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Temptation [Format Kindle]

Douglas Kennedy
3.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit



I ALWAYS WANTED to be rich. I know that probably sounds crass, but it’s the truth. A true confession.

Around a year ago, I got my wish. After a ten-year bad luck streak – a toxic accumulation of endless rejection slips, and ‘we’re going to pass on this’, and the usual bevy of near-misses (‘you know, we were really looking for this sort of thing last month’), and (of course) never getting my calls returned – the gods of happenstance finally decided I was worth a smile. And I received a phone call. Check that: I received the phone call which anyone who has ever scribbled for a living always dreams of receiving.

The call came from Alison Ellroy, my long-suffering agent.

‘David, I sold it.’

My heart skipped five beats. I hadn’t heard the words ‘I sold it’ for… well, to be honest about it, I’d never heard that sentence before.

‘You sold what?’ I asked, since five of my speculative scripts were currently doing the Flying Dutchman rounds of assorted studios and production companies.

‘The pilot,’ she said.

‘The television pilot?’

‘Yep. I sold Selling You.’

‘To whom?’



‘FRT – as in Front Row Television; as in the smartest, hottest producer of original programs on cable …’

My heart now needed defibrillation.

‘I know who they are, Alison. FRT bought my pilot?’

‘Yes, David. FRT just bought Selling You.’

Long pause.

‘Are they paying?’ I asked.

‘Of course they’re paying. This is a business, believe it or not.’

‘Sorry, sorry … it’s just, how much exactly?’

‘Forty grand.’


‘Don’t sound so enthusiastic.’

‘I am enthusiastic. It’s just …’

‘I know: it’s not the million-dollar deal. But that kind of a slam-dunk for a first-timer is, at best, a twice-a-year event in this town. Forty grand is standard money for a TV pilot … especially for an unproduced writer. Anyway, what are they paying you at Book Soup these days?’

‘Fifteen a year.’

‘So look at it this way: you’ve just made almost three years’ salary in one deal. And this is only the start. They’re not just going to buy the pilot … they’re also going to make it.’

‘They told you that?’

‘Yes, they did.’

‘Do you believe them?’

‘Honey, we’re living in the Forked Tongue capital of the universe. Still, you might get lucky.’

My head was spinning. Good news, good news.

‘I don’t know what to say,’ I said.

‘You could try “Thank you”.’

‘Thank you.’

I didn’t just thank Alison Ellroy. The day after I received that phone call, I drove down to the Beverly Center and dropped $375 on a Mont Blanc fountain pen for her. When I gave it to her later that afternoon, she seemed genuinely affected.

‘Do you know this is the first time I’ve received a gift from a writer in … how long have I been in this business?’

‘You tell me.’

‘Try three decades. Well, I guess there’s a first time for everything. So … thanks. But don’t think you’re going to borrow it to sign the contracts.’

My wife Lucy, on the other hand, was appalled that I had dropped so much cash on a present for my agent.

‘What is this?’ she said. ‘You finally get a deal – at WGA minimum, I might add – and you’re suddenly Robert Towne?’

‘It was just a gesture, that’s all.’

‘A $375 gesture.’

‘We can afford it.’

‘Oh, can we? Do the math, David. Alison gets a fifteen per cent commission from the forty grand. The IRS will skim thirty-three per cent off the balance, which will leave you just under twenty-three grand, plus change.’

‘How do you know all this?’

‘I did the math. I also did the math on our combined debt to Visa and MasterCard – twelve grand, and rising monthly. And on the loan we took out to cover Caitlin’s tuition last term – six grand, and also rising monthly. I also know that we’re a one-car family in a two-car town. And the car in question is a twelve-year-old Volvo that really needs transmission work which we can’t really afford, because –’

‘All right, all right. I was recklessly generous. Mea maxima culpa. And, by the way, thanks for pissing on my parade.’

‘Absolutely no one is pissing on your parade. You know how thrilled I was yesterday when you told me. It’s what you – we – have been fantasizing about for the last eleven years. My point, David, is a simple one: the money is already spent.’

‘Fine, fine, point taken,’ I said, trying to put an end to this.

‘And though I certainly don’t begrudge Alison her Mont Blanc pen, it would have been nice if you had maybe thought, in the first instance, about who’s been keeping us out of Chapter 11 all these years.’

‘You’re right. I’m sorry. But hey, good times ahead. We’re in the money.’

‘I hope you’re right,’ she said quietly. ‘We deserve a break.’

I reached out to stroke her cheek. She smiled a tight, tired smile. With good reason, because the last ten years had been, for both of us, one long slog up a steep incline. We’d met in Manhattan in the early nineties. I’d arrived there a few years earlier from my native Chicago, determined to make it as a playwright. Instead I found myself stage-managing off-off-Broadway and paying the rent by stacking inventory at the Gotham Book Mart. I did get an agent. He did get my plays seen. None were produced, but one script – An Ordinary Evening in Oak Park (a dark satire on suburban life) – did get a staged reading by the Avenue B Theatre Company (at least it wasn’t Avenue C). Lucy Everett was in the cast. Within a week of the first reading, we decided we were in love. By the time the play had its three performances, I had moved into her studio apartment on East 19th Street. Two months later, she landed a role in a pilot sit-com for ABC that was being shot on the coast. Being wildly in love, I didn’t have a moment’s hesitation when she said, ‘Come with me.’

So we moved to LA and found ourselves a cramped two-bedroom apartment on the King’s Road in West Hollywood. Lucy made the pilot. I turned the tiny second bedroom into my office. The pilot was ditched by the network. I wrote my first speculative screenplay, We Three Grunts – which I described as a ‘darkly comic heist caper’ about a bank job pulled off by a bunch of ageing Vietnam vets. It went nowhere, but it did get Alison Ellroy in my corner. She was one of the last of an endangered species – the independent Hollywood agent, operating not out of some hyper-architectural monolith, but from a small suite of offices in Beverly Hills. After reading this ‘darkly comic’ screenplay, and my earlier unproduced ‘darkly comic’ stage stuff, she took me on as a client – but also gave me the following piece of advice:

‘If you want to scratch a living writing in Hollywood, remember that you have to write generic … with the occasional “darkly comic” flourish. But only a flourish. Bruce Willis gets to crack wise, but he still blows away the chiselled-jawed German terrorist and then rescues his wife from the burning building. Got the idea?’

I certainly did. And over the next year, I turned out three spec scripts: an action film (Islamic terrorists seize a yacht in the Mediterranean, containing all three children of the President of the United States); a family drama film (mother dying of cancer tries to achieve closure with her grown children whom she was forced by her wicked mother-in-law to abandon when they were young); and a romantic comedy (a Private Lives rip-off, in which a newly married couple fall for each other’s siblings while on honeymoon). All three scripts played by the genre rules. All three scripts had ‘darkly comic’ moments. All three scripts failed to sell.

Meanwhile, after the television pilot sank without trace, Lucy found that the casting doors weren’t exactly swinging open in her direction. She got a commercial here and there. She came very close to landing a part as a sympathetic oncologist in a Showtime movie about a marathon runner battling bone cancer. She was also up for a role as a screaming slasher victim in some screaming slasher movie. Like me, she lurched from disappointment to disappointment. Simultaneously, our bank account began to hit the red zone. We had to find proper paying jobs. I talked my way into a low-impact thirty-hour week at Book Soup (probably the best independent bookshop in LA). Lucy was persuaded to try telemarketing by a fellow unemployed SAG member. Initially she hated it, but the actress in her responded to the ‘hard sell’ role she was forced to play on the phone. Much to her horror, she turned out to be an ace telemarketer. She made okay money – around thirty grand a year. She kept going up for auditions. She kept failing to connect. So she kept on telemarketing. Then Caitlin came into our lives.

I took time off from Book Soup to look after our daughter. I also kept writing – spec screenplays, a new stage play, a television pilot. Not one of them sold. Around a year after Caitlin’s birth Lucy let her SAG membership lapse and graduated to the rank of telemarketing trainer. I was back at Book Soup. Our combined post-tax income just touched 40k per annum: chump change in a city where many a player spent 40k a year on his pumped pectorals. We couldn’t afford to find a new apartment. We shared an ageing Volvo which dated back to the first Reagan administration. We felt cramped – not just by our lack of physical space at home, but also by ...

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Détails sur le produit

En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Douglas Kennedy est né à Manhattan, le 1er janvier 1955. Il grandit dans l'Upper West Side, étudie à New York puis dans l'état du Maine, avant de partir un an au Trinity College de Dublin, en 1974. De retour à New York, il passe plusieurs mois à travailler, sans succès, comme régisseur dans des théâtres de Broadway. En 1977, il part à Dublin pour rendre visite à des amis, puis décide de s'y installer pour de bon.
Cofondateur d'une troupe de théâtre puis administrateur du National Theatre of Ireland, il vend sa première pièce à la chaîne de radio britannique BBC Radio 4, en 1980.
En 1983, il démissionne pour se consacrer à l'écriture, sa vie se partage alors entre journalisme free-lance et création de pièces de théâtre. En 1989, il déménage à Londres, au moment où son premier livre, un récit de voyage, est publié. Son premier roman, Cul-de-sac (réédité par Belfond en 2008 sous le titre Piège nuptial) marque le début d'une longue liste de succès, tant auprès de la critique que du public : L'homme qui voulait vivre sa vie (Belfond, 1998, rééd. 2010 ; Pocket, 1999), Les Désarrois de Ned Allen (Belfond, 1999 ; Pocket, 2000), La Poursuite du bonheur (Belfond, 2001 ; Pocket, 2003), Rien ne va plus (Belfond, 2002 ; Pocket, 2004), Une relation dangereuse (Belfond, 2003 ; Pocket, 2005), Au pays de Dieu (Belfond, 2004 ; Pocket, 2006), Les Charmes discrets de la vie conjugale (Belfond, 2005 ; Pocket, 2007), La Femme du Ve (Belfond, 2007 ; Pocket, 2009), Quitter le monde (Belfond, 2009 ; Pocket, 2010) et Au-delà des pyramides (Belfond, 2010 ; Pocket, 2011). Son prochain roman, Cet instant-là, paraîtra aux éditions Belfond en octobre 2011.
Douglas Kennedy est aujourd'hui l'un des auteurs favoris des Français, avec plus de deux millions d'exemplaires vendus pour l'ensemble de ses titres, dont plusieurs sont en cours d'adaptation cinématographique. Divorcé, père de deux enfants, il vit entre le Maine, Londres, Paris et Berlin.

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Commentaires en ligne

3.3 étoiles sur 5
3.3 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Le suspense parfait 20 août 2013
Par baybiel
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Pour ceux qui ont connu ou pas la vie trépidante de la vie des affaires, particulièrement dans l'ouest américain ce livre est un 'must''.
Parfois les ficelles sont un peu grosses mais à aucun moment on ne s' ennuit.
A lire en version originale anglaise.
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11 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 L'inspiration de Douglas: rien ne va plus? 20 septembre 2006
Alors que " Temptation" traite beaucoup du plagiat, il s'avère que ce livre est un auto-plagiat de Douglas Kennedy. A quelques détails près, c'est le même livre que "Losing it", paru en 2002 sous ce titre en anglais et traduit en français sous le titre "Rien ne va plus". Peut-être l'ouvrage n'a-t-il pas eu de succès en anglais mais la traduction française a lancé D. Kennedy auprès du public francophone,avec d'excellentes critiques. Verra-t-on une traduction française de "Temptation"?
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Not unforgettable 18 novembre 2010
I enjoyed it more than the previous Kennedy I read ("the Lady in the 17th") but I am afraid that the story is a bit too predictable
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  26 commentaires
24 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Kennedy Pen's Another Riveting Yarn 18 juillet 2007
Par C. Middleton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Douglas Kennedy has an amazing talent as a modern novelist. He has that particular skill to pull the reader into his tale, ensures you can relate personally with at least the main character and drives the story forward not letting up till the last word is written. Calling a book a "page-turner" has become a well used cliché, and has been for many years. However this novel, Temptation, is a riveting yarn, feeling the protagonist's visceral elations and the dregs he feels while fighting for his personal and professional life. Temptation is a well told tale.

David Armitage happens to be a regular guy, a struggling writer who has been working at a commercial bookstore for thirteen years. David's wife tried the acting gig, both moving from the mid west to become successful artists in the "big smoke", Hollywood, only finding the pressures of simply making a living, putting food on the table, too great, so both get "regular jobs...he a retailer and she a telemarketer. Then the baby comes along and now making a living becomes serious. David however continues to write stage plays and screenplays, managing to get a true blue agent that believes in his talent, a rarity, it seems, in tinsel town.

One morning he receives "the" phone call that every writer only dreams about: a studio has an interest in his script and wants to buy it and do a pilot for television. The avalanche of success begins, and the pilot leads to a hit comedy that skyrockets in the ratings...David Armitage is now the most talked about writer in town and the bucks are rolling in.

The goddess of success, however, is not a compassionate mistress, and David Armitage, blind to the many pitfalls, leaves his wife and daughter for a high octane producer at the Fox Network. Life could not really get any better, money, a beautiful girlfriend, lavish apartment, liquid lunches, presentation dinners and a request from a multi-billionaire to collaborate on a new project.

Armitage is invited to the billionaire's personal island in the Caribbean, experiencing luxury in the extreme, meeting the man's beautiful wife when, slowly, things start to go awry in David's life. Has he sabotaged his own success or is there something more sinister going on?

Temptation is an entertaining and clever novel. As readers, we actually feel David's euphoria from his successes and his frustration, anger and his want of revenge when life turns in the wrong direction.

I have never been disappointed with any of Kennedy's novels and certainly not with this one.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Winner for Douglas Kennedy 16 juillet 2008
Par Wanderer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
I've read several of Kennedy's novels, and each one kept me turning the pages. In "Temptation," we have struggling novelist and playwright named David Armitage, who finally gets his big break. Then all kinds of problems begin (he looses his wife, for one).

I don't want to reveal too much of the plot. I'll simply say that I finished the novel in three evenings and didn't want to stop turning the pages. Kennedy really makes you care for David, but he has enough of a light tone to keep you from being depressed when David looses it all.

Highly recommended. The best Douglas Kennedy novel I have read is "The
Big Picture." If you haven't read any of his books, start here. I stayed up until three AM finishing it.

The Big Picture
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Douglas Kennedy leads us into temptation 8 octobre 2007
Par Lili Gans - Publié sur Amazon.com
The best thing about "Temptation" is that it makes no demands on the reader. This novel is very, very, very, easy to read. That probably accounts for its popularity.

There's something to be said for light literature. You can read it anywhere, on a plane, at a bus stop or in a hotel lobby and still carry on a conversation or perform neuro-surgery. The plot should be simple, the characters generally distinguishable from one another and there should be some sort of denouement which will be satisfactory to the reader, even if it's rather implausible.

Kennedy fulfills all of these criteria. The novel is about a writer, David Armitage, who finds "overnight success" and proceeds to be enthralled by all the trappings of wealth. He reveals a weaker side to his character, dumps his wife and child, spends, spends spends and begins a downward spiral into self-destruction. So much for original theme.

Most of the characters in "Temptation" are self-absorbed social climbers who want to profit from David's success, but this is Hollywood, so what else is new? Apart from two nice characters in the novel, the rest are caricatures of one dimensional grubs. Into this plot enters a sort of George Souros cum Howard Hughes weirdo who never makes sense. We are supposed to regard this billionaire as some sort of Satanic creature, the snake in the Garden of Eden, perhaps, who has come to ruin David's joy by leading him into temptation.

This novel is so blatantly didactic that it smacks of the pulpit. David is a modern Icarus who flies too close to the sun and is consumed by it. Apparently, the American dream of ambition and success are bad things, according to the author and so David must be taught a lesson.

There is so much symbolism here and it's all unsubtle, which is paradoxical isn't it? Everything is spelled out in full, so that nothing can be deduced or discussed. There is no controversy at all. David was greedy. David was selfish and so must suffer. It's no mere coincidence that he loses weight, grows his hair and beard and someone makes a reference to Jesus. David's being crucified. Get it? That's what I mean by nothing left to chance. Kennedy leaves no message unhammered.

Can I recommend "Temptation"? Yes, as light reading which should make all failures very content in their little hovels. Rich people bad, poor people, good. I have heard that message somewhere before and camels having a hard time getting through eyes of needles springs to mind, but as one of my favourite TV characters once commented on being reminded that the meek shall inherit the earth. "Yes, but the meek don't want it."

If you like moralising then you will be satisfied by Douglas Kennedy's "Temptation". Don't be surprised, though, if somebody turns it into a film with Jude Law or Tom Hanks as the star or maybe Tom Cruise. Surely not Mel Gibson, though he would enjoy the fallen idol and messianic role, wouldn't he?
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 I disagree with the hype 4 août 2012
Par J. Wolf - Publié sur Amazon.com
I keep scratching my head and wondering why it is that every other review I've read of this book talks about how utterly amazing it is and I keep asking myself why I felt bored while I was reading it. Other reviews of Temptation: A Novel by Douglas Kennedy discuss how "thrilling the ride" is while turning the pages and how they were "enraptured by the story" and I just keep thinking, "Really? Because I had a hard time forcing myself to pick it up."

Initially, the story did start off with a promising hook. A writer finally gets his big break and shoves off his wife and kid. See ya later, deadweights. Who wouldn't want to read that? He immediately hooks up with a beautiful, rich producer who would never leach him for his fame and money and gets pulled into a reclusive bazillionaire's plot to get a writing credit. I think this is where the twists and turns are supposed to occur, but, by this point in the story, I no longer cared. David Armitage, the main character of the novel, was unlikable and I had a difficult time wanting to read about him, much less care about why his story should be something I should waste my time reading. My guess is that all the Hollywood type characters were written with a fiendishly cartoonish portrayal so I wouldn't have to stretch my brain cells too far and try to wrap them around the idea that people could be dynamic.

Fair enough. I'd give it a 1 out of 5 stars, possibly a 1 1/2, because truly the first thirty or so pages were entertaining.

It's a good thing I got this book for free to review because I would have been irritated if I'd spent money on it.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Kennedy's books are just fun to read..... 7 décembre 2011
Par T. Bundrick - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I have read several of the author's works. By and large they are gripping, well-written, purely escapist/fantasy tales whose narrators, usually middle-aged men, are given an opportunity to leave their life, or start over again. Or-in the case of TEMPTATION-become the most successful television writer of a generation, ONLY to have it all taken away from you where you have to start over again. I am a middle-aged man who has DEFINITELY fantasized about faking my death and leaving town only to become a Pultizer Prize winning photographer......well if only for a few seconds, I swear honey (if my wife is reading this). I think there is a tendency to over-analyze books like TEMPTATION or THE BIG PICTURE. While that is useful with works that have multiple layers of meaning, like MOBY DICK or THE ODYSSEY, less is definitely more when it comes to TEMPATION. They should be read on a beach, under an umbrella, with a cool drink in hand. Now I have to end this review because a beautiful woman I've never met before just approached me in my local cafe and said, "Well hello Tom, I thought you'd like to meet your twelve year old son. By the way we are all going to die unless you can deliver the plans for the new XRT-2 stealth rocket you've been working on at NASA (how DID she know that)? So I have to go now.....but have fun with this book.
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