Carthage: A Novel (Anglais) Relié – Séquence inédite, 21 janvier 2014
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Oates (The Accursed) returns with another novel that ratchets up the unsettling to her signature feverish pitch… Once again, Oates’s gift for exposing the frailty--and selfishness--of humans is on display. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“After her lavishly imagined, supernatural historical novel, The Accursed (2013), Oates turns in the latest of her intensely magnified studies of a family in crisis and the agony of a misfit girl.” (Booklist)
“Joyce Carol Oates has outdone herself.” (NPR)
“Joyce Carol Oates is known for richly detailed portraits of American families asunder. CARTHAGE is a stunning contribution to her storied canon.” (Kirkus)
“…Oates shows how perilous it is to assign guilt, and how hard it is to draw the line between victim and perpetrator in a blurred moral landscape in which every crime, on the battlefield or on the home front, is a crime of conscience.” (New York Times Book Review)
“For pages on end it is a compelling mediation on belief, betrayal, and grief. Oates has written a good book. I’d recommend it. What does it matter if it is or is not a war novel. The best war novels aren’t war novels at all. They become something bigger.” (Daily Beast)
“…brilliant…amazing…. A compassionate tenderness suffuses the final sections of the book, as palpable as the cold irony with which the book begins. It’s a breathtaking effect…” (Washington Post)
“Oates, working at the top of her formidable game, handily won over more of our readers with this raw, suspenseful, ‘real and immersive’ stream-of-consciousness tale.” (Elle, Lettres 2014 Readers Prize)
“a well-told tale of family, grief and faith” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Irresistible page-turner and heady intellectual experience… Oates continues to make her mark as one of the greatest American writers of our time.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“Emphatically and artfully explores the subject of physical and emotional distances between loved ones, the various expanses between who individuals are, were, or could be, and the often barely perceptible gaps between guilt and innocence.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“…one of America’s greatest writers…” (Roanoke Times)
Présentation de l'éditeur
A young girl's disappearance rocks a community and a family in this stirring examination of grief, faith, justice, and the atrocities of war from Joyce Carol Oates, "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation)
Zeno Mayfield's daughter has disappeared into the night, gone missing in the wilds of the Adirondacks. But when the community of Carthage joins a father's frantic search for the girl, they discover the unlikeliest of suspects—a decorated Iraq War veteran with close ties to the Mayfield family. As grisly evidence mounts against the troubled war hero, the family must wrestle with the possibility of having lost a daughter forever.
Carthage plunges us deep into the psyche of a wounded young corporal haunted by unspeakable acts of wartime aggression, while unraveling the story of a disaffected young girl whose exile from her family may have come long before her disappearance.
Dark and riveting, Carthage is a powerful addition to the Joyce Carol Oates canon, one that explores the human capacity for violence, love, and forgiveness, and asks if it's ever truly possible to come home again.
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Meilleurs commentaires des clients
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Cressida has disappeared, and in the course of this extraordinary novel, the author traces the minds and actions of her family and of her sister's one time fiancé and present chief suspect of homicide. The depictions of grief are so realistic and deft as to tear at the reader. The mosaic of characters is deft and beautiful.
I am tempted to deduct a star for the sometimes indulgent discussions of the damage on America in its wars and in its prisons. The case is well made however, "wars are monstrous, and made monsters of those who waged it. In time, civilians would become monstrous." Just so the prison system making keeper and prisoner both less human. Brett, the veteran and chief suspect, is depicted in excruciating revelation. Sometimes his inner tumult does drag a bit too long, but masterful nonetheless.
Joyce Carol Oates is often difficult to read. Emotions are raw, the landscape is bleak. All that said, her books are meticulously crafted, and this one is often lyrical. I invite you to encounter Cressida as a meeting well made.
To me the novel is about personality, how the traits of your character define you and lead the direction of your life, whether good or bad. In this novel, the direction is mostly bad. A very well written and layered story. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to delve into a long, thought-provoking read.
As the novel opens, the Mayfield family resides in Carthage, New York in the Adirondacks. Zeno Mayfield, once mayor of Carthage, and a political bigwig in a smallish town is the head of the family. His wife, Arlette, along with his two daughters, form the whole. Juliet, 22 years old is the 'beautiful' daughter and Cressida, 19 years old is the 'smart' one. Juliet is still living at home and she is an obeisant and sweet child, a devout Christian. She is engaged to marry Brett Kincaid, an Iraqi war hero who has been seriously injured in battle. He has suffered head injuries and walks with a cane. His face is badly scarred and he suffers from myriad problems requiring many psychotropic medications. However, Juliet's love for him has never faltered. She drives him to rehab and stands by his side in all ways.
Cressida is the 'difficult' child, always a loner and finds it difficult to look others in the eyes. Her parents have wondered at times if there is something wrong with her. She finds solace in drawing pictures reminiscent of M.C. Escher. She does not like people and is witty but sarcastic, cruel at times. She wears primarily black, avoids colors, and does not smile for the camera for one day, she says, her photo will be her obituary photograph. She is an impulsive student in high school, doing very well in some classes and poorly in others because she thought the teachers did not like or respect her. She ends up going to St. Lawrence University where she lives mostly inside her head, continuing to be a loner, an 'intellectual'.
In the book's beginning pages there is an allusion to Brett's temper and the fact that he has hit Juliet. She, however, has covered up for him by stating that she bumped her face.
Brett Kincaid breaks his engagement to Juliet who is heart-broken. Secretly, Cressida is in love with him and one night she goes to a bar to see Brett who is not happy to see Cressida at all. He is drunk and Cressida gets drunk as well. He offers to drive her home but she never gets there. There is evidence of a struggle in the car - blood on the windshield and some witnesses who saw them arguing outside the car. What happened to Cressida? There is a huge search and eventually Brett confesses to having killed her. Cressida's body is never found despite a comprehensive and ongoing search.
Oates does a remarkable job of examining the fallout of Cressida's death/disappearance on her family and the community of Carthage. Zeno never gives up hope that his daughter is still alive. Arlette becomes more involved in her church and volunteer activities, working on forgiveness and moving on with her life. Juliet is never the same due to the circumstances surrounding Cressida's disappearance. Additionally, the reader is privy to the horrors of the Iraqi war including subsequent injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder that soldiers incur. Brett Kincaid's life is explored in depth before and after his deployment.
Thus we have the foundation for the novel. On another level, it is not likely a coincidence that Ms. Oates chose the characters' names at random. Zeno is a famous pre-Socratic philosopher who is known for his paradox of never reaching one's destination. If you are going somewhere and divide your destination by half, half of the distance will always remain. There is quite a bit about Plato, Sophocles and the early Greeks in this book. Juliet, of course, is the star-crossed lover in Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet. Cressida is also a character in a play by Shakespeare. However, Cressida has most often been depicted by writers as 'false Cressida', a paragon of female inconstancy", according to Wikipedia.
The novel has some fascinating turns but, ultimately, it did not ring true to me. I can't go into specifics without giving spoilers so I will leave it at that. I try to read as much Oates as I can but she seems to write faster than I can read. She an an amazing and prolific writer. Even when she is not at her best, she is extraordinarily good.
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