deanna is protecting. Their passionate but seemingly ill-fated affair takes place in summertime and mirrors "the eroticism of fecund woods" and "the season of extravagant procreation." Meanwhile, in the chapters called "Moth Love," newly married entomologist Lusa Maluf Landowski is left a widow on her husband's farm with five envious sisters-in-law, crushing debtsDand a desperate and brilliant idea. Crusty old farmer Garnett Walker ("Old Chestnuts") learns to respect his archenemy, who crusades for organic farming and opposes Garnett's use of pesticides. If Kingsolver is sometimes too blatant in creating diametrically opposed characters and paradoxical inconsistencies, readers will be seduced by her effortless prose, her subtle use of Appalachian patois. They'll also respond to the sympathy with which she reflects the difficult lives of people struggling on the hard edge of poverty while tied intimately to the natural world and engaged an elemental search for dignity and human connection. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1498 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 644 pages
  • Editeur : HarperCollins e-books; Édition : Reprint (13 octobre 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000QUCO8U
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°28.610 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Meilleurs commentaires des clients
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Prodigal Summer 17 juin 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Le livre le plus reussi de cet auteur a mon avis , les trois heroines sont si chaleureuses et si efficaces et creatives , un peu utopique peut etre mais c est reconfortant a lire
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0 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 un roman un peu prévisible 28 avril 2009
des personnages intéressants, une histoire bien racontée mais un déroulement et une fin un peu trop prévisibles.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  793 commentaires
243 internautes sur 255 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 THE BEAUTY OF "NATURE" BY KINGSOLVER 25 octobre 2000
Par TheReader23 - Publié sur Amazon.com
If you ever wanted to get a greater appreciation of nature, predators and their prey, and survival of the fittest, then you'll probably really enjoy Kingsolver's latest book. I was totally in awe of her knowledge, most of which I'm sure did not come just through research. The jacket cover mentions that she earned a graduate degree in biology before becoming a full-time author. This is quite evident throughout and it becomes obvious to the reader that this is a labor of love on her part. Let's put it this way -- if ever I was a contestant on the millionaire show and a biology question came up, I'd want Barbara Kingsolver as my "phone a friend."
What is a prodigal summer? The author describes it as the "season of extravagant procreation" and, from that point, the story begins. This procreation will be experienced by all different forms of life found within these pages.
Kingsolver, who so beautifully told her Poisonwood Bible story through the eyes of the four daughters and their mother, uses this same writing style once again in Prodigal Summer. This time though, the chapters aren't headed with the characters' names but instead are indicated by their particular field of interest.
The Predators section describes Deanna Wolfe, working for the forest service and living by herself in an isolated cabin. She has also penned a thesis on coyotes and it's her dream to come across this predator in her small world in the Appalachian Mountains.
Moth Love is devoted to Lusa Landowski, a young, beautiful city girl who has studied entomology and is now a bug expert and lover. She also inherits a farm and has to decide whether to stay in Zebulon Valley and commit to that lifestyle or return to Lexington, Kentucky.
Old Chestnuts explores the relationship between Garnett Walker, an 80 year old widow, and his love affair with the chestnut tree. During his lifetime, he is trying to recreate this almost extinct tree type within his Zebulon Valley region. Added to this mission is his love/hate relationship with his neighbor, 75 year old Nannie Rawley, and owner of an organic apple orchard.
Midway through the book, the connections between these individuals begin to surface as you know they would. Just as subtly, the connections between the underlying characters and their particular love of nature is explored. How to poison things without using poison? How predation is a sacrament? How birds never doubt their place at the center of the universe? How moths speak to each other via scent? How every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot? These are just a fraction of the questions Kingsolver poses -- all the answers lie within these pages.
Barbara Kingsolver once again leaves the reader with food for thought. I guarantee that, after reading this book, you will never look at a moth the same way as you did before and probably won't kill another spider. For as she explains, "every choice is a world made new for the chosen." So if you, as the predator, choose not to kill a lesser life form, there begins a new life for that "prey" or that chosen species.
Since I would never categorize myself as someone who is "into nature", on an enjoyment scale I would only have rated this book with four stars. The fact that it is so well-written, with fabulous character development, well-researched content, and extraordinary subject knowledge by the author, it positively deserves a five star rating.
147 internautes sur 156 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another magnificent book from Kingsolver! 19 octobre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Prodigal Summer is a passionate adventure weaving together three stories about a corner of Appalachia called Zebulon Mountain. Wherever YOUR secret outdoor place was as a child--a backyard thicket, a neighbor's stream, or a nearby apple orchard--reading this book is like opening up someone else's magic world. I cared deeply about the characters, who are opinionated, alive, flawed, and compassionate. Kingsolver is an astute naturalist, with a strong moral sense of how man and beast should interact. She is such a lovely writer I found myself re-reading sentences just for the sheer joy of it. If you have ever listened to the cricket chorus on a summer eve, been in love, or held your breath when a butterfly landed on your sleeve, this book is for you.
72 internautes sur 75 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A novel of environmental issues 24 avril 2001
Par Debbie Lee Wesselmann - Publié sur Amazon.com
If I were to write a review having read only the first section of PRODIGAL SUMMER, I would have panned it. In highly descriptive prose, Kingsolver starts out with a middle aged woman (and forest ranger) being tracked by a much younger and of course good-looking hunter, the result being a kind of Joyce Carol Oates meets THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. However, I'm happy to report the novel strengthens tremendously as it unfolds.
Kingsolver follows the lives of three characters during a particularly lush, hot summer in Appalachia, where American chestnuts and red wolves once flourished. Deanna, the forest ranger, is caught between her lover and protecting the den of coyotes he wants to locate and destroy. In the valley below, the recently widowed Lusa struggles with the ill will of her in-laws as she searches for ways to keep the family land her husband left her. And in another section of farmland, elderly Garnett feuds with Nannie over Nannie's organic farming methods, which Garnett disdains and sees as a threat to his own reputation and methods. Lusa's story is the most compelling, perhaps because Kingsolver reserves most of her opinions about the care of the environment for the other two tales, instead focusing on more personal matters. Still, the other two are told well, with strong, flowing prose. Kingsolver connects these three points-of-view mostly by the land they inhabit, but also by past histories. Although the main characters live out their dramas in isolation from the others, their lives touch upon one another in subtle ways and understandings.
This novel is heavily thematic, even occasionally dogmatic, so if this kind of writing leaves you cold, don't waste your money. However, if you're the type who likes a fictional journey coupled with political issues, this may be exactly what you're looking for. People interested in environmental issues as well as those interested in Kingsolver's progress as a novelist should read this book.
37 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Satisfying, but not filling. 19 février 2001
Par QuinnCreative - Publié sur Amazon.com
If the Kingsolver you love is the one who wrote The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, and Animal Dreams, and you found The Poisonwood Bible written in a different voice and style, be warned that Prodigal Summer is closer in tone and structure to The Poisonwood Bible.
But Prodigal Summer has its own power and magic. The basic storyline is the focus on nature as a major life force. But it is told from the viewpoint of three different character groups who come to understand that no one stands alone, no action is without consequence, every decision leads to results, wanted or unwanted.
The young widow must make decisions about her future and her dead husband's land while struggling with his complex family. The Forest Service employee must deal with her chosen solitude and the hunter whom she invites to interrupt it. The two farmers must come to grips with how to manage their adjoining land, organically or chemically. These elements would stand well on their own, but Kingsolver doesn't let the story lines run separate. All these people's lives cross. Their opinions differ, their ways of dealing with life and conflict differ. But they have to come up with a way of getting along. Just like real life.
The telling of this one story in different voices is a method Kingsolver does well. The story is intersting, touching, gripping and, happily for the reader, not neatly tied up at the end. Like nature, things are left unsolved, to continue along with choices made thoughtfully and thoughtlessly, but all with strong convictions. It's a good read with a careful presentation of some controversial topics.
94 internautes sur 106 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Each page an over-abundant joy 18 octobre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Each page of Kingsolver's new novel, is full of the rich details readers have come to expect. The description of the scenery alone, makes this piece a must read. Kingsolver really does create a painting with words that we can walk thought, smell, touch, even taste. Added to that background, are believable characters; women, who are strong but not hard, men, who are stubborn but not distant. The book explores humans in a way that celebrates both thier souls and their animal essance. It also tackles the most delicate of human emotions, love. Love that is not always conveniet, pretty, or romantic...but without question alluring.
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