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When I Was Five I Killed Myself: A Novel
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When I Was Five I Killed Myself: A Novel [Format Kindle]

Howard Buten

Prix éditeur - format imprimé : EUR 11,95
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Format Kindle EUR 8,10  
Format Kindle, 24 juin 2014 EUR 5,81  
Relié EUR 20,26  
Broché EUR 11,94  
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Descriptions du produit


Chapter One

When I was five I killed myself.

I was waiting for Popeye who comes after the News. He has large wrists for a person and he is strong to the finish. But the News wouldn't end.

My dad was watching it. I had my hands over my ears because I am afraid of the News. I don't enjoy it as television. It has Russians on who will bury us. It has the President of the United States who is bald. It has highlights from this year's fabulous Autorama where I have been once, it was quite enjoyable as an activity.

A man came on the News. He had something in his hand, a doll, and he held it up. (You could see it wasn't real because of the sewing.) I took my hands off.

"This was a little girl's favorite toy," the man said. "And tonight, because of a senseless accident, she is dead."

I ran up to my room.

I jumped on my bed.

I stuffed my face into my pillow and pushed it harder and harder until I couldn't hear anything anymore. I held my breath.

Then my dad came in and took my pillow away and put his hand on me and said my name. I was crying. He bent over and put his hands under me and lifted me up. He did this to the back of my hair and I put my head on him. He is very strong.

He whispered, "It's ok, Son, don't cry."

"I'm not," I said. "I'm a big boy."

But I was crying. Then Dad told me that every day somebody gets dead and nobody knows why. It's just the rules. Then he went downstairs.

I sat on my bed for a long time. I sat and sat. Something was wrong inside me, I felt it inside my stomach and I didn't know what to do. So I layed down on the floor. I stuck out my pointer finger and pointed it at my head. And I pushed down my thumb. And killed myself.

Copyright © 1981, 2000 by Howard Buten

Revue de presse

“Buten uses his wit like a whip to get at the heart of this boy's own story, and in the end the novel succeeds, bringing some shock and some power to that delicate line between youth and the rest of the world.” —Austin Chronicle
“This book poignantly captures the profound gap that exists between children and adults, the constant struggle for even the brightest, most willing children to make sense of the swirl of words, actions, and rules that constrain their lives.” —Detroit Free Press

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 824 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 196 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0743423003
  • Editeur : Overlook; Édition : Reprint (24 juin 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00JV124US
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°336.127 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  19 commentaires
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Original, Mystical, and Amazing! 13 octobre 2000
Par Christian - Publié sur
"Getting in touch with your inner child" has been given an entirely new voice. "When I Was Five, I Killed Myself", a re-release of an amazing story by Howard Buten, has just found new life on this side of the ocean. Originally published as "Burt" here in the States in 1981, this original and fresh young adult book didn't find immediate success. Buten then published it in France, where it (and he) became known as "one of France's best-loved contemporary writers", even though the author and the story are both American. Go figure.
"When I Was Five..." is the wholly original story of Burton Rembrandt, a precocious and misunderstood young man, trying to grow up around adults who seem to have landed here from another planet. None of their words or actions make much sense to Burton...or Burt...but, neither does he to those who must try and to understand and deal with his unique way of seeing the world around him. When an event transpires totally out of Burt's control, and the resulting backlash lands him in The Children's Trust Residence Center, Burt finds himself in a dangerous and completely alien new world. Nothing makes sense to him anymore...and he reacts in the only way he knows throwing tantrums, aching to voice not only his confusion at the treatment he's recieving, but also at his frustration with not being able to communicate with adults.
Told completely from Burt's point of view, this story is one of the most intelligent and lyrical stories ever written. Given the mysticism of youth and told in a voice that is at once immature and completely adult, this goes down as one of the most influential books I have ever read in this genre. It's message and story literally took my breath away at times...and it's importance lingers long after I've read the last word.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 When I was Five... 2 septembre 2003
Par Bluelens - Publié sur
This is a beautiful novel. Getting frustrated not being able to find novel "novels" to suit my taste I stumbled upon this gem during my "reading crisis" and started to read it. I admit, I was intrigued by the title and that is why i snatched it from its warm surrounding in the store. Experiencing the mind and situations from Burt's view is a different experience. We all try to remember what it was like when we were kids, but this is different. There are nuances and traits in here that we forget. Innocence that we as adults cannot fathom anymore. And through Burt's writings we are also seeing how a child's mind will piece together a history of experiences and illusions to convey a thread reality. Buten, a clinical psychologist and performing artist (Buffo the clown) doesn't just present an 8-year-old character. He brings that child to life. I have a friend that has 10 year old son. I have known these two for a few years. As I was reading this book I could hear all everything in Chris' voice.
This book keeps hidden the reason why Burt is in the Children's Trust Residence Center until the end. The ending reveals a warmth, compassion and yet a haunting feeling. Very moving.
I want to say more, but I don't want to take away from anyone's reading experience, should they read this.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 probably the best book I ever read 20 juillet 2000
Par F. AZOUZ - Publié sur
It's not very often you come across books of this magnitude and scope,it is not easy either to choose a favourite book of all time. Yet this book which I have read years and years ago was a true revelation. It speaks to the child in you, it reaches out to the reader in a mysterious and profound way.It's like reliving a child's dream, remembering a song you used to sing as a child or a face from times forgotten. I think what's best about it is that the more you read it , the more you wish you could do something about it. if all books were written like this one, the word fiction will no longer be appropriate.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Thought provoking and disturbing 31 mars 2003
Par J. Fercho - Publié sur
The life of eight year old Burton Rembrandt is brought to us through his eyes and voice, and what a story it is. While seemingly normal in so many ways, there is also a profoundly troubling element to his young life. After a traumatic event occurs, Burton is sent to the "Children's Trust Residence Center" for treatment. Burton's behavior and motivation proves to be baffling for the staff, with the exception of one young Doctor who tries to help and befriend him. This is a profound and unsettling little book, that will make you painfully aware of how fine the line is between normal and disturbed.
6 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 a moving piece of writing 15 juillet 2001
Par "dgillz" - Publié sur
"When I was Five I Killed Myself" is a breathaking book, particularly due to its simplicity. This book, told in the first person by an eight-year-old character named Burt, rings with truth. You will recognize feelings you had, things you saw, all the trauma and oddity of your childhood life.
But what's most striking about the book is its ambiguity. Critics on the book's back cover and inset, not to mention other readers, see this as a story of a "disturbed" little boy. Though he clearly has some intense emotional outbursts, and has an imagination that is the stuff of envy, not to mention a serious eye for detail and verbal gifts, it's tough to find any evidence that he is, in fact, as his doctor told him, "a very sick little boy."
Which is the point of the whole book, and what makes it so unnerving: Committed to a house for the emotionally ill and handicapped, surrounded by autists and people with far more glaring problems, you're left asking yourself why. Though his frequent outbursts - or "conniption fits" as he calls them - are intense, so are the qualities he has that we find so precious in children: his honesty, morality, and heart. It would seem that he is there for the adult world's misunderstanding. Rather than suffering an illness, he is made to suffer a prison sentence away from the very people he should be nearest: his loving family.
It's a quick read and a marvel of virtuosity, and it's completely convincing and heart-rending. A very good read.
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