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Everything is Illuminated (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 2003

4.0 étoiles sur 5 2 commentaires client

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Par Un client le 23 avril 2003
Format: Broché
Encore une vingtaine de pages à lire et pourtant je ne peux m'empêcher de déjà conseiller ce livre qui ne laisse pas indifférent. Une écriture originale, un style empli d'humour, une quête attendrissante, des personnages attachants, un roman épatant, surtout quand on sait que c'est le premier d'un jeune auteur (à suivre de très près). Etant donné qu'il joue énormément avec les mots et expressions idiomatiques, je suis assez curieuse de lire la traduction française. La version originale est en tout cas une vraie réussite.
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Par Un client le 26 septembre 2003
Format: Broché
Le livre <<Everything is illuminated >> par Jonathan safran foer est tres interessant. je suggere a tout le monde de lire ce livre parceque apres avoir le lu ,on aura l'impression que toutes les choses dans le monde sont illumine.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x94059288) étoiles sur 5 627 commentaires
296 internautes sur 342 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x94a9d290) étoiles sur 5 GLITTERING DEBUT, THAT YOU *SHOULD* READ, BUT.. 18 octobre 2003
Par Nearly Nubile - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Foer is a pretty endearing writer, no doubt, and one who is already on my watch list. But this novel is not something I'd be seen heaping praises on, as several other reviewers have been.
The book's narrative is inventive, mildly funny (depending on your sense of humor) and occasionally even strewn with streaks of universal wisdom. But some of Foer's devices of story telling seem a little, er, affected.
The lead-in into the novel is a bit wobbly and I took time to warm up to the goings-on -- in reality, the it is a tapestry of SEVERAL stories, the prime theme being one of a young American Jew named Jonathan Safran Foer (eponymous as the author, note) who travels to the Ukraine searching for the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis in 1941. We read of his search through the eyes of his Ukrainian guide and translator, Alex, whose imperfect English provides comic relief.
Part of the story of Jonathan's search is told in straightforward prose, but part is told through letters from Alex. Other stories are told in dreams or in plays. Concurrently, we also get the story of several of Jonathan's forbears, going as far back as 1791.
Much of the novel's humor stems from Alex's under-developed English and his posturing antics. Such comic relief is deft, but the all too frequent flights of lyricism stink of affectation to me, not of staggeringly impressive command of language or anything. Foer is no Wodehouse, not yet.
Everything Is Illuminated is ultimately more of an experience than a book, an episodic, thoughtful and rewarding work. But perhaps you may want to start with a fresh slate instead of a baggage of high expectations, a mistake I made. It is not worthy of a pedestal, but definitely worth a read if only for the sheer boldness of the narrative. Pick it up!
146 internautes sur 167 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9402a858) étoiles sur 5 Storytelling doesn't have to shout 21 novembre 2005
Par Sirin - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Somewhere, buried in Everything is Illuminated is a poignant, moving, original story about a man searching for the woman who saved his Grandfather from the Nazis. Aiding him in his search is the most endearing character in the novel, Alex, who writes English by always searching for a thesaurus term to replace the plain original word - resulting in a highly entertaining brand of comically prolix English. This device is the best narration technique in the novel (although not, as many critics in the blurb claim, a linguistic achievement on a par with Burgess in A Clockwork Orange).

The rest of the novel, however, is taken up with an aggressive array of flashy modern narrative devices - magic realism, hysterical realism, Jewish confession etc., all of which blast the reader with great 'look at me' demonstrations of the writer's virtuosity, but lack any sense of pacing, rhythm, balance and poise.

The principal gripe I have with modern novels such as this, is that in such a competitive, overcrowded market, young writers feel pressured to burst out with something dazzling and innovative, often invoking a range of literary techniques (as Foer does) without really understanding how they can be used most effectively. If the New York publishing scene was less preoccupied with hyping up flashy new bestsellers, and let talented young writers develop slowly, modern novels might have a chance to display some of the quiet literary inspiration that is the hallmark of past masterpieces.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x96d0c600) étoiles sur 5 Kooky and inventive novel of two young men's coming of age. 25 novembre 2005
Par Mary Whipple - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The eccentric and attention-seeking graphics of the bookjacket convey the idea that this book is fresh, daring, kooky, and inventive--and the book is all these things! But it is also serious and thoughtful, touching on universal themes and the essence of what makes us human. With young "heroes" who are sometimes both earnest and sweetly vulnerable, the book contains moments of profound melancholy, as well as deep sadness, behind its bravado and its finger-snapping brio.

Jonathan Safran Foer, a character bearing the same name as the author, is looking for the woman he believes saved his grandfather Safran from the Nazis. Traveling to the Ukraine, he meets Alex Perchov, a young man representing a Ukrainian travel agency which specializes in taking tourists to the sites of vanished shetls. Alex, a not-quite-fluent translator, and his "blind" grandfather, who serves as the driver, travel with Jonathan to the site of Trachimbrod, his family's village, collecting stories and legends which will help Jonathan learn about his family and his Ukrainian Jewish heritage.

Parts of the book are a bit sophomoric. (How many farting dog jokes does one need? And do we really need to know the details of Grandfather Safran's 132 mistresses?) The fictional Jonathan's letters and comments as he writes a novel about his trip are an artificial device for dealing, perhaps, with the author's uncertainties and/or heading off criticism, while the chapters he includes for Alex's review, are, of course, the actual chapters of this book. And Alex's misuse of language, while often very funny, begins to pall after numerous repetitions.

But these are minor criticisms in view of the author's immense achievement in dynamically presenting two young men as they explore who they are, where they come from, and how they fit in the world. As the sought-after story of each boy's grandfather emerges, the depth and breadth of family relationships and cultural history become clearer to character and reader alike. The dramatic and moving conclusion clearly establishes Foer's credentials as a brilliant new talent. Mary Whipple
101 internautes sur 119 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x93fdb5dc) étoiles sur 5 A Promise of Things To Come 24 avril 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is in many ways a brilliant book, brimming with energy and invention. Foer is blessed with enormous talent and I have no trouble at all imagining him becoming, in time, one of the major writers of the dawning century. This book, however, is not an unqualified success.
In a way Foer was betrayed by the very reviewers who were somersaulting backwards in order to help him. I was expecting the book to be utterly hilarious but the effect fizzled because the reviewers had already related the best jokes. He was betrayed by them also in the sense that they built such unreasonable expectations into the minds of readers that it would be difficult not to disappoint. Foer only adds to the trouble through his hyper-ambitious title. No, everything is NOT illuminated by reading this book. The themes are a recycling of things I've heard before, very often in places like Hollywood movies. To praise the virtues of love and compassion is not illuminating: it may be true, but it is not new. Foer has his heart in the right place, but that may be part of the problem. I get the sense that he is trying too hard to please. There is nothing wrong with giving your reader pleasure (God knows so few writers even know how) but in order truly to illuminate, in order to allow the reader to walk away with his world in some way changed, one must be ready to challenge, and perhaps even, to insult. Perhaps the success of this novel will embolden Foer to take off the kid gloves and hit us hard the way that, say, Philip Roth does.
I don't agree with the reviewers who complained that Alex's English is either unrealistic ("no Ukranian would speak English that way") or offensive. Yes, it is true that after a while the shtick begins to seem like one long Yakov Smirnoff routine, but the REAL butt of the joke here is not Ukranians or foreigners in general, but the English language itself. Every writer is perfectly entitled to play these games with his tools, with language, and this was one game which could only be played through the mouth of a hypothetical learner of the language. Here there is authentic light. Anybody who argues that it is unrealistic or offensive is missing the point completely. The Trachimbrod sections, on the other hand, read a bit too much like Garcia Marquez Lite. This is not surprising because I read in an interview that Foer adores Marquez, but he may well be advised that, as a writer, it is dangerous to love what you love too much, or too openly. He may learn more by reading more of the authors he DISLIKES.
For all of that, though, he still has the potential to do great things.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x94171504) étoiles sur 5 Most is "Illuminated" 8 octobre 2005
Par E. A Solinas - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Jonathan Safran Foer takes literary risks and entertaining leaps in his debut novel, "Everything is Illuminated," an amusing chunk of magical realism. It's a tragicomic experience, centering on the devastation of the Holocaust, and a modern-day quest for the past.

A young Jewish American man -- same name as the author, Jonathan Safran Foer -- travels to the Ukraine. His reason: to locate Augustine, a woman who apparently saved his grandfather from the Nazis... only he just has a photo to guide him. He's accompanied by an annoying, flatulent dog, and an old man haunted by war memories.

He also corresponds with the old man's quirky grandson Alex, and new revelations are made about both young men through their letters. And in the third story-line, we are treated to the history of Trachimbrod, an endearing shtetl full of peculiar people... which was destroyed by the Nazis long ago.

"Everything is Illuminated" seems to be primarily about the past and present, and how those two things connect. To twentysomethings now, World War II seems as distant in some ways as the Trojan War, unless brought to life by someone else's words. Foer may not have been there during the Holocaust, but his unique novel will leave you thinking and wondering about the past.

It's certainly an unconventional story. Foer has a quirky, offbeat style that gets a little off-kilter. And he bends everything from his narrative to the characters to the English language ("spleening"?). Not to mention reality -- by naming his alter ego Jonathan Safran Foer, he blurs the line between fiction and reality. Is this based on anything real? Does Alex exist? Is there a Trachimbrod? At the end of the day, none of it matters. Even if these things don't actually exist, they certainly do have real counterparts.

Foer's book is not quite a work of genius. Sometimes the fragmented, topsy-turvy narrative runs away from him. Not to mention that the in-jokes -- the flatulent dog, the Russo-American dialect -- do not age terribly well. But the humor and magical realism tinges start to fade as the Holocaust looms overhead. While the opening chapters may make you laugh, it becomes far deeper and more intricate later on.

"Everything" may not be totally illuminated, but it is a quirky, sometimes saddening book that stumbles and takes a few risks. A flawed but excellent debut.
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