J'aime beaucoup Stephen Fry mais j'avoue avoir été quelque peu déçu par 'The Liar'.
Au début, le roman est déconcertant, avec des chapitres montrant tantôt Adrian (le héros)au collège, tantôt Adrian à l'université, tantôt des épisodes d'espionnage. Plus on avance, plus on voit clair dans la chronologie et le déroulement des faits, et plus on s'oriente vers une histoire d'espionnage.
Les passages les plus intéressants sont ceux où l'on voit Adrian au collège (sans doute les plus autobiographiques), ce sont ceux où Stephen Fry joue le plus avec les mots et déploie son humour. La partie 'espionnage' m'a passablement ennuyé, à tel point que le coup de théâtre final, si bien agencé soit-il, m'a laissé indifférent.
Contrairement à ce que l'on peut lire dans les citations de critiques sur la couverture, le dos, et les premières pages du bouquin, le livre n'est pas spécialement drôle: juste quelques remarques ici et là. Fry a voulu jouer avec les genres, jouer avec la structure narrative, et le résultat pour moi n'est pas convaincant.
Je dois avouer que j'ai eu du mal avec ce livre, au début. Le style est volontairement très décousu, ça part un peu dans tous les sens. Mais à mesure que l'on avance, on ne peut plus lâcher ce drôle de roman. L'humour est omniprésent, les personnages (Adrian, mais aussi Trefusis) sont attachants. Mais surtout, et comme dans "Hippopotamus" du même auteur, la fin est absolument imprévisible. En bref, ceci est un roman très original et intelligent, cousu de l'humour inimitable de S. Fry, mais dont le style décousu peut rebuter...
Stephen Fry's first novel, The Liar, was an irresistible read, abundant with wittcisms and nervy musings by the chief protagonist, Adrian Healey, and his various consorts. In many ways, the style of writing reminded me of another splendid British author, Tibor Fischer. The Liar recounts the experiences of a young man of relative privilege on his Odyssey through Public School and University in England. Adrian Healey is a wickedly enjoyable type that most readers probably hate to love. This was a case, however, of "won the battles but lost the war", in my opinion. The individual scenes and chapters were delightful. But, the novel as a whole felt disjointed and I was very discouraged by the addition of ,what I felt was, a novel unto it self well past the two-third mark of the book. This second theme of an Intrigue variety seemed to inform the choppy-ness of the previous section so that it might be properly included. The pace of the ending chapters accelerated rapidly from those preceding and the entire style of writing changed. This disturbed me greatly, as I was enjoying the novel quite a bit before this occurred. I would have preferred that the core message be intimated without this deluge of new information. Overall, however, I do not regret one bit the time that I spent with this book and anticipate happily reading more of Fry's work.
5,0 sur 5 étoilesThe truth is that The Liar rules.
8 mars 2018 - Publié sur Amazon.com
I happened to pick up this book in a secondhand shop and fell in love with Stephen Fry. The main character of this novel is a saucy, insufferable undergrad that made me feel all types of ways. So worth the read. Fry has a special sardonic, witty as hell style that makes me want to buy this book all over and gift it to my most cherished friends.
If you've read "Moab Is My Washpot" (Fry's autobiography of his early years), then you've no need to read this. Much of his own life is interpolated into this book. Beyond that, the book is confusing in that Fry time jumps with no indication that such a leap (of faith in the reader, for one thing) has been negotiated. Also, there are italicized chapters or chapterettes wherein the characters are identified by articles of clothing rather than names - cute, but distracting.
Then the italicized chapters disappear, but the articles of clothing are mentioned later in the story. Unless one is a cult follower of Fry and carefully notates these various fashion pseudonyms in one's diary, they are annoying reminders of the anonymous italicized characters but now with names attached. But who really cares at this point?
Finally, the crux of the story is, as Fry warns us in a single sentence prologue sort of thingummy, that nothing in the plot really matters because it isn't true. The end of the story is painfully contrived - I had to force myself to read the last 10 pages or so hoping for some sort of satisfying conclusion, which did not happen.
It's as if Fry didn't trust his own story telling abilities and decided to embarrass the reader - something I don't like. When reading a work of fiction, I do like to enter the author's world, as made-up and ludicrous as it may be, and come out the other end feeling as if I would like to go back there someday. Not in this case. Door closed, and nailed shut.
The Liar is typical work from Stephen Fry in that it is erudite, witty and passages from it are cleverly and memorably phrased. Fry's love of language and his ability to improvise off of a phrase and build from it are in evidence throughout this novel. In The Liar Fry succeeds in leading the reader on something of a wild goose chase but the style and language he employs keeps the pages turning since it makes it so hard to predict where the story is headed. That is the strength and weakness of this book. It deserves 5 stars for style but only 3 for plot. Nevertheless reading Fry or listening to him for that matter is always a pleasure and I enjoyed The Liar.