le 28 août 2011
THE LOVELY BONES will haunt you. This book tells the story of the most horrific thing a family could ever endure, the murder of a loved one, a child.
The child is 14-year-old Susie Salmon. We see the murder through her eyes, after she is killed. Susie narrates her story from heaven, a place like I'd not before imagined. Her heaven begins as her school playground. Slowly it grows to become more. Susie merely longs for something she misses from earth, and it appears, except, of course, the living. Although she can watch her loved ones, know what they are doing, thinking, and feeling, she cannot be with them, or they with her.
The book begins with the emotional, frightening, and vividly shown homicide. Through Susie's eyes, we understand how he tricked her. We feel her terror as we realize, with her, what's about to happen. Then the scene moves to another, equally heartbreaking moment, three days later when a neighbor's dog finds a body part.
You would think, at this point, that you wouldn't be able to read further, that you'd close the book and never reopen it. But you won't be able to. Like Susie, we want to know her family will be okay. We want to know the killer won't get away with it. The author, Alice Sebold, artfully forces you to read on.
Susie watches her friends whisper about her at school. She watches as her younger sister, Lindsey, hardens to stone. Her four-year-old brother, Buckley, is passed from neighbor to neighbor, having sleepovers, told his sister has just gone away for a bit. She listens to the detective, Len, tell her parents the inevitable, that they are now investigating her disappearance as a murder. Her family slowly begins to crumble and Susie can do nothing to help.
This sounds like a suffocating, depressing book, but as you read you'll feel encouraged as Susie's family begins to move on, never to forget, but to begin to live life without her. Buckley struggles to understand the meaning of forever. Susie's dad becomes obsessed with proving he's not crazy, that he's certain who killed his daughter. Susie's mom handles the stress by hiding from it. And Lindsey, known as the girl whose sister was murdered, strives to find herself again. She searches for love. And she takes a huge risk to help her dad flush out the killer.
The ending is incredibly sweet. Amazing as it may seem, you will feel Susie's joy as she lets go of those she's left behind. For me, the ending wasn't perfect, it left me wanting, but I imagine that was deliberate. Life itself is not perfect. But life has hope. And that's the feeling that will stay with you as you turn the last page. It's a memorable read, not for the faint of heart. Expect to feel. To fear, to cry, and, yes, to laugh. THE LOVELY BONES will touch the very core of your being. Alice Sebold has written beautifully of the ugliest scenario possible. Wow.
Reviewed by: Cana Rensberger
Un roman gentil et optimiste, en dépit de ce qu'on pourrait penser d'après le début, puisque la protagoniste principale, une écolière de 14 ans, est violée et assassinée dans les toutes premières pages.
La jeune Susie est ensuite admise au paradis, qui est un endroit un peu ennuyeux, fade et aseptisé, où l'on est toujours avec des gens aux envies compatibles ; et où l'on a tout ce qu'on veut vraiment dés qu'on le veut vraiment (et quoi de plus ennuyeux ?). Ce qui lui laisse plein de temps pour observer tout ce qui se passe sur Terre depuis là-haut. Elle regarde la façon dont sa famille se débat avec sa peine et se déchire après sa perte; comment son école marque le coup de sa mort avant de reprendre petit à petit son train train quotidien; comment son meurtrier masque tranquillement ses traces avant de planifier le viol et le meurtre de sa prochaine jeune victime; comment la police enquête et tente de retrouver le meurtrier; comment sa petite soeur et son petit frère grandissent et changent. Bref, elle observe la vie qui continue.
Depuis son paradis, elle peut voir n'importe quel endroit, n'importe quelle personne. Elle découvre petit à petit les secrets de chacun et comprend plein de choses qui lui étaient cachées de son vivant. Elle ne peut pas agir de là haut, mais elle peut observer le monde comme un bocal géant de poissons rouges posé devant elle.
Le roman est un peu trop long pour son propre bien, dans la seconde moitié, certaines des péripéties familiales et avec les amis de la famille sont un peu trop quotidiennes pour être passionantes, mais l'auteuse sauve le roman avec une scène fantastique imprévue vers la fin (la seule scène fantastique du roman) et un wrap-up assez satisfaisant quoiqu'un peu facile (dans lequel tout le monde trouve ce qu'il veut et où tout est bien qui finit bien sauf bien sûr pour le meurtrier pour qui ça finit mal).
En dépit du préalable macabre, ça n'est pas un livre noir. C'est un livre romantique et optimiste, dans une ambiance pas si éloignée du film "Ghost" par exemple. C'est un livre agréable qui rend gentil, ça n'est pas une lecture indispensable, mais c'est facile et agréable.
le 27 novembre 2003
C'est un livre gentil, qui a failli être intéressant ( par exemple, si l'histoire avait davantage suivi le meurtrier) mais en fait il ne se passe rien, on s'ennuie, même si on compatit à la tristesse des uns et des autres. Livre d'autant plus décevant que présenté comme le livre de la décennie !!!
le 4 août 2011
I had come across "The Lovely Bones" in my local Borders bookstore a few years ago. I started reading it back then, and I really liked what I read. It's a story of a young girl who is raped and killed by a sexual predator/ serial killer, as told from the dead girl's perspective. This was a very unusual and interesting premise, with a lot of potential for a very original and imaginative novel. At the time I did not continue reading the book, but when the movie based on it came out earlier this year I thought that maybe the time had come to read it in its entirety. And this has been one of the greatest disappointments as a reader that I've ever had.
The supernatural premise of viewing earthly events from a dead girl's perspective is not really used all that much in the book, except for one brief chapter well towards the end. Even then, the whole incident is completely superfluous to the overall narrative, and it has no discernable effect on the rest of the book. It seems that the choice of the point of view for this book had more to do with the kind of narrative device that the author wanted to employ, rather than with the plot development, only to change her mind at almost the last moment, and then do it haphazardly and then backtrack on her decision. However, even as a pure narrative device this ploy has problems that show throughout the book. Unlike a perfect omniscient narrator, a dead girl is actually pretty limited in her perspective, not least because she can only observe the outward appearances of other protagonists. She does make surmises on people's inner states of mind, but those are usually very restrained and not very convincing.
The book fails as a murder-mystery thriller as well. It's not so much that know from the very beginning what happened and who did what, but as the story progresses we get less and less of an impression that most of the relevant characters are truly trying to solve a criminal case. They all make some half-hearted and intermittent steps in trying to solve this murder, but we need to be constantly reminded by the narrator that they do in fact really want to solve the case.
Finally, and most disappointingly, the book fails as a coming-to-terms-with-tragedy novel. As previously mentioned, the point of view of the narrative is actually pretty limiting, and we don't really have the full access to the inner thoughts and feeling of various protagonists. We have to be constantly told about what they are going through, which doesn't make for a very satisfying reading experience. Furthermore, most of the characters (even those with more exotic backgrounds) are actually rather flat and uninteresting. Almost every little girl in the story is a more serious embodiment of Lisa Simpson. The reader doesn't feel much of the conviction in their actions and thoughts.
I stuck with this book through the very end because I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, a surprising and revelatory ending would make all the reading effort worth it. Unfortunately, that too was a big disappointment. The end left me hanging, and if I had cared more for any of the characters in the book I would have been really frustrated. As it is, I am just left to lament all the time I had wasted on reading this rather unremarkable book. The style of writing is pretty good, something that was obviously tuned in fiction workshops, but in the end not nearly so good to justify wasting so much time on this novel.
le 13 mai 2004
I thought, as it said on the cover, that I would end up reading "the lovely bones" in a single sitting...
Well, the thing is, if you want to do so, you'd better sit up straight and drink your coffee in jumbo-sized Starbucks mugs...
Seriously, the first 100 pages were rather good but after a while I grew tired with the plot ( what plot ?), and the end of the book was so far-fetched that it almost became funny, which was not the writer's intention I guess.
The idea was good though, watching from above your loved ones' grief after your death, but I think the characters' lack of consistence and the exalted romantic side of the novel just put me off reading it.
So, I would consider "the lovely bones" as a good attempt at something new, but not much.