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Commentaire: Distribué à partir du Royaume-Uni dans les 24 heures. Published by PAN BOOKS in 1962, paperback, small size.
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LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP

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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I love Lurie's work but this was a real disappointment. There is none of the depth and range of insight into the psychology of the characters as in her other novels and I found them shallow and one sided. Miranda, the hippy type chaotic mother is a stereotype and without interest. The abiding theme of a woman who is having and affair and wallowing in guilt at the same time becomes tedious. The husband's character is non existant and you never know what makes him tick or what he thinks about. The best drawn character in the book is that of her noxious kid. Lurie fans - give this one a miss.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Adultery in Academia 20 juillet 2012
Par J C E Hitchcock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The title of Alison Lurie's first novel is borrowed from Jane Austen, although Austen spelt it "Love and Freindship", and this spelling is preserved in most modern editions. Like a number of Lurie's later novels it is set among the academic community and deals with a troubled or failing marriage. The setting is a fictitious New England university, Convers College, based upon Amherst College in Massachusetts, where Lurie herself had taught. (Some of the characters are said to be based upon real individuals, something which might have made Lurie unpopular with her former colleagues. Professor Oswald McBain is said to be a portrait of a well-known academic named Theodore Baird, which might explain why his nickname is "McBear" and why reference is made to a local hill named "Mount Baird").

The main characters are Holman Turner, a young lecturer in the English department, and his wife Emily. The two are from very different social backgrounds, Holman being from a blue-collar family from Chicago, whereas Emily's family, the Stockwells, are East Coast blue-bloods. (Her father is a wealthy industrialist). Although Holman has, unknown to Emily, been unfaithful to her on a couple of occasions, she has hitherto believed her marriage a happy one, but in Convers she finds herself falling out of love with her husband, who she feels does not treat her as an intellectual equal and who is becoming obsessed with his academic work to the exclusion of his home life. She allows herself to be drawn into an affair with another young academic, Will Thomas from the music department. Two other important characters are Holman's colleague Julian Fenn and his wife Miranda.

Some of these characters, and members of their families, were to reappear in Lurie's later novels. We learn that Miranda Fenn's real name is Mary Ann, and she appears as the child Mary Ann Hubbard in "Only Children" and as Mary Ann Fenn in "The Truth about Lorin Jones". The heroine of "Real People", Janet Belle Smith, turns out to be married to Emily's brother, Clark Stockwell. Convers College itself is referred to in "The Last Resort" as the main male character, Wilkie Walker, is a professor there. Emily and Holman's young son Freddie reappears as an adult in "Foreign Affairs", where he appears to have inherited his father's academic gifts and both his parents' casual attitude to the marriage vow.

In "Love and Friendship" Lurie displays many of the talents which were to make themselves apparent in her later works, most importantly her talent for satire. Here her main target is the petty feuds and rituals of academic life. Despite his knowledge of and passion for his subject, and his gift for teaching, Julian is unable to obtain tenure at Convers, largely because of personality clashes and a feeling in high places that he is not quite the "Convers type". Any British readers who feel that Oxford and Cambridge are the world's most eccentric academic institutions should read Lurie's description of the bizarre initiation rites necessary for entry into Holman's fraternity house, or of McBain's great obsession, the all-important "Hum C" course.

Most of the novel is narrated in conventional third person style, but a notable feature is that each chapter ends with a letter from Allen Ingram, Convers' novelist-in-residence, to his friend and gay lover Francis Noyes. (Lurie actually uses the word "gay", which would suggest that it was in common use in this sense in America during the early sixties, around a decade before it became so in Britain). Neither man participates in any important way in the main plot, but Ingram clearly knows the main characters well, and Lurie uses his sharp, bitchy observations as a way of making ironic comments on those characters.

Another strength of this novel is the strong sense of place which Lurie is able to conjure up; most of the story takes place in winter, and there is a powerful atmosphere of a cold, damp, wintry New England. Perhaps the main weakness is characterisation; there are some well-drawn characters, but those are mostly peripheral ones such as Julian and Miranda, Allen Ingram, the autocratic McBain and the melancholy and garrulous cleaning lady Mrs Rabbage. The three participants in the central love-triangle, however, are less memorable; I never, for example, got any sense of why Will was so magnetic that Emily found herself drawn into an affair with him. Lurie was to deal with the topic of "adultery in academia" more convincingly in some of her later novels, such as "Foreign Affairs". Overall, however, this is a very good first novel; not Lurie's best, but one which shows clear signs of the fine writer she was to become.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 The ups and downs of an adulterous relationship 9 février 2013
Par Ralph Blumenau - Publié sur Amazon.com
This very leisurely account of Emmy Turner's adulterous affaire in a New England university community gives plenty of space to develop credible, interesting and sometimes quirky characters, believable conversations about all sorts of things (not all of them related to the plot), fine descriptions of, especially, winter landscapes (talk about love-making in a cold climate! As often as not in a car - until it gets warm enough to do it in the open air.) Class distinctions and academic hierarchies are nicely observed. The affaire, which Emmy desperately tries to keep secret, has its ups and downs, and Alison Lurie is very good at combining sympathy for painful emotions with wit. The ending is a bit complex, but it does seem right to me.

Very nicely done.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Dealing with Ideas 11 février 2007
Par Mary E. Sibley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Emmy's son Freddy is in nursery school. She falls out of love with her husband. Her husband, Holman Turner, is an instructor at Convers College. Previously Emmy always found herself in Convers or at Convers College in the summer. Members of her family thought of the place as their spiritual home. A Mrs. Rabbage arrives at the house to clean. Houses owned by the college are rented out to the faculty in accordance with rank. Holman and Emmy are able to afford to rent on their own since Emmy has her own investment-derived income. Too, they have two cars. The couple makes a ceremony of the cocktail hour.

The Humanities C course at Convers is famous. All incoming instructors are compelled to teach it and freshman are compelled to take it. Holman wants to discover the inner power politics of the course and of his department. He is equipped since he understands the Socratic method. Hum C reminds Emmy of Emerson's "Self-Reliance". Emmy's family, the Stockwells, are college donors and all of the men of the family attend the school.

The climate of Convers has been described as worse than Edinburgh. Holman and Emmy attend a party at the Fenns' house. Julian and Miranda are not ready for their guests. Their children, Charles, Richard, and Katie, have let the cat, Hecate, indoors and she has made a mess. At dinner Holman realizes that both he and Miranda have moved up in terms of social class. Emmy and Miranda become friends and Emmy visits Miranda in order to escape from the talkative Mrs. Rabbage. The old stove at the Fenns' house causes a fire. The college stands to lose money since the house is not properly insured. It is maintained the family is at fault and Julian's rudeness leads to his loss of employment at Convers.

Julian Fenn and the others have been told that they are at Convers to deal with ideas. A friend tells Emmy that she has imaginary scruples and guilts that she has picked up from her husband. It is improper, the instructors of Hum C are told, to incite students to take action.

The author uses dialogue, other conventional means, and an epistolary device to drive the story. It is droll fare.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amherst College in the 1950's, Perfectly Portrayed 25 juillet 2001
Par Norris Hoyt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I just finished reading this book which was published forty years ago. I love the book because it is a preternaturally accurate and insightful portrayal of Amherst College as it existed in the mid-1950s. I know because I was a student at Amherst in the class of '57. There are many characters who are instantly identifiable as real people at Amherst, such as James Merrill and the renowned (or infamous) professor Theodore Baird ["Oswald McBane"]. I don't know how enjoyable the book will be for readers without an Amherst connection. But for me, it's wonderful, because I disliked Amherst College as much as many of the novel's major characters do, and as Alison Lurie herself obviously did when she was there, married to an English instructor. I'm happy because, when my classmates and I are gone, posterity will remember Amherst as I knew it and as Ms. Lurie has depicted it. Ah, redemption!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amherst College in the 1950's, Perfectly Portrayed 25 juillet 2001
Par Norris Hoyt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I just finished reading this book which was published forty years ago. I love the book because it is a preternaturally accurate and insightful portrayal of Amherst College as it existed in the mid-1950s. I know because I was a student at Amherst in the class of '57. There are many characters who are instantly identifiable as real people at Amherst, such as James Merrill and the renowned (or infamous) professor Theodore Baird ["Oswald McBain"]. I don't know how enjoyable the book will be for readers without an Amherst connection. But for me, it's wonderful, because I disliked Amherst College as much as many of the novel's major characters do, and as Alison Lurie herself obviously did when she was there, married to an English instructor. I'm happy because, when my classmates and I are gone, posterity will remember Amherst as I knew it and as Ms. Lurie has depicted it. Ah, redemption!
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