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The Beast in the Jungle and Other Stories (Anglais) Broché – juillet 1993


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Book by James Henry



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14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An engrossing tale 23 octobre 2001
Par J. Mullin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Henry James' Beast in the Jungle is surely not for everyone, there is little action in the novella (I suppose that is the point actually) and the title could give readers the wrong idea. John Marcher, the protagonist, is re-aquainted with May Bartram, a woman he knew ten years earlier, who remembers his odd secret- Marcher is seized with the belief that his life is to be defined by some catastrophic or spectacular event, lying in wait for him like a "beast in the jungle."
May decides to take a flat nearby in London, and to spend her days with Marcher curiously awaiting what fate has in stall for John. Of course Marcher is a self-centered egoist, believing that he is precluded from marrying so that he does not subject his wife to his "spectacular fate". So he takes May to the theatre and invites her to an occasional dinner, while not allowing her to really get close to him for her own sake. As he sits idly by and allows the best years of his life to pass, he takes May down as well, until the denouement wherein he learns that the great misfortune of his life was to throw it away, and to ignore the love of a good woman, based upon his preposterous sense of foreboding.
James' language can be a bit stilted at times, and some of the dialogue may strike modern readers as out-dated. However James was a master of the novella format, and with The Beast in the Jungle he has written an engrossing psychological drama, which left me speechless at the very end. Pick up a collection that also includes The Turn of the Screw and Daisy Miller if you haven't already read them, they are accessible (more so than some of James' full length novels) and great examples of the format's potential.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
My Beast in the Jungle 26 février 2009
Par James R. Ball - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Several months ago I was sitting in a restaurant enjoying drinks with a girl from my past who I had all but forgotten and had recently randomly encountered again. Over the course of catching up and revealing forgotten moments she said this story reminded her of me... I took it at face value and bought the 4 dollar book... It took me several days to read, (I'm a product of the american education system...) and was astounded by how relevant the experience was to our relationship. Granted, ours is an incredibly unique and personal situation, this story was well worth the read and granted me a great deal of perspective on my own experiences.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A glimpse into the soul 2 août 2000
Par "hermia1596" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Henry James has always been one of my favorite writers even though many readers are put off by his very stylized writing. When I first read "The Beast in the Jungle", I must admit that I was completely blown away by its powerful message. This is a type of mystery that never loses its power although you already know the ending. There is no way to describe certain moments in the story that give us a glimpse into the very soul of these characters that manage to become real to us throughout this story. Marcher's incredible egotism blinds him from seeing the truth in his life and thereby destroying not only his own life, but also destroying the life of the woman who could have helped him learn how to live before it was too late. Henry James was a master writer and to quote the words of T.S. Eliot: "Henry James is a difficult writer for English readers because he is American, difficult for Americans because he is European, and I ignore if he is possible for other readers." Yes, Henry James can be a challenge for many readers, but the reward is all worth the effort.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
This Beast Stalks You 17 avril 1998
Par Alan Nelson, No Chance Meetings Books & Odd Bits (nelson@sicembears.com) - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The story that lurks in this ornate writing from another, more embellished time will seize you with its power. And this story is not for the weak minded or those whose spirits shatter at the slightest confrontation. You, like John Marcher, will have the uncomfortable feeling that something Terrible, & Permanent is going to happen to you from reading this story. And you're right, but you don't know how right. The fate is something far worse than you think. Don't find yourself in a graveyard weeping over your May. You've been warned. This story is not dead paper and ink, or electrons over the internet. It waits for You to Enter The Jungle. And it is far better for some not to enter this Jungle, and be awakened to the Beast that even now watches you and prepares to leap.
Three Creepy Tales from the Master 18 février 2015
Par The Garden Interior - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Every so often, we need to find some nice, creepy stories to curdle the blood a bit. But sometimes we want stories written well and stories for grown-ups, not the common stuff of horror films or Stephen King books. And we need look no further than this slim volume, which contains three stories of about a hundred pages in total, all written by the masterful story-teller Henry James: “The Altar of the Dead”, “The Beast in the Jungle” and the Jolly Corner”. The first is about a man who obsessively lights altar candles for “his Dead” and misses out on the life around him; the second is about a man who misspends his life in dread of an evil event that he has a premonition will befall him; and the third is about a man who seeks out, and finds, the ghostly self he might have become had he lived his life differently.

All three stories are about an unhealthy obsession, an unwholesome idée fixe, which leads a man to stray from a sensible and virtuous to an evil or foolish path. The stories tell us much about the human capacity for folly, delusion, error and sin and, though they are written to amuse, they are also meant to chill, even horrify, and instruct. These stories are rather old-fashioned, and will feel very dated to a fan of contemporary fiction, but their very old-fashionedness gives them a great charm, I believe. Many writers of James’ era dabbled in occult stories, and not infrequently. Edgar Allen Poe was the master and first practitioner of the genre, but several other authors of classical literature tried their hands at this, including Wilkie Collins (whose Woman in White is a masterpiece of that time period and genre), Edith Wharton and even, rarely and experimentally, W. Somerset Maugham.

A word bout James’ style. It is famously ornate and rather convoluted. At times it seems a bit, well, auto-intoxicated and modern readers will find him rather heavy going. I had an amusing thought while reading this: wouldn’t have been great if a young Earnest Hemingway had been assigned to James as his copy editor? “Too many damned adjectives, James! Sentences much too long. Way too much punctuation. Plus, nobody gets killed ever. We need fewer adjectives, dammit, and more death!” Or, if I were a high school English teacher, it would be a good writing assignment to have my class produce a parallel text of a James short story, as you can buy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, with the original version on the lefthand page and the modern language “translation” on the righthand page.

But James is what he is, the lofty an irreproachable master of style. His prose is a beautiful thicket and he demands that you slow down your ingestion of words and images and plots, and let him take control of the story-telling and do it his way. It is a surrender that is well worth it, and the reader is amply repaid in fictional dividends. Read these short stories and see if you have any obsessions in your own life, any monsters in your own attic.
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