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Long Falling
Long Falling
par Keith Ridgway
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 17,68

3.0 étoiles sur 5 A respectable first novel, 13 août 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Long Falling (Broché)
Grace Quinn, of English origin, has been married for 30 years to Michael Quinn, a violent and alcoholic man and has lived for the same time as an outsider in Ireland, in a small place called Monaghan. Her first son Sean drowned in a ditch when he was 3 and her second son, Martin, left to live in Dublin. He was forced to lave Monaghan after having admitted to his father that he was homosexual, a fact his father couldn't admit since "the animals in the fields don't even do that". Finally Grace can't take the violence anymore and runs over Michael with her car one night as he is coming back home, drunk.
After her crime, Grace joins her son Martin in Dublin but she soon understands that it is difficult for her to come to terms with her son's way of life and she can't help feeling out of place, bored and tired of staying in the house Martin shares with his boyfriend Henry. Furthermore there is neither escape nor redemption to be found in Dublin for the crime she committed.
An altogether interesting first novel with an original plot structure although perhaps a bit lengthy at times. Certainly Grace's psychological instability in a life which became devoid of meaning after Michael's death and her son's difficulty in trying to comprehend her behaviour in Dublin are the strong points in Mr Ridgway's novel.

A Sinless Season
A Sinless Season
par Damon Galgut
Edition : Broché

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A powerful first novel, 13 août 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : A Sinless Season (Broché)
In his first novel published in 1982, Mr Galgut tells the tragic tale of three boys of about 16 who are sent to Bleda Reformatory in South Africa, a correctional facility for under-age delinquents, the principal of which is Mr Eugene Hall. There is Joseph Hamilton, a rather plump boy of unsubtle features and of nervous composure. Scott Berry, a shy brown-eyed boy. Raoul Dean, slim and indifferent. Although the three boys were raised in different social backgrounds, they used to spend a great deal of time together. Their deviant behaviour started with small theft, breaking shop windows and resisting their parents' authority. That is why they were convicted by a children's court to stay at Bleda Reformatory until the age of 18. But to Mr Hull's great disappointment it soon transpires that the three boys are unwilling to settle into the quiet and reverential attitude which is expected of the residents at Blenda.
A harrowing account of three teenaged boys growing up in violence, resentment and vengeance, their life completely devoid of peace, joy and contentment. Once again, a South African author shows us that life in that part of the world is more a matter of survival than of living. Mr Galgut's achievement can easily be compared to some of his compatriots like André Brink, Nadine Gordimer or J. M. Coetzee.

Not On the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate
Not On the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate
par Felicity Lawrence
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 12,43

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 �What really goes into the food on your plate�, 13 août 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Not On the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate (Broché)
The title of this review is the subtitle used by Mrs Lawrence for her book. And indeed readers will discover some harrowing facts about the way the industry processes our everyday food. If you don't know what mechanically recovered meat is, how chickens are raised in Brazil, that when you order chicken in a restaurant you may in fact be eating 30% beef, that a farm is no longer a place where food is grown but an industrial complex of packing sheds around lorry parks or that the conditions under which illegal immigrants pick fruit and vegetables in Spain can be compared to "South African apartheid". The author visited a giant refrigerated packing plant near Aylesford which reminded her of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis"! Did you know that a standard shopping basket in a supermarket with 20 fresh foods represents an average accumulation of 100 000 "food miles"? One example: the mangetout or asparagus from Peru you buy have a journey of 6312 miles behind them... Or that 60% of the factory bread consumed in Britain is produced by plants belonging to two giants - who call themselves "bakeries" - British Bakeries and Allied Bakeries?
Well Mrs Lawrence has plenty of examples in store in her study which will surprise many a reader about the way our modern food is manufactured and processed. In the same vein, readers may also be interested in Joanna Blythman's very instructive discussion of supermarket policies in her book "Shopped".

Golden Soak
Golden Soak
par Hammond Innes
Edition : Broché

3.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining adventure set in Australia, 13 août 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Golden Soak (Broché)
Alec Falls studied at the Royal School of Mines in London and after that married Rosalind but his prospecting work in Belavedra ended in bad luck when his team hit granite with no vestige of tin or other mineral.
When Alec realises one day that Rosalind has left him, he decides to try his luck again in Australia, this time at an abandoned gold mine in Jarra Jarra, Golden Soak, which belongs to Ed Garrety, a man Alec met in Australia two years ago before returning to England. Before leaving their house in Cornwall, Alec sets it on fire with the hope that the media will spread the news that he died in the blaze. Will he be more successful in his second attempt at mining in Australia and will Golden Soak bring him the riches he craves for? Not an easy task in a country where the landscape is "a frozen hell, all that gold and red, and the sun a great disk blazing on the lip of the desert, sinking till its lower rim touched the horizon, melting along it like some great steel mould pouring molten metal."!

Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires
Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires
par Gilbert Adair
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 9,52

1.0 étoiles sur 5 Not worth a dime..., 11 août 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires (Broché)
Mr Adair portrays the less than original English character of Gideon who takes a teaching post at a Berlitz school in Paris in the 1980s. After getting to know the gay scene, Gideon witnesses his acquaintances fall under the spell if the first Aids wave as the result of their wild fornication and libertine banter.
Readers will find very little compassion for any of the characters. The language is crude, the tale banal. Had Mr Adair published his novel 15 years ago, it may have been of interest but unfortunately today, what the author presents as "a true story" in page 1 is completely devoid of originality.

Chien de printemps
Chien de printemps
par Patrick Modiano
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 5,70

9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Souvenirs, impressions, mélancolie..., 29 juin 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Chien de printemps (Poche)
Le narrateur, âgé de dix-huit ans en 1964, retrouve une photo de deux adolescents anonymes et perdus à Paris, photographie qui a été prise par Francis Jansen trente ans auparavant. A cette époque, celui-ci travaillait à Paris pour une revue américaine et il était l'ami et le disciple du photographe de renom Robert Capa. Il avait fréquenté une femme, une certaine Colette Laurent, qui, en 1964, tentait désespérément de prendre contact avec Jansen mais que celui-ci voulait - pour des raisons inconnues - éviter à tout prix. Homme peu loquace, Jansen est parti pour le Mexique cette année-là avec ses innombrables photos et a tout fait pour être oublié depuis.
Homme insaisissable et mystérieux, ce Jansen fait partie de la galerie des protagonistes comme seul M. Modiano sait les peindre, préférant le silence et les points de suspension aux mots. Croisements, impressions, coïncidences, paroles perdues dans la nuit des temps, oubli... Le narrateur tente de retourner dans des quartiers lointains, de retrouver ceux qu'il a perdus et tente de briser la couche de silence et d'amnésie qui l'entoure. Les silhouettes lui échappent parce qu'après trente ans les visages sont corrodés par un doute de plus en plus insidieux. Il souhaiterait faire parler les morts, les faire revenir pour de vrai et pas simplement dans ses rêves où ils sont à côté de lui et pourtant si lointains et absents. L'oubli et la disparition causent en lui un sentiment d'irréalité. Perd-on son identité si on est oublié?

Palace of Desire: Cairo  Trilogy (2)
Palace of Desire: Cairo Trilogy (2)
par Naguib Mahfouz
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 14,84

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Second part of "The Cairo Trilogy", 9 mai 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Palace of Desire: Cairo Trilogy (2) (Broché)
In the second volume of "The Cairo Trilogy", we follow the progress of Al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad's family after the death of Fahmy in a riot against the British. After more than one year, Al-Sayyid Ahmad resumes his visits to Jalila and Zubayda. The later is to become his private mistress on a houseboat on the Nile and later Yasin's wife! Kamal is now seventeen and to Al-Sayyid Ahmad's disappointment he intends to enrol at the Teachers College. His father would wish him to become a civil servant or an engineer but Kamal is more interested in literature and philosophy. He is indeed becoming an adult and his relation with his mother Amina is changing. He feels that he has nothing much to tell her except "meaningless chatter". Another disappointment for Kamal is his love for Aïda who never quite reciprocates his feelings for her.
What makes the second volume interesting is the evolution of the Egyptian society, the rules of which begin to relax as the country inexorably adopts more Western values. These values are difficult to accept for conservative people like those of Al-Sayyid Ahmad's generation. It appears that the family values suffer most from such a modernisation and in this respect Yasin is a good example with his three marriages. Like in the first volume, the reader can expect the highest literary standards in "Palace Of Desire" by one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

La dormeuse de Naples
La dormeuse de Naples
par Adrien Goetz
Edition : Broché

8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "En art, tout est faux", 9 mai 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : La dormeuse de Naples (Broché)
La citation qui donne le titre à ce commentaire est tirée du roman de M. Goetz. Mais cette maxime ne s'applique-t-elle pas également à l'ouvrage de l'auteur, "La dormeuse de Naples"? En effet, le lecteur y rencontre des peintres et des tableaux qui ont réellement existé, pourtant leurs aventures et leurs propos sont inventés car l'auteur, peu soucieux d'exactitude, se contente de se consacrer à ce qu'il appelle "la vérité littéraire."
L'action tourne autour d'un tableau, "La dormeuse de Naples", et de trois peintres: Ingres, qui aurait exécuté cette oeuvre à Naples en 1814, Corot et un ami de Géricault. Ces trois artistes relatent dans leur manuscrit les circonstances qui les ont amenés à contempler cette peinture représentant le nu d'une femme d'une extraordinaire beauté qu'Ingres a rencontrée par hasard dans une rue de Naples. "Pour moi, elle est parfaite, et même si elle ne l'est pas pour vous, ce qui compte c'est que ma peinture montre qu'elle incarne, pour moi, peintre, cette perfection" affirme Ingres à propos de son tableau. Mais c'est le fait que cette oeuvre ait disparu dans des circonstances mystérieuses peu après son exécution qui lui confère le statut d'oeuvre mythique. Et c'est l'enquête autour de la disparition du tableau qui entretient le suspense dans ce roman de M. Goetz. Où se trouve le tableau énigmatique? Qui l'a vu en dernier? Qui est le modèle mystérieux rencontré par Ingres? Une "enquête artistique" bien réussie.
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The Slave Dancer
The Slave Dancer
par Paula Fox
Edition : Broché

5.0 étoiles sur 5 The horrors of slavery, 7 mai 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Slave Dancer (Broché)
In her sensitive tale, Mrs Fox tells the story of a young boy of thirteen, Jessie Bollier. He's growing up in New Orleans at the time when slavery is still flourishing in the United States and he is often to be seen playing his flute in the "Vieux Carré".
Jessie is kidnapped by two men and brought on board "The Moonlight", a slaver which is about to sail to Africa. The trade is called "Black Gold" by Captain Cawthorne, an illegal venture making him no better than a pirate. He tells Jessie that he was kidnapped to work with the Blacks as a slave dancer on the vessel, playing his pipe, "because it keeps them happy since it is hard to make a profit out of a sick nigger". As the long voyage begins, Jessie is about to discover the atrocious business of slavery.
The originality of Mrs Fox's novel is that the events are seen and experienced by a thirteen year old boy. His naïveté is funny and touching in many situations and lightens the tone of this otherwise sombre tale.

Walking Into the Night
Walking Into the Night
par Olaf Olafsson
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 13,24

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A powerful achievement, 10 mars 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Walking Into the Night (Broché)
Kristjan Benediktsson left Iceland and came to America during the Great War. In 1921, after living some time in New York and working as a waiter at the Waldorf-Astoria, he met the enormously wealthy press magnate William Randolph Hearst who offered him the position of butler at his extravagant castle in San Simeon, California. Although Heart is still married to his wife who lives on the East Coast with their five sons, he shares his life with Miss Davies, an ageing, depressed and alcoholic movie star.
As Kristjan undertakes to write numerous and never to be sent letters to his wife Elisabet in Iceland, the reader slowly discovers the man's tragic destiny. The contents of the letters partly explain the circumstances which lead Kristjan to marry Elisabet, to save her father's business and then to abandon both his shipping company and his family to flee to New York. What were his reasons? What did he seek in America and did he find what he was looking for? Why could Elisabet never find Kristjan despite her pathetic journey to New York with two of their four children?
Mr Olafsson masterfully depicts a desperate character who can never face the members of his family again because of the choices he made earlier in his life. It is interesting to compare "Walking Into The Night" with Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains Of The Day" because, although both novels convey a different atmosphere, they both show that certain vital decisions we take in our lives are irrevocable.

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