The Spectacular Now (Anglais) Broché – 9 juillet 2013
|Neuf à partir de||Occasion à partir de|
Produits fréquemment achetés ensemble
Les clients ayant acheté cet article ont également acheté
Descriptions du produit
So, it's a little before ten a.m. and I'm just starting to get a good buzz going. Theoretically, I should be in Algebra II, but in reality I'm cruising over to my beautiful fat girlfriend Cassidy's house. She ditched school to get her hair cut and needs a ride because her parents confiscated her car keys. Which I guess is a little ironic considering that they're punishing her for ditching school with me last week.
Anyway, I have this sweet February morning stretching out in front of me, and I'm like, Who needs algebra? So what if I'm supposed to be trying to boost the old grades up before I graduate in May? I'm not one of these kids who's had their college plans set in stone since they were about five. I don't even know when the application deadlines are. Besides, it's not like my education is some kind of priority with my parents. They quit keeping track of my future when they divorced, and that was back in the Precambrian Era. The way I figure it, the community college will always take me. And who says I need college anyway? What's the point?
Beauty's all around me right here. It's not in a textbook. It's not in an equation. I mean, take the sunlight--warm but not too brash. It's not like winter at all. Neither was January or December for that matter. It's amazing--we couldn't have had more than one cold week all winter. Listen, global warming's no lie. Take last summer. You want to talk about getting a beating from the heat. Last summer was a hardcore pugilist. I mean, burn-you-down-to-the-roots-of-your-hair hot. It's like Cassidy says--global warming's not for lightweights.
But with this February sun, see, the light's absolutely pure and makes the colors of the sky and the tree limbs and the bricks on these suburban houses so clean that just looking at them is like inhaling purified air. The colors flow into your lungs, into your bloodstream. You are the colors.
I prefer drinking my whisky mixed, so I pull into a convenience store for a big 7UP, and there's this kid standing out front by the pay phone. A very real-looking kid, probably only about six years old--just wearing a hoodie and jeans, his hair sticking out every which way. Not one of these styling little kids you see in their brand-name outfits and their TV show haircuts, like they're some kind of miniature cock daddy. Of course, they wouldn't know what to do with a girl if she came in a box with the instructions on the lid like Operation or Monopoly, but they have the act down.
Right away, I take to this kid, so I say, "Hey, dude, aren't you supposed to be in school or something?" and he's like, "Can I borrow a dollar?"
I go, "What do you need with a dollar, little man?"
And he's, "I'm going to buy a candy bar for breakfast."
Now that gets my attention. A candy bar for breakfast? My heart goes out to this kid. I offer to buy him a breakfast burrito, and he's okay with that as long as he gets his candy bar too. When we come back out, I look around to size up what kind of traffic the kid's going to have to negotiate in his travels. We live just south of Oklahoma City--technically it's a whole different city, but with the urban sprawl you can't tell where one leaves off and the other begins--so we have a lot of traffic zipping around here.
"Look," I tell him as he drips egg down the front of himself. "This is a pretty busy intersection. How about I give you a ride to wherever you're going so some big rig doesn't barrel down and flatten you like a squirrel."
He looks me over, sizing me up just like a squirrel might actually do right before deciding to scamper off into his lair. But I'm a trustworthy-looking guy. I have no style either--just a pair of reasonably old jeans, beat-up sneakers, and a green long-sleeve T-shirt that says Ole! on the front. My brown hair's too short to need much combing, and I have a little gap between my two front teeth, which gives me a friendly, good-hearted look, or so I'm told. The point is I'm a long way from scary.
So the kid takes a chance and hops into the passenger side of my Mitsubishi Lancer. I've had it for about a year--it's silver with a black interior, not new or anything but pretty awesome in a basic kind of way.
"My name's Sutter Keely," I say. "What's yours?"
"Walter," he says around a mouthful of burrito.
Walter. That's good. I've never known a little kid named Walter. It seems like an old man's name, but I guess you have to start somewhere.
"Now, Walter," I say, "the first thing I want you to know is you shouldn't really take rides from strangers."
"I know," he says. "Mrs. Peckinpaugh taught us all about that at Stranger Danger."
"That's good," I say. "You should keep that in mind in the future."
And he goes, "Yeah, but how do you know who's a stranger?"
That cracks me up. How do you know who's a stranger? That's a kid for you. He can't comprehend that people might be dangerous just because you haven't met them yet. He's probably got all sorts of sinister ideas about what a stranger is--a black, slouchy hat and raincoat, a scar on the cheek, long fingernails, shark teeth. But think about it--when you're six years old, you haven't met all that many people. It would be pretty mind-_boggling to go around suspicious of ninety-nine percent of the populace.
I start to explain the stranger thing to him, but his attention span isn't all that long and he gets sidetracked watching me pour whisky into my big 7UP.
"What's that?" he asks.
I tell him it's Seagram's V.O., so then he wants to know why I'm pouring it in my drink.
I look at him and he has this authentic interest in his big, round eyes. He really wants to know. What am I going to do, lie to him?
Revue de presse
"[A] smart, superbly written novel."
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2009:
"A sobering look at the rationalizations of a teenage alcoholic."
Aucun appareil Kindle n'est requis. Téléchargez l'une des applis Kindle gratuites et commencez à lire les livres Kindle sur votre smartphone, tablette ou ordinateur.
Pour obtenir l'appli gratuite, saisissez votre adresse e-mail ou numéro de téléphone mobile.
Détails sur le produit
En savoir plus sur l'auteur
Quels sont les autres articles que les clients achètent après avoir regardé cet article?
Commentaires en ligne
Meilleurs commentaires des clients
Quick read, finished it in one sitting.
Je le recommande à tout le monde.
Juste peut-être la fin un peu décevante mais vous ne seriez pas déçu si vous voyez le film en plus.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Here's a rule for all book reviewers: DO NOT GIVE AWAY THE ENDING TO THE NOVEL. That's something readers may want to discover for themselves!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and, like others, found myself simultaneously entranced and infuriated by Sutter Keely. Sutter is, for all of his faults,a likable person, but the world is moving past him while he's standing still: his best friend Ricky is moving past all of their partying and wild times and into a serious romantic relationship; the other students at school are looking past the "now" and into the future of college and work; even Sutter's own family is moving on in their own ways, while Sutter deludes himself that the Spectacular Now is enough for him.
"Voice" in YA novels is everything, and this novel certainly has that: Sutter Keely is a very familiar character (we all remember "that guy" from high school) and yet is uniquely his own person.
Highly recommended for both teens and adults: this novel is by turns warm, witty, wise, and heartbreaking.
Oh, and one more time: REMOVE THE SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL REVIEW OR ELSE WARN THAT IT SPOILS THE ENDING.
"Forget the dark things. Take a drink and let time wash them away to wherever time washes things away to." -- Sutter Keely
THE SPECTACULAR NOW is such an achingly humor-filled, intensely sad story, that it has taken me a couple of days of processing the emotions it stirred up before being able to talk about Sutter Keely. Having previously included KNIGHTS OF THE HILL COUNTRY (Tharp's previous book for teens) on my Best of 2006 list, I was well aware of the author's abilities, but this second book is Something Else. It is one that absolutely should be added to high school collections and to required reading lists for YA Lit students.
High school senior Sutter Keely is great friends with a long line of ex-girlfriends. He has a superb sense of humor, plays well with his peers, is forever the life of the party, and professes his affinity for embracing the weird. But as his latest relationship crumbles, he asks himself, "Why is it that girls like me so much but never love me." And, of course, as we come to learn, it is the damaged young alcoholic himself, and not the girls, who has the real problem. Or a number of real problems.
But then he has a chance pre-dawn meeting with a girl he's never noticed who is so unlike his partying crowd:
"She jerks back, startled to see me move. 'You're alive,' she says. 'I thought maybe you were dead.'
"I'm like, 'I don't think I'm dead.' But right now I can't exactly be sure of anything. 'Where the hell am I?'
"'You're in the middle of the yard,' she says. 'Do you know someone who lives here?'
"I sit up and look at the house -- an ugly, little, pink brick one with a window air-conditioner unit. 'No, I never saw it before.'
"'Were you in a wreck or something?'
"'Not that I know of, Why? Where's my car?'
"'Is it one of those?' She points toward the street where two cars are parked along the curb on our side and a junky white pickup is parked on the other side. The pickup's engine is idling so I guess it must be hers.
"'No, I drive a Mitsubishi,' I say. 'Jesus, I must have gone to sleep.' I look around, trying to gather my wits a little. A scraggly elm tree hangs over us and you can just see the moon through the branches. There's a rickety lawn chair stationed in the middle of the yard, and two beer cans lie in the grass a couple of feet away. I vaguely remember sitting in that lawn chair at some point, but I don't remember how I got there.
"'So,' she asks. 'You don't know where you left your car?'
"'Let me think for a second," I say, but my head's not really up for thinking. 'No, it's no good. I don't remember where it is. Maybe I parked it at home and just went out for a walk.
"She shakes her head. 'No, I don't think you live in this neighborhood, Sutter.'
"That surprises the hell out of me right there. 'How did you know my name? Were we talking a while ago or something?'
"'We go to the same high school,' she says, but she doesn't say it like I'm an idiot. She has a kind voice, kind eyes. She looks at me like I'm a bird she found with a broken wing."
Fellow senior Aimee Finecky has struggled to create order amidst the chaos that permeates her home life. She sees the path out of town and she has attained the grades necessary to head there. She has created a sanctuary of a bedroom. And then, as she completes her mother's nocturnal paper route alone -- while mom is off to the Indian casino -- she finds her schoolmate Sutter passed out in that front yard. So begins the story of Sutter and Aimee.
"'Oh yeah.' I take a long pull on the martini. 'Childhood was a fantastic country to live in.'"
There is so much more to this tale. For instance, Sutter's observations on the superficiality of the interaction taking place at his married sister's party -- in contrast to what he's experienced in hanging with his friends -- are hysterically funny and incredibly thought provoking. And Sutter's friend Ricky's meditations upon the longing desire for the miraculous, the role of drugs and alcohol in trying to resurrect the miraculous, and the built-in obsolescence that causes such remedies to ultimately fail when they are relied upon for filling the emptiness, are the kind of jaw-dropping amazing introspections that are so rarely developed to such an exquisite degree in young adult literature.
THE SPECTACULAR NOW impacted me so emotionally that I couldn't even think about reading something else for a few days.
"This stage in the life of the buzz is truly fabulous. It's not even a buzz anymore. It's a roar. The world opens up and everything's yours right here, right now. You've probably heard the expression -- All good things must come to an end. Well, this stage in the life of the buzz never heard anything close to that. This stage says, 'I will never end, I am indestructible. I will last fabulously forever.' And, of course, you believe it. To hell with tomorrow. To hell with all problems and barriers. Nothing matters but the Spectacular Now."
It is touted as a coming of age type of story, which to me means that at somepoint in the story the person grows a little or learns a lesson. In that way, I feel like the author/book failed. To me Sutter is pretty much the same guy at the beginning of the book as he is at the end of the book.
The entire book is from Sutter's POV, which I have to admit is different. It is also a good thing. If not for POV and internal thinking, I would only think of him as a shallow, drunk, party boy, who only lives in the moment without ever thinking about the future or the consequences of his actions. Even with his POV these things are true, but you are also able to tell that he is hurting. I would more call this a slice of life type of book.
One day Sutter wakes up on a stranger's lawn with Aimee staring down at him. Sutter decides that Aimee who is a quiet, responsible girl, with her future all planned out, needs to loosen up and stand up for herself. He sets off with his plan to improve Aimee. Not everything goes as planned, but there does seem to be a connection between the two. Too bad we couldn't see what was happening through Aimee's eyes too.
Obviously with this book there is a lot of teen drinking, drugs, sex, and all around bad behavior.
I liked it all right, but did not find it spectacular by any means. I still plan on checking out the movie sometime, but I can already tell there are some definitely differences between the book and the movie.
I don't think I would recommend this book to my friends.
What I mostly want to talk about is the ending. I always think I'd welcome this kind of ending, that it would be honest, true and refreshing. Guess what? For me, at least, it wasn't. I don't need every book to have a happy ending, especially if it isn't organic to the story... but I guess I do need to feel like there is the hope of one. At the end, I was left disconcerted and feeling like the book just kind of... ended. Like there was so much story left to be told. Then I realized that whatever happened to Sutter, chances are it was going to be more and more of the same. That absolutely gutted me ~ and then I cried and cried. I cried for every lost friend and family member and acquaintance I could see so much good in, so much potential for greatness, who just squandered it away. Those who live their entire lives fooling themselves that they live in the Spectacular Now when all they are, at best, is the court jester, the buffoon, and at worst they become a statistic, a casualty, and sometimes even take down the blameless as they go.
Yet, in the end, this is exactly what makes it a great book ~ for everyone, but for teens especially. Because they WILL come out of this book feeling gutted. AND THEY WILL NOT WANT TO BE THAT PERSON. Not even for one second. And as much as I liked Sutter, that can only be a very good thing.
Sutter Keely is apparently the life of the party. And this is where my first issue came jumping and screaming into the spotlight – I didn’t understand him as a character. I didn’t get why everyone liked him, why he was supposedly everyone’s best friend and, most importantly, why he is considered a hero. Sure, he’s snarkily amusing, rather cool and unbothered by the plethora of issues that surround his life, but he wasn’t the type of character that I would either be drawn to or fascinated by.
And perhaps I missed a screamingly obvious point somewhere along the way, but his repeated references to his kinda-ex-girlfriends weight just really rubbed me up the wrong way. I’m not sure if it was intended to show that he was open minded, or that society is accepting of fat girls, but none of it felt real or believable to me.
The subject of Sutter’s alcoholism is glaring – he’s continually drinking – but there’s no real consequence to it, and that’s probably what disappointed me the most. Other than one particular intervention incident, it felt so glossed over that it made me quite angry – it almost felt romanticised.
The Spectacular Now IS different from many YA realistic fiction novels, and in that way it is certainly memorable. It’s just a rather big issue for me that it was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps for some readers Sutter is likeable, the situation is taken as seriously as it should have been, and there’s some kind of morality lurking in it’s pages. In the end, it was totally underwhelming for me – and it’s a shame as there was so much potential in the plot.