Archives du mot-clé In English

If we were villains – ML Rio

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SynopsisV2

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade before.

As a young actor at an elite conservatory, Oliver noticed that his talented classmates seem to play the same characters onstage and off – villain, hero, temptress – though he was always a supporting role. But when the teachers change the casting, a good-natured rivalry turns ugly, and the and the plays spill dangerously over into real life.

When tragedy strikes, one of the seven friends is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless…

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You can justify anything if you do it poetically enough.”

Ce premier roman de ML Rio est vendu comme une histoire inspirée du Maître des illusions de Donna Tartt, qui mêle amour, amitié et obsession sur fond de drame Shakespearien. La comparaison était audacieuse et si le thème de départ n’est pas sans rappeler celui du chef d’œuvre de Tartt, elle s’arrête là. Niveau style et profondeur des personnages, on n’arrive évidemment pas au niveau de Tartt (qui restera toujours le maître incontesté du genre). Toutefois, ce livre n’est pas dépourvu d’intérêt et de qualités.

Il est un peu compliqué de parler de ce livre en français car la musicalité du texte sonne beaucoup mieux dans la langue de Shakespeare (qui est, on peut le dire, un des personnages principaux du texte). Tout n’y est qu’apparence, comédie, théâtre, où les passions violentes d’un petit groupe d’étudiants vont se confondre avec celles des personnages qu’ils incarnent tout au long du livre.

Far too many times I had asked myself whether art was imitating life or if it was the other way round.”

L’histoire commence avec le personnage d’Oliver, jeune trentenaire, qui sort d’une peine de 10 ans de prison à la suite du meurtre d’un membre de son groupe d’amis dont il s’est accusé. Il décide alors de se confesser au commissaire qui était chargé de l’enquête à l’époque. Ce dernier va bientôt partir à la retraite et aimerait avoir le fin mot de ce qui s’est réellement passé, toutes ces années auparavant, dans l’intimité de ce petit groupe d’étudiants férus de théâtre.

Dans une pièce en 5 actes (le livre est découpé en actes et scènes, à la manière d’une pièce de théâtre), Oliver raconte. On est tout de suite embarqué dans l’atmosphère feutrée, presque irréelle de l’université élitiste de Dellecher où 6 étudiants de dernière année vivent dans une ambiance assez sectaire (toujours ensemble, à confondre parfois (souvent ?) la réalité et les drames des personnages qu’ils incarnent).

“When we first walked through those doors, we did so without knowing that we were now part of some strange fanatic religion where anything could be excused as long as it was offered at the altar of the Muses. Ritual madness, ecstasy, human sacrifice. Were we bewitched? Brainwashed? Perhaps.”

Les personnages peuvent sembler un peu clichés au premier abord : Meredith la femme fatale, Richard l’égo maniaque, Wren l’ingénue etc… Mais au fur et à mesure de l’histoire et des castings qui vont leur faire jouer d’autres rôles que ceux dont ils avaient l’habitude, tout se fissure, se délite, et on voit le drame se profiler inexorablement vers une fin tragique. Comme dans une pièce de Shakespeare. Jusqu’où est-on prêt à aller pour la beauté du geste ? Est-ce que vivre ce n’est pas finalement se mettre en scène de la manière la plus belle manière possible ? Comment définir la frontière si poreuse entre art et réalité ?

Donna Tartt disait dans Le maître des illusions « Beauty is terror ». Ce roman de ML Rio en est la preuve.

“What is more important, that Caesar is assassinated or that he is assassinated by his intimate friends?” It wasn’t the sort of question that needed an answer, so no one replied. Frederick was watching me, I realized, with the proud, fatherly affection he usually reserved for James – who gave me a faint but encouraging smile when I glanced across the table. “That,” Frederick said, “is where the tragedy is.””

EnconclusionV2

L’autrice, au-delà d’un thriller bien ficelé, rend également un très bel hommage à Shakespeare (par tout un tas de références et de citations, ainsi que la manière ampoulée dont les étudiants parlent entre eux). En bref, une réussite !

Nota Bene A lire entre La Tempête et Hamlet !

Ma note :

lovediit


Editeur : TITAN BOOKS
Date parution : 13/06/17
ISBN : 9781785656477
Nb de pages : 400 pages

I, Too – Langston Hughes

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Petit article qui n’en est pas vraiment un. Je regardais le dernier épisode de la magnifique série This is Us (S4E7) et j’ai été incroyablement touchée par cette scène interprétée brillamment par le jeune Randall qui lit I, too de Langston Hughes à son père.

Parce que parfois il est vain de vouloir expliquer un poème.

Parce que la musique des mots se suffit à elle-même.

Parce que c’est un texte important.

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I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.
Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—
I, too, am America.

*

The Argonauts – Maggie Nelson

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SynopsisV2

An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family.
A timely and genre-bending memoir that offers fresh and fierce reflections on motherhood, desire, identity and feminism.
At the centre of The Argonauts is the love story between Maggie Nelson and the artist Harry Dodge, who is fluidly gendered. As Nelson undergoes the transformations of pregnancy, she explores the challenges and complexities of mothering and queer family making.

myopinion

I was quite desperate when I began this book. Desperate because I seem to have been unable to pick good books for the past few weeks… So I just went for this one that was supposed to be a must-read. I was quite dubitative at first but I gave it a shot and… THANK GOD ! A good and smart book at last !!!

The Argonauts is a really smart and complex book about love, identity, and gender fluidity. Maggie Nelson first explains through a lot of intellectual references how language can mean so much through the metaphor of the Argo (hence the title the Argonauts) :

“A day or two after my love pronouncement, now feral with vulnerability, I sent you the passage from Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes in which Barthes describes how the subject who utters the phrase “I love you” is like “the Argonaut renewing his ship during its voyage without changing its name.” Just as the Argo’s parts may be replaced over time but the boat is still called the Argo, whenever the lover utters the phrase “I love you,” its meaning must be renewed by each use, as “the very task of love and of language is to give to one and the same phrase inflections which will be forever new.”

I really love auto-fiction and how I could relate and learn from Maggie’s experiences. How to build an opinion on subjects that never brought my attention before but, even though all of this was interesting, I didn’t totally like the main character. I mean, she’s pretty sure about what is and what should be and maybe it is cynical but the way she started this book, trying to catch the reader’s attention with all this « ass-fucking descriptions » didn’t really worked for me. She has so much more to say… She didn’t have to try to be so « transgressive » to show bold authenticity.

inconclusion

This book was necessary. Really well written and full of references. A best-seller for good reasons I guess and I really enjoyed this discovery. If you guys are into authentic queer art : go see Nanette on Netflix by the incredible Hannah Gadsby !

My grade :

quatresurcinq


Editeur : MELVILLE HOUSE
Date parution : 04/16
ISBN : 9780993414916
Nb de pages : 184 pages

 

Not a « what if » situation anymore

We often reach this point in a distopian series where we wonder what we would do in this situation. What would we do if women were deprived of basic human rights ? What would we do if a bunch of white old men would casually treat women like living wombs ? What would we do if women were taken away their rights to read, to write, to breathe? What would we do during this slow and scary revolution to dictatorship ?
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Would we turn a blind eye on it? Would we tweet about it? Would we discuss it on dinners among friends? Would we stand together and protest on the streets?
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Well. I wish it could only have been a « what if » situation, a random train of thoughts and a wild escape in our imagination but it is not a « what if » situation anymore. Today, in America, doctors can actually go to jail for performing abortions, woman face prison if not death for it. Rapists face less consequences than their victims. This is not just « another bad news » among the bad news. This is clearly war on women. And America is next door. Let’s wake up and not allow any longer our basic rights to be challenged. As much as I love reading and watching The Handmaid’s Tale by the brilliant Margaret Atwood, let’s not make it our reality. Humanity can do better. We can do better.
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The rules do not apply – Ariel Levy

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SynopsisV2

« I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t have it all. »

Ariel Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she lived believing that conventional rules no longer applied – that marriage doesn’t have to mean monogamy, that aging doesn’t have to mean infertility, that she could be ‘the kind of woman who is free to do whatever she chooses’. But all of her assumptions about what she can control are undone after a string of overwhelming losses.

« I thought I had harnessed the power of my own strength and greed and love in a life that could contain it. But it has exploded. »

Levy’s own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed – and what never can.

 

myopinion

Ariel Levy is way too cool.

She made me think of this friend, sort of crazy (not in a clinical sense, crazy in a good way! most of times at least), that is also a little « too much ». The kind that dies her hair pink a Tuesday on the spur of the moment because she cried in front of the perfection of a sunset and she realized that « Pink is a psychedelic color, I swear hun, you were not there you can’t get it! » (The girl is 30. Everything is fiiiine. Thanks to her, I’m the one that seems to be « all together » for once. So refreshing.) My friend also speaks with a flow so high that it defies imagination. She’s always way way too happy about the little things of life. I love people like that, for whom everything is so intense, people that don’t follow the rules and that, contrary to most people (contrary to me), allow themselves to say fuck to conventions.

.« Daring to think that the rules do not apply is the mark of a visionary. It’s also a symptom of narcissism. »

Still, it’s nice to read the story of an imperfect person that is trying (shouldn’t we all?) to be honest with herself. She’s really self-conscious about who she is and what she wants and she manages to get it. Fake it until you make it. This might be another definition of bravery, I guess. It’s allowing oneself to be happy even though we don’t think we deserve it because, let’s face it, we haven’t always been « perfect ».

« I didn’t want her girlfriend to suffer. But I didn’t feel particularly guilty, either. They seemed so far from love, I even thought (stupidly) that the girlfriend might be happy to have Lucy taken off her hand. They had become strangers. Maybe they always had been. And we were magic. »

For instance when she cheats on her girlfriend and she justifies it with this nebulous theory that love dedicated to only ONE person is not contradictory to sleeping from time to time with random people, if there is attraction etc… Well, well, well. Let’s test this theory. I’m not sure my boyfriend would be that tolerant! But, to be perfectly honest, I kind of agree with Ariel about this « cheating issue ». This is quite ridiculous and childish when you think about it. Mariage is a social construction that hasn’t been existing for so long regarding the story of mankind. And being physically attracted to sb else doesn’t take anything from your loved one. Of course, the advantage to submit to social pressure/the norm is to be « part of the group  » (i feel like I’m talking about animals… weird). ANYWAY. You sort of have to get married, have children, a long-term contract (I wish!) to check the boxes of a « successful life » (says who?) but… Is that really what we want? Is that really what we should do?

« One day you are very young and the suddenly you are thirty-five and it is Time. You have to reproduce, or else. »

The mere thought of having to stay stuck with the same person till the end of my life is terribly scary… It’s like, voluntarily, getting on a highway to hell, direction death, without any fun on the way. But since divorce is an option, and so a real possibility, all is not necessarily lost dixit Ariel.

*

I also really liked all the moments where she talks about her job as a journalist, as a writer, about the fact that she needs to tell stories and live things twice (live them and then write them). I think she tried (unconsciously maybe) to turn her life into something « novel material » so she could write about it. Isn’t it what we all secretly want? To have a crazy destiny? Because we always believe that we are invulnerable (obviously since we are the main character of our story) but we get back from it. No, no. We are the main character of absolutely nothing at all. Nada. Niet. Rien du tout. First disillusionment of life when you realize that, actually, you don’t control anything and in face of hard ordeals, you’re not this hero you thought you would be. You’re just that pathetic little thing, crying over your terrible fate. The thing is, I guess, at least to try to become the best version of yourself. Fake it until you make it. Always and forever. And maybe someday, it will become true…

I could talk about this book forever. I’ll have my pink-haired friend read it, maybe she’ll get inspired and dye them green who knows!

inconclusion

Plus, Ariel liked my tweet. Ariel. I know, right ??? Like we’re already on first-name basis, like we’re kind of best friends now. God, I’m so delusional. Anyway, if you want to have a long talk with a friend just dive in, dive in this book, take a breath and enjoy the journey because man, it’s worth it ! AND READ IT IN ENGLISH PLEASE (way better this way, french fellows <3).

Nota Bene : I read it on my first day to work, heading to a job I’m passionate about and this book really comforted me that life is too short for compromise. Life is made to be lived 100%. Don’t waste your time with things you « kind of » like. Dream and live Big. Dare to be « too much ». And READ THIS BOOK!

My grade :

quatresurcinq


Editeur : RANDOM HOUSE
Date parution : 03/17
ISBN : 9780812996937
Nb de pages : 224 pages

 

The girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer

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SynopsisV2

The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is – a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.

Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friends – an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably – but only because it’s over.

myopinion

I have wanted to read this book for a loooooong time. I have always been fond of Amy Schumer ever since I discovered her. There is just something about her. She’s brutally honest and relatable in so many ways. I didn’t really know what to expect with this book because I only read one « celebrity » book before and it was really bad. Still, I took a chance here and it was worth it. Good job Amy! (as if you needed my approval… and as If she were reading this^^)

I felt like I just got out of one long talk with a friend.  She just states things as they are, standing in her truth. I laughed a lot, looked up for her sometimes, and I cried… A little. Well, this is not just a funny book about her crazy sex &love experiences (of course there are some of those which are hilarious!), or about her weight issues (by the way why does people always feel the need to talk about her weight when there is so much more to say about her than that?).

« We took off and I pretended to be really scared of flying. There was zero turbulence, yet I still found reasons to grab his arm and bury my face in his shoulder, inhaling his scent. I was blatantly throwing myself at him and we both laughed at how aggressive I was being. » – The only one-night stand

This book is not just a bunch of funny stories. It’s her story, who she is. She’s not that super hero funny and happy all the time. She had her hard times, she fought to get where she is. She has her flaws, of course she’s far from perfect (and she constantly repeats it) but she’s come a long way and somehow, now she knows who she is and wants to be.

I know my worth. I embrace my power. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story. I will. I’ll speak and share and fuck and love, and I will never apologize for it. I am amazing for you, not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you.

There are so many things to say about this book actually : how she made it in the business, the stories of her childhood, her strong opinion (which I share) about gun control, her lists (I love lists!), her references (either books, series or movies – We girls can relate). But if I had to share the strongest moment of the book it would be this one. Because it is true and I think that we should share it to girls and women. (this was my #feminist moment).

« (…) There are lots of « firsts » like this in life, little flashpoint here and there when you’re unknowingly becoming a woman. And it’s not cliché shit, like when you have your first kiss or drive your first car. You become a woman the first time you stand up for yourself when they get your order wrong at a dinner, or when you first realize your parents are full of shit. (…) The first time your heart breaks. The first time you break someone else’s heart. The first time someone you love dies. The first time you lie and make yourself look bad so a friend you love can look better. And less dramatic things are meaningful too, like the first time a guy tries to put a finger in your ass. The first time you express the reality that you don’t want that finger in your ass. That you really don’t want anything in your ass at all. (…) You will remember all these moments later as the moments that made you the woman you are. Everyone tells you it happens when you get your first period, but really it happens when you insert your first tampon and teach your best friend to do the same ».

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Share the word ladies.

inconclusion

She’s a woman I really would love to meet, with strong opinions and that is not afraid anymore to stand up for what she believes in. I must say I’m impressed and I respect her all the more. I strongly advise you to read this book. 🙂

Nota Bene To read in your private jet on your way to Amy Schumer’s show!

My grade :

quatresurcinq


Editeur : GALLERY BOOKS
Date parution : 16/08/16
ISBN : 9781501139888
Nb de pages : 336 pages

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – JK Rowling

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« The eighth story. Nineteen years later »

 

myopinion

Let’s ride the Hogwart Express one more time!

Potter and I go way back! The mere fact of touching the cover of this new volume gave me the chills. True story. I used to have a whole ritual around the release of each HP book you know? My mom would get up at dawn and wait in front of the bookshop so I could get my copy as soon as I woke up. I would manage to “fortunately” get sick so I would miss school and read in my bed the new Harry Potter’s adventures. Best sick-days ever. Well, now I’m a grown-up and I don’t get to miss school to read a book but for Harry, I sure would make an exception.

Needless to say that I was insanely happy (and it’s an understatement) when I heard about The cursed child, the script of a play that takes place 19 years after and makes Albus Severus Potter, Harry’s son, the new protagonist of the story. Some (haters much??) would argue that this volume is not a “real Harry Potter” since it’s a play but even if it needs some adjusting for the reader at the beginning; the story quickly carries us away. I will only pitch the book and genuinely won’t say much because it would just be mean to spoil you the secrets JK Rowling revealed in this book (and trust me there are a bunch of them!).

We happen to find our heroes right where we left them, on the platform of King’s cross, Albus worried-sick about getting sent to Slytherin and his father reassuring him. All was well.

And then all was not. Indeed, it’s not easy to be one’s father’s son, all the more when one’s father is “the boy who lived”. Through his first years at Hogwarts, Albus suffers from the constant comparison with his father and wishes his peers wouldn’t consider him as a failure. Somehow, he blames Harry, this hero that won’t seem to understand him.

Until one day, a 14-year old Albus overhears a conversation between Amos Diggory and Harry. Amos had been begging for an interview with Harry for a few months because he had heard about a rumour that the Ministry of Magic possesses one last time turner (they were supposed to have been all destroyed after the war) and he begs Harry to use it to bring back Cedric, his son, his everything. Because Cedric was not supposed to die, he was just a spare after all. Harry refuses since he knows the risks of messing with the timeline.

Albus, outraged by the disinterest of his father in this matter decides with his best friend, Scorpius Malfoy, to find the last remaining Time Turner and save Cedric but everything won’t go as planned (the least we can say)…

inconclusion

This is not a secret. I am crazy about Harry Potter in a way that might respond to medication. Always have been, always will be. Though, it’s the good kind of crazy. It’s the kind that makes me believe that in the darkest times one can find the light. It’s the kind that makes my imagination go wild and my dreams become so full of magic. It’s the kind that makes my eyes go from a lighter to a streetlamp and think … What if ?

Thank you Mrs Rowling for making us muggles, believe.

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« After all this time ? – Always », to read while listening to « Arrival of the birds »

My appreciation :

lovediit


Editeur : LITTLE BROWN
Date parution : 31/07/16
ISBN : 9781338099133
Nb de pages : 352 pages