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The Promise [Anglais] [Broché]

Chaim Potok
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

OneThe county fair was Rachel's idea. She had a passion for the theater, James Joyce, and county fairs, and she could be quite persuasive when it came to those three passions. We would go on the Sunday in the third week of August, the closing night of the fair, when there would be a fireworks display. We would have a splendid time, she said. It was also her idea that we take her cousin Michael.It was warm that Sunday night and the sky was clear and filled with stars. We sat in the front seat of the DeSoto and Rachel drove carefully along the dark asphalt country roads. Michael sat quietly between us, staring out of the windshield. A moment after we reached the highway he suddenly became quite talkative. He chatted about his frogs and salamanders. He talked about Andromeda, white dwarfs, and red giants. He seemed to know a great deal about astronomy. He had a high, thin voice and he spoke animatedly and in a rushing flow of technical words. I saw Rachel smiling. She wore a yellow sleeveless summer dress and her short auburn hair blew in the warm wind that came through the open windows of the car.We came to a crossroads, bright with the neon life of a night highway, then went around a sharp curve. Set into the darkness about an eighth of a mile away, and looking as though it had carved itself into the night, was the county fair. Michael abruptly ceased talking and leaned forward in the seat.The fair lay stretched out upon a huge field alongside the highway, bathed in a blaze of electric lights and neon signs, with strings of bulbs across an entrance arch spelling out the word PARKING, and floodlights poking bright fingers into the black sky, and blurred gashes of colored lights from a moving Ferris wheel and parachute jump. The brightness formed a pale, smoky, faintly pink arc-shaped cloud over the entire area, sealing it off from the darkness beyond. In the center of the field was a roller coaster with strings of lighted bulbs following its tortuous contour.Rachel parked the car and we came out onto the graveled surface of the parking lot and to a chain-link fence with a gate. We went through the gate and into the county fair.The three of us were standing on an asphalt road that was jammed with people. Teen-agers jostled roughly through the crowd, children ran about wildly, young and old couples moved along or stood near booths playing carnival games. A thick din choked the air. I heard gongs, bells, rifle shots from a nearby shooting gallery, the music of a calliope, the whooshing roar of the roller coaster, and a steady waterfall of human noise. It seemed as if all the noise of the world's wide night had descended upon this one stretch of lighted earth."We're in the wrong place," I said to Rachel.She stood alongside me on the asphalt road, her face pale in the garish lights. Michael was staring around wide-eyed at the booths."What did you do, take a wrong turn somewhere?" I was annoyed and I let my voice show it."No, I did not take a wrong turn somewhere.""'What happened to your county fair?""It was advertised as a fair. You saw the poster. Annual county fair. In big red letters. You saw it too.""I don't like carnivals," I said."Neither do I.""What do you want to do?"She looked around indecisively, chewing her lip. I saw her glance at Michael, who stood nearby staring at the roller coaster."Why don't we call up James Joyce and find out what he would do?" I said, feeling irritated and annoyed and wanting to get away from the noise and the wildness.She gave me an angry look. "Don't be nasty," she said. "It isn't my fault.""What do you want to do?""We'll see the exhibits and go right home.""They've probably got three cows and two horses in a tent somewhere.""We'll look and go right home. So it won't be a total waste. What gall to advertise this as a fair."We found the tent. There were cows, horses, calves, pigs, roosters, hens, awkward paintings by local artists, and some prize-winning home-baked pies. The wooden floor of the tent was covered with sawdust, and the smell of animal droppings was very strong."I'm thrilled," I said. "You have no idea how thrilled I am to see rural America at its creative best.""Don't be mean," Rachel said. But she was as angry as I was."I'm not mean. I'm thrilled.""I've seen beautiful fairs.""Let's go home," I said.Michael stood a few feet away from us, looking curiously at a prize calf. He wore a rumpled white sport shirt, tan shorts, and an old pair of tennis sneakers with the laces untied. He had wild dark-brown hair that badly needed trimming and dreamy blue eyes behind shell-rimmed glasses that were too large for his narrow face.We came out of the tent onto the black asphalt road of the carnival. Michael wanted to know where the other exhibits were."That's all there is," I told him. "We just saw the whole fair. It's a carnival. They stuck some animals in and called it a fair. But it's a carnival.""We're going home now," Rachel said.Michael stared at her, his mouth dropping open."Reuven and I don't like carnivals," Rachel said.But Michael did not want to go home. Why should we go home just because it was a carnival? he wanted to know. What was wrong with carnivals? He and Rachel stood on the road, arguing. It seemed to me they argued a long time. Michael had a strong, stubborn, aggressive streak. In the end, Rachel yielded.We walked along the crowded asphalt road through the litter of pop bottles, ice-cream wrappers, soiled paper bags, popsicle sticks, beer cans, discarded newspapers. The carnival booths lined both sides of the road, and from inside the booths pitchmen shouted their games to the crowd. Some booths were large, with expensive-looking prizes on their shelves; most were small shanty-like affairs, with gambling games or tossing games operated by hard-voiced carnival people some of whom wore derbies or straw hats. The booths were on wheels and were scarred and blotched from travel. The carnival had been set up in the form of a circle, with the booths lining both sides of the curving asphalt road, and the Ferris wheel, parachute jump, and roller coaster in the center.We approached a ring-toss game operated by a short, double-chinned pitchman in a straw hat. He was chewing on a dead cigar and shouting automatically at the crowd. He took off the straw hat and wiped his bald head with a red handkerchief. There was no one at his booth. He put the handkerchief away and saw me looking at him. His voice focused itself directly upon us, and we were drawn reluctantly to the booth.We played the ring-toss game twice. Then we went to another booth and played a pitching game. Michael played awkwardly. His glasses kept slipping down the bridge of his nose and he kept pushing them back up with abrupt motions of his hand. After the pitching game Rachel told him again that she wanted to go home but he ignored her and went on ahead, moving restlessly along the asphalt road. He was a thin, narrow-shouldered, gawky boy, about five inches shorter than my own five feet ten inches, and he seemed all caught up in the tumult around us.So we continued along the asphalt road, playing the games and ignoring the freak shows. Even Michael did not want to see the freak shows. We fired rifles at wooden ducks, threw pennies into flat plates, tossed baseballs at fat-nosed clowns. Rachel won a charm bracelet from the penny-tossing game, and Michael came away from the fat nose of a clown with a pen and pencil set which he stuck away in his shirt pocket with a triumphant grin. Now he wanted to go on the roller coaster, he said.Rachel told him she did not like roller coasters."Then I'll go with Reuven," he said.I told him I did not like roller coasters either."Then I'll go alone," he said, and started by himself toward the ticket booth.Rachel looked at me helplessly."Your cousin is a first-class brat," I said. "Come on. We can't let him go up there by himself."Michael grinned delightedly as he watched us purchase our tickets. We came through the turnstile and climbed into the front seat of a car. The remaining seats filled rapidly. The teen-age boy who had taken our tickets shouted something to the man behind the ticket counter and pushed down a long lever set near the tracks. There was a faint hum of machinery. The car moved forward. Michael sat to my left, talking excitedly about the last time he had been on a roller coaster years ago in Coney Island. He had been scared half to death, he said, grinning at me and pushing the glasses back up on the bridge of his nose. Rachel sat to my right, looking a little frightened. The car climbed slowly up a steep incline. Then we were at the crest and with a suddenness that pushed me back against the seat and took the air from my lungs we dropped wildly into the night.The car hurtled downward on roaring wheels between lights that blurred into quivering lines. Michael held on tightly to the support rod, his body rigid, his teeth clenched. Rachel gave me a resigned look. We rose and fell and rose again and fell again. On the ground below, the carnival heaved and undulated like a garish blanket in a windstorm. There were screams and shouts from the other passengers and the fierce crescendo of racing steel wheels. Michael sat with his eyes narrow against the whipping of the wind and his mouth open as though gulping the air that beat against him. Then, with an abrupt motion, he stood up in the car.Immediately Rachel shouted at him to sit down.He stood there, holding tightly to the rod, his body swaying with the wild motions of the car, and ignored her."Sit down!" Rachel screamed.He turned his head and looked at her and laughed.Rachel gave me a frightened, pleading look. I struggled to my feet and stood next to him, holding on to the rod and feeling my arms strain and pull against the sudden force of a drop that almost lifted me from the floor of the car. Then we were out of it and the tracks leveled and slanted...

Revue de presse

“A profound, moving book...refreshing, inspiring” —The Wall Street Journal“A superb mirror of a place, a time, and a group of people who capture our immediate interest and holid it tightly.” --The Philadelphia Inquirer“The characterizations are vivid, the incidents dramatic, the narrative fluid. . . . Overall . . . a glow of human erudition and compassion.” --Washington Post Book World“Brilliantly and intricately conceived. . . . The Chosen established Chaim Potok’s reputation as a significant writer. The Promise reaffirms it.”–The New York Times Book Review

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 384 pages
  • Editeur : Anchor; Édition : Reprint (8 novembre 2005)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1400095417
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400095414
  • Dimensions du produit: 20,3 x 13,5 x 2,2 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 119.709 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 24 février 2010
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
J'avais déjà lu The Chosen. Celui-ci en est la suite, et je n'ai pas été déçue. Un livre extraordinaire.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  67 commentaires
62 internautes sur 64 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Lesson On How To Write A Novel 12 août 2001
Par cdset - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
One of the most important aspects of Potok's novels is the conflict between traditional, Orthodox Judaism and the modern world of ideas that infringes upon it and challenges its authority. The conflict may be within Judaism (as in "The Promise's" battle between old and modern Jewish scholarship or "The Chosen's" consideration of Hasidism vs. modern Orthodoxy) or from outside of Judaism (art in "My Name is Asher Lev" or politics in "Davita's Harp").

What makes Potok's novels so compelling is that he frames these battles with skillful and deft plotting and beautiful heartfelt language. This aspect of his work reaches its apex with "The Promise", his most brilliantly constructed novel. From the first chapter, he skillfully interweaves the characters' struggles so that they relate to each other in a very meaningful way.

In addition, not since Carson McCullers, has a writer dealt so sensitively and realistically with the mind and struggles of youth and adolescence. Potok takes great pains to delve into the troubled Michael's psyche and helps us understand his demons. His other novels also share this sensitive dealing with youth and with the often stormy relationship between parent and child.

Danny Saunders, the Hasidic Jew we first encountered in "The Chosen" is, ironically, Potok's most "enlightened" creation. His is firmly rooted in his tradtions (in this case, Hasidism) but is also open to new ideas from the "modern world". He becomes a Psychologist, weds a woman outside of Hasidism, and dresses like a modern Jew. He is the realization of Potok's wish: the ability of man to be grounded in and love his faith without being rigid and intractable and intolerant of other ideas and opinions. It is the absence of this tolerance that causes much of the conflict in Potok's novels.

Although "The Chosen" may be his most moving, "Davita's Harp" his most lyrical (large portions of it are like reading poetry), "Asher Lev" his most powerful, "The Promise" is his most skillfully written. It is like a textbook lesson on how to write a novel. It firmly establishes him among America's greatest writers.
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A rich offering from a master storyteller 7 juin 2003
Par Tom Hinkle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
A sequel of sorts to "The Chosen", although this book stands quite well on its own, "The Promise" is the story of Reuven, a young rabbinical student, who befriends Michael, a troubled young man who eventually has to be institutionalized under the care of Reuven's friend, Danny. Meanwhile, Reuven is struggling with his teacher, Rav Kalman, a hard-line traditionalist who clashes with Reuven because Reuven has come under the influence of modern critical scholarship due to the influence of Reuven's own father and of Michael's father, Abraham Gordon. The clash of differing schools of Jewish religious thought and the conflict between religious and non-religious Jews is a major theme of this book. Meanwhile, Michael is making no progress in his therapy which leads Danny to propose a radical method of treatment.
This book is absolutely riveting, and it's very hard to put down once begun. The late Chaim Potok, in my opinion, is one of the best novelists of the late 20th century. His evocation of modern Jewish life and issues is unsurpassed, and he tells his stories so effortlessly that even a non-Jew like myself cannot help but be captivated at the same time as I'm being educated. In my opinion, this book is better than "The Chosen" and nearly equal to my favorite Potok novel, "My Name is Asher Lev". I give "The Promise" my highest recommendation.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Further adventures of Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter 13 décembre 2000
Par Len Feder - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
It's nice when you can finish a book you like, and find that the major characters reappear in a later book. You really have to read The Chosen first, to meet the teenage Danny and Reuven. The Promise gives us a second chapter of their lives, when they are on the brink of beginning their chosen careers, Danny as a psychologist, Reuven trying to become an ordained rabbi.
There are two storylines going on simultaneously. Most of our time is spent on the conflicts between Hasidic doctrine and modern thought. The conservatives (Hasids) are like fundamentalist Christians in the sense that they believe every word of their holy books, literally. The moderns (including Reuven Malter and his father) apply their intelligence, and evaluate what they read. Perhaps the biggest conflict is when the Malters point out errors in the holy books, and arouse the fury of the Hasids. Will Reuven still be allowed to become a rabbi, even though he is a bit of a dissident?
The other storyline centers around Danny, the psychologist, taking on his first challenge. Michael is a mentally sick little boy, and it is up to Danny to crack the case, find out why he is sick, and find a way to cure him. In today's world we would be thinking in terms of lithium and various drugs to try to straighten Michael out, but this isn't that kind of book. The answer here has nothing to do with medicine or drugs. In Potok's world, Danny must find what is troubling Michael.
One weakness of the book is that the psychology seems extremely oversimplified, and not believable. We have to keep in mind that this isn't a psychology book. It's a story. And it really is a pretty good story. Even when I praise a book, I like to present the negatives, for the sake of fairness.
Potok gives us an interesting new character named Rav Kalman. In a sense he is the "bad guy" because he is the conservative who is making life difficult for the Malter family. But he is also described as a man who escaped from a German concentration camp twice, joined the partisans, and killed many Germans. This is a man of action, not just a teacher and rabbi.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Read this book now! 3 décembre 1999
Par Sarah Meyers - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
I read The Chosen in 7th grade for school, and when I read The Promise for the first time a year later, I thought The Chosen was the better novel. Now in 10th grade, I've reread them both and comr to the conclusion that despite the fact that they are about the same characters, they are so differt that it is hard to compare them, and anyways, both are amazingly weel writtin and deeply touching novels. Personally, as an Orthodox Jew, I was able to recognize most of the terminology and Hebrew and Aramaic words, but when I looked at the other comments here, I saw that the majority of Gentiles could too, there where a few who had difficulty. One thing I really liked about this book is that unlike The Chosen, it deals with issues still contreversial within the Jewish community. There are many who ask the questions of Abraham Gordon and others who condem those who ask as Heretics (apikorsim). There are some who believe that the Talmud was revealed word for word at Mt. Sinai and others who follow Reuven's stance that the Talmud is Rabbinic discussions and laws derived from the Penteteuch (chumash). I liked the way that although the story is told through Reuven's eyes and he explaines his views and why he holds by them (I agree with him), Potok does not favor any particular view in this story. I think that everyone, Jew of Gentile should read this book at least once. it taught me a lot about the conflicts within Judaism.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Dynamic sequel to The Chosen 29 septembre 1999
Par rockemcf@rocketmail.com - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
The Promise continues with the two main characters of The Chosen: Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter, both in the throws of graduate school/seminary in this book. The tension between traditional ( read fundamental) beliefs... represented by Hasidism... and less orthodox Jewish practices and beliefs is not only hammered out intellectually but is embodied in characters in the book: teachers on the staff of the various yeshiva , Reuven's father who is a textual/critical scholar of the Talmud, and Gordon, a liberal scholar and writer, finally, the vitriolic East European Talmud teacher, partisan, and survivor of the death camps.
The value of the book reaches far beyond a sympathetic depiction of Jewery (thouge it paints a vivid picture of the very fabric of Jewish emotional and religious life ); it casts a bright light on the entire controversy revolving around textual criticism in religious study and and the sometimes bitter exchanges between fundamental scholars trying...{in this book} to rebuild the remnants of European Jewery and their devastated world following the holocaust) and the community of textual critics who are moving deeper and deeper into the sacred texts with their "destructive" academic tools. A must read for anyone interested in scholarship, belief, faith, psychology and the tensions that connect all thinking humans, no matter what faith.
Interesting sub-plot relates to Danny Saunder's treatment of an emotionally wounded boy and his rebuilding of his psyche with the techniques and tools he "learned" from his father, a Hadid tzaddik. Simply a wonderful book...worth crying over. The chain smoking, crooked fingered Rav who teaches Talmud and is juxopposed to Rev Gershon (also a Talumd teacher) is worth the read alone. All the characters are drawn with great sympathy.
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