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alienorhuman "eleodel" (Paris, France)

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Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (Intègrale les 6 Volumes)
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (Intègrale les 6 Volumes)
Prix : EUR 0,89

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un de mes livres préférés!, 15 juillet 2014
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (Intègrale les 6 Volumes) (Format Kindle)
Comment écrire une critique du Comte de Monte Cristo?!! Je le relis une fois par an depuis l'adolescence, quand l'envie me prend de retourner dans un monde de coups de théâtre, de vapeurs d'opium dignes des mille et une nuits, de salvation in extremis, de cruauté et de loyauté surhumaines, et bien sûr de vengeances ciselées, à la méditérranéenne ou à la turque... Il y a tout dans le Comte, l'humanité toute entière, et chaque personnage se fait chair devant nous, le digne Morel, l'abbé si fou et si sage, la belle-mère des contes de fées, la cupidité parisienne et marseillaise, la forteresse stérile, les carnavals italiens, les poisons les plus byzantins, les bandits des montagnes, et les rapaces de la finance... Ah, que ferions-nous à la place d'Edmond Dantès, penserions-nous aussi que nous avons un lien privilégié avec Dieu pour remettre les hommes à leur place? Dans le doute, je relis le Comte pour trembler devant ce destin faustien et me délecter des manipulations de ce Deus ex machina bien humain, trop humain...

Aucune adaptation cinématographique n'a jamais réussi à effleurer la surface et la complexité du livre. J'ai visité le chateau d'If, y ai acheté tous les adaptations - faites-vous plaisir, lisez le livre!!


À la vue, à la mort
À la vue, à la mort
par Françoise Guérin
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 6,90

3.0 étoiles sur 5 Prémisses intéressantes..., 15 juillet 2014
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : À la vue, à la mort (Poche)
... avec des concepts psychologiques et psychosomatiques intrigants - mais qui auraient pu être plus fouillés. Je sais, c'est un polar. Lanester est quand même incroyablement peu conscient de lui-même et de ses 'casseroles' psychiques, pour un type qui a un diplôme de psycho mais qui a l'air de penser que les seules personnes qui vont consulter des psys sont un peu cinglées. Il y a des aspects de l'enquête qui sont fabuleusement baclés, des problèmes personnels dans son équipe qui font valser tout professionnalisme hors les murs, des attaques de parano ('Oh mon dieu, mon adresse est connue du grand public, je suis en daaaaaanger!!!') suivies par des réactions incompréhensibles ('Mon adresse est probablement connue du meurtrier, je suis aveugle et incapable de trouver ma cuisine, mais SURTOUT NE M'AIDEZ PAS'), des guéguerres entre collègues ridicules - laissez travailler le type aveugle ET moquez-vous de lui...
C'est dommage, parce qu'il y a de bonnes choses dans ce roman, mais on 'anque un peu de réalisme...


Nightlife
Nightlife
Prix : EUR 4,30

4.0 étoiles sur 5 A fast and fun romp through darkness, 15 juillet 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Nightlife (Format Kindle)
Urban fantasy, taking place in New York city - the protagonists are 2 brothers, running for their lives.
Male heroes are a novelty in the genre (for me at least), and the brotherly interaction is depicted very well. And there is true darkness there, enemies you could not consider bringing over to the light side of the force over coffee. The language is a bit too glib and teenager-y, but it does give those books a unique feel, so I'll just roll with it. I had a few laugh-out loud moments, actually
The only thing I regret is that Niko, the human brother is (at 25) so badass he can easily take on supernatural creatures - well, then the scary factor gets dramatically reduced. Niko is almost too perfect to be true (self-sacrificing, loyal, skillfull, a scholar in the body of a ninja....), but I hope more ambiguity will surface in the upcoming books...


The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image
Prix : EUR 10,76

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Provocative, mind-blowing!, 15 juillet 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
... and mind-opening, especially for those of us (most of us) with a staid and narrow, Western- and male-centric vision of history. So many things make sense after reading The Alphabet versus The Goddess! An added bonus is the fact that Leonard Shlain is a man with perfect 'western' credentials, so he cannot be accused of being an asocial feminist anarchist;0)
For anyone who wishes to think outside the box, look no further...!


The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
Prix : EUR 8,41

3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Run! (Away!!!), 26 juin 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (Format Kindle)
OH MY GOD IT'S SO BAD

Spare yourselves; do not buy this book. It was almost physically painful to finish. If this is the yardstick by which we measure books these days, I'll just lock myself into past centuries and NEVER COME OUT. What on earth caused this book to receive such acclaim???

So, just to get it out of the way, the construction kind of stands, although I'd have to think about even that. It's a little grotesquely baroque, with everyone seemingly having had a hand in the murder that 'fateful day', but ok for now.

But the rest.... In no particular order, and with plenty of spoilers, probably - it's not as if I care

- writers are NOT interesting main characters, and this one in particular takes the cherry; self-absorbed, vain, narcissistic, with every suddenly sycophantic character telling him how wonderful, talented, smart, 'Magnificent' (sic!!!) he is - and that goes for the OTHER writer in the book, Harry Québert, whose 15-year old lover seemed to have been put on this earth only to fawn over, praise and massage his ego. The main character 'wants to be a writer more than anything else in the world' and there is much inane talk/Hallmark life lessons about writing.... Ok, but writing what??? What was his 'fabulous first book' all about anyway?? He reminds me of kids who want to be rock star for the fame and never think for a second about the music - It's all about the packaging with Marcus Goldman - oh and let's not forget the crowds of New Yorkers who mob him with questions - actors, maybe, even though New Yorkers are WAY TOO COOL to crowd celebrities thank you very much, but WRITERS?? How many would you even recognize??? Also, within the very first chapter, we learn he's all about his Italian shoes, expensive NY apartment and trophy girlfriend, while being a self-aggrandizing whiny lying cheating ass***e - and there's a rule at the end of the book about hooking readers in the first chapter - oh well.
So a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer... God knows I love books but even I found this a bit indigestible.

- laughable secondary characters; the Jewish mother skit, the 'frustrated but deep', loud, manipulative bar owner - OH COME ON. It sounds like those Hollywood movies with 40 writers, one of which has to shoehorn comic relief in there, so you get a tap dancing number in a concentration camp. The Republican lawyer who has a cash machine where his heart should be, the threatening, grandiose, immoral publisher - none of which is deep enough to understand TRU LUV.

- which brings me, inevitably to the 'love' (sic) story. Oh please. I'm writhing inside. While I very much accept that age difference is not an impediment to Luv, a 34-year old 'falling in luv' with a teenager because she's 'dancing in the rain' (sic) sounds like... Drumroll... INFATUATION, or LUST. Mister bigshot writer (which one? Does it matter?) should have a way with words, but seems utterly incapable of self-analysis, diagnostic, soul-searching etc. And from there we get the MOST INANE dialogues I have EVER read outside of Barbara Cartland books. Even 33 YEARS later, the dude wallows in self-pity and 'she's the only one I'd ever love' whines that would make me want to smash a baby into a wall. Why were you in Luv, exactly? 'Cause she made you sandwiches and 'took care of you'??? I kid you not, this is what their whole relationship is about, and - wait for it - they only hang out for THREE MONTHS. Also, the kid is (spoiler, but do you care at this point) orphaned and suffers from psychotic breaks - is there anything that screams 'victim' any louder to you? Ach, it reminds me of Lars von Trier movies.
So, ok, you may be attracted to someone 20 years your junior. But if that someone fits the description above and has massively crushed on you - well, I've got news buster; you're just exploiting someone's intense vulnerabilities and the fact that you throw the rest of your whole life away afterwards doesn't make your. Luv 'more sacred'. It just makes you a creep who is unable to deal with reality and leads you to befriend only one person for the rest of your life, another creep.

- when does the police. Ever. Lets. A civilian. Lead. An. Investigation???? Especially in the US of A???? You have got to be kidding me.

- oh the writing, oh the writing... I'll take an inch out of my sting because I read a translated version, but still - English AND French are both my maternal languages and as I was trying to go back and forth to imagine what the translator could have improved I was left in the dust. Oh, the maudlin, immature, 'poor-me' waterfalls in this book - oh what about the editing, the verbatim copies of previous pages - oh the psychological characterizations and depth that could fit in a thimble, oooh.

It was atrocious. I can't believe this even got published. Maybe because there are publisher characters in there? Maybe because Dicker held someone's mother for *cough* blackmail? I don't get it. Read anything else.


The Breach
The Breach
Prix : EUR 4,30

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un-put-down-able!, 25 avril 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Breach (Format Kindle)
Wow. I don't know how I missed this trilogy, although it defies classification - action, thriller, sci-fi... and thus may be hard to find on your usual top bookstore shelves.
What can I say? I felt I was watching a non-stop action movie (I never felt such a thing reading a book), with a rock solid structure. I mean, if you're going to up the ante with super-secret alien artifacts, super-efficient bad guys, a super-random hero... you have to be ready to fall back on your feet and not evaporate in a puff of air, or let your readers down with a few pirouettes. Well, Lee's got it down. He's tight, efficient, precise - and more importantly, considering the elements he put into play (alien stuff...), believable. A trustworthy writer. After a while, I just 'relaxed', because I knew that no matter how many insane loops he put us through (and he's got a great imagination for those), we would get out plausibly AND get an explanation. Not to mention the very smart use of things already mentioned earlier in the book (which means you, reader, can also demonstrate your mental agility;0), the swift paradigmatic changes that open whole new worlds of thought/problems (ditto, reader). Also, no generic 'bad guys' who just have a daddy complex - even those are fleshed-out and made comprehensible, which was a long shot at the beginning.
I have to admit I love spending time in the company of smart people, so The Breach and Ghost Country were a treat. On to Deep Sky now...!!!


The Secret History (English Edition)
The Secret History (English Edition)

2.0 étoiles sur 5 Self-indulgent (massive spoilers ahead), 3 mars 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Secret History (English Edition) (Format Kindle)
Well - nothing very very likeable in any of the main characters. The narrator is entirely boring and passive - things keep happening TO him, and he reacts, without any kind of vigor, happy to do nothing but accidentally learn Greek and stare at the only girl character.
The others... could be intriguing, but then again, nothing allows us to connect to them. Why is it that in any 'Oops-I-killed-someone' book, the unwitting murderers' reactions are always so unsatisfactory? (Camus' freaking Étranger starts that list for me). So those kids who are as klutzy as they come drown their sorrows(? Guilt?) in massive amounts of alcohol and drugs?... Hmmm... Fascinating. Aaaaand??
11th hour discoveries; oh wait, we were all completely fascinated by our teacher. Well this is a case of 'telling without showing' - I never felt Julian Morrow was anything other than a 2-dimensional character, and name-dropping (Orwell, Marilyn Monroe) ain't gonna change that. Also, hardly present at all.
The only unbotched suicide made no sense, especially after a grandiose profession of love.
And, oh lord, the absence of editing - not everyone is fascinated by selective New England colleges and their snarky, emotionally autistic and plain spoilt students. The book was grossly too long. Also, some awkward repeats and sentences that made no sense, jarringly out of context. There was no depth to the characters, no soul-searching, just booze, booze, drugs and more booze.
I'm giving it 2 stars for believably creating a character one would really want to kill. And killing him.


Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It (English Edition)
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It (English Edition)
Prix : EUR 2,68

5.0 étoiles sur 5 simple, obvious... but we don't do it -, 12 décembre 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It (English Edition) (Format Kindle)
You can sigh over the concept - yes yes, we've heard it all before, enough already!
Well, no. Not enough, never enough. It's interesting how our minds run away from the practice of loving ourselves. It's interesting to see the boundless benefits that come from loving ourselves. It's interesting to see the countless other strategies we pursue with more or less success - to success - when this one, the simplest and most powerful is possible the hardest to accept.


Divergent
Divergent
Prix : EUR 6,45

1 internaute sur 2 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good entertainment, 15 octobre 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Divergent (Format Kindle)
Elanor Anardil's review Oct 14, 13 · edit
3 of 5 stars
bookshelves: dystopia

I probably shouldn't read other reviews before I write mine... and other reviewers shouldn't have such massive expectations when they read a new book and/or should not constantly compare said new book to previous loved ones....

Anyhoo, let us consider Divergent on its lonesome; good entertainment. Yes, some things were expected (the love story, Four's real identity...), others made no sense (more on this later), but overall it was readable and I read it in one sitting.

Many readers were offended by the strict division into 5 factions (6 if you include the factionless) and thought it would never fly in the 'real world'. I see they have great faith in their fellow men and women; there have been MANY insane political systems in the history of the world, and even today there are countries where women have to walk around like undead mummies and get killed when they show an ankle, get married/raped at 12, many places where violence is the only true currency, many places where dictators rule... So what's another crazy system? We as a species are nothing if not adaptable - and our own systems could legitimately be considered cuckoo by outside observers (and they are).

It also doesn't bother me that we're in future Chicago without knowing (yet) how we got there. It may be explained or not - whatever.

Tris - the heroine - is not perfect, but she turned off many people by showing disgust for anything Erudite (although she could have been one of them, her brother became one, and so was her father). Also she loves guns.
So?!
Let me make this clear; heroines don't have to be perfect (ie; like ME) for me to appreciate them.
I also suspect Tris will have to come round to this part of her personality and the world at large and learn to love 'intelligence', she will have to deal with her bias and prejudice. That's a character arc. Like Harry making his peace with Slytherin. I think the point is that we destroy our own selves if we keep fragmenting everything (society, ourselves)... and that's exactly what being Divergent means. Tobias is a lone voice in the dissenting choir, but I think events will prove him wise. We're all everything, so stop bashing the world they live in; that was VRoth's point!

Yes choosing your whole life at 16 sucks, especially when it means you will NEVER see your family again etc. Again, the point of the book maybe?

Now for some inconsistencies;

If the Dauntless only keep 10 people/year.... how many of them can really be around?! Especially with their high mortality rate and with getting rid of older people...?
Getting rid of so many applicants makes no sense.
Utter violence IS NOT bravery. Bullying, torture, gratuitout beat-ups, enucleation, attempted rape or murder without accountability or justice IS NOT BRAVERY. Killing kids IS NOT BRAVERY. Sucking it up, moving on and plottting your revenge IS NOT... well, you get my drift. Some of the tasks are LUDICROUS in difficulty - and then again; on on earth do they have to do with couraaaaaaage? The Dauntless all seem to b
I love that there is so much violence and death around the Dauntless but Tris is all 'shocked' 'gasps' 'horror' 'disbelief' when she hears Divergents are in danger - dude, when are you NOT in danger exactly?!
Also, qualms and pain over defending herself... when again the setting is so violent and Tris is supposed to be so badass and explosive, and people kill other people right and left. The guilt trip is really just annoying.
Why is Tris always mentioned as being 'selfless'? I see her as refreshingly and necessarily selfish - if she weren't, she would be dead. A lot. And liking guns makes perfect sense for a tiny woman in
I don't understand what exactly drew Tris (annoying nickname) to the Dauntless, or how someone who had such a mousy existence prior could turn into a fit athlete in a month - or in an hour. She's not appalled by the violence, she's not looking for justice, she's more an 'eye for an eye' kind of girl. Why is she digging the 'need' for survival, why does she accepts blindly the idiotic and random tasks set before her that will also get some of her peers killed or thrown on the streets? Why does she buy into all that? I understand the need for freedom and adrenalin, of course, but not the random ruthlessness. Did her moral sense disintegrate when she left her gray clothes behind?
The book title could have us hope for more information into, you know, Divergents. How come everyone isn't divergent to some degree? Even changing factions at 16 makes you 'conversant' in 2 factions! And they all go to school together before the choosing ceremony. Wouldn't there be more interaction?
As someone said, 'what's the deal with the trains???!!'

Ok, gotta stop, getting myself worked up.
Overall, I liked it and read it quickly. When I slow down, I see the cracks - so maybe I shouldn't. It was fun while it lasted.
On to book 2

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Supernatural Freak (English Edition)
Supernatural Freak (English Edition)
Prix : EUR 0,89

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Aha! This is good!, 31 août 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Supernatural Freak (English Edition) (Format Kindle)
Well, I had a very good time with Supernatural Freak!

- it takes place in London and I loved the little touches; characters calling each other Mr Wang and Mr Turner, not just Bob and Joe. Informality was just one of many ways to interact, not the ONLY one. There is, appropriately, a ghost - England is the most haunted European country. We get a little taste of London, and true stiff-upper-lip characters who can blush and aim to be proper (although the phrase 'British aplomb' may be overused;0)
- The heroine has 4 nationalities, and speaks many languages - again, refreshing and culturally deeper than most urban fiction. I look forward to seeing those themes being more developped in sequels.
- the cast of secondary characters was endearing and well fleshed-out, as well as not strictly 'normal'; the heroine's uncle is an alcoholic and an actor, and she shares a house with him and 2 geeks, another friend is a gay police officer... and well, she HAS friends who care for her, which is nice. And they do not necessarily act in an expected fashion; James doesn't throw a hissy fit when he learns Robyn's had boyfriends, for instance.
- the book is a cornucopia of references - Chinese zodiac, fairies, djinn, wizards and witches, reincarnation, ghosts... - but it works. The action never stops anyway, so not much time to think!
- for the first time in a while, I actually like the heroine. She's smart, resourceful and educated. She also knows when to call it quits. And she has a very interesting powers and mission arc unfolding before her.

There were a few 'maladresses' in the writing, a bit of a graceless conclusion that didn't resolve everything... but I'm sure all of this will be amply sorted out in the next book. During this one, Robyn was intent on survival, (and exposition had to happen somewhere in there as well), but I look forward to going deeper into her universe;0) Go James!


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