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The Idiot

Lu par : Elif Batuman
Durée : 13 h et 40 min
Catégories : Anglais - Fiction, Chick Lit
5 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.

At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan's friends. On the way she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin's summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom, its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman's fiction is unguarded against both life's affronts and its beauty - and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling that they entail.

©2017 Elif Batuman (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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Notations

Global

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Interprétation

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Histoire

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21/04/2017

Fascinating point of view

The author's voice and experiences are interestingly objective - intelligent, restrained and artifice- free. If you require a plot-driven story, this isn't the one for you. If, though, you'd like to get out of your head and into the author's, then dive on in!

13 sur 13 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lengthy
  • 04/07/2017

Disappointing narration

What disappointed you about The Idiot?

The narrator is the author and she should stick to writing. Her flat narration ruined the book for me. It was like someone telling jokes who ruins a good punch line every time.

What did you like best about this story?

I think if I read it that it would be funny. Half way through the book I decided to read it instead of listening to the rest.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Elif Batuman?

Anyone with more dramatic flair or sense of humor.

12 sur 13 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian Jobling
  • 19/05/2017

Captures the strangeness of being

This account of a young woman's first year at Harvard and summer trip to Hungary captures the random directionlessness of life and of the mind and also the human foreignness to language. Batuman captures the feeling that words are incapable of describing our experience and that no one even begins to understand this problem. If you're looking for the kind of "twisty plot" that is so common these days, you will be disappointed. But if you are ready for a new dimension of existence to be revealed to you, this is the book.

8 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 15/05/2017

Flawless

It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a book this much for language, thought and tone alone. Thanks, Elif Batuman.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28/05/2018

The perfect book

I thought reading “The Idiot” was the best things could get, but then I found “The Possessed”. After reading “The Possessed” I was relatively sure I had found the closest I could get to a soul in novel form. But then I heard Elif read her own words out loud and I knew I was wrong. If you don’t download this book you’re an idiot.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan Reiser
  • 21/02/2018

Narration awful. Dull, no emotion!

May be better to read. The narrator ruined it. Also, no plot. Read like a Junior High diary. Sorry to be so harsh but bad listen!!

3 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles Manning
  • 20/08/2019

Don’t read if still in college.

Just excellent! A delight to listen to, gets one so close to college days, yet manages to leave the perfect space for contemplation and critique. And the wit, it makes me second guess what I just wrote, makes me ask what is man?

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Brana Kosanic
  • 03/08/2019

The most boring read ever

Performance is below mind numbingly boring, this performer should be baned from reading aloud to others!

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan
  • 15/07/2019

Banal in the Extreme

I kept waiting for something to happen. I knew it was written as a memoir of a year in the life of a Harvard teenager, but it sounds like it was written by a Harvard teenager. The treks through the parks and lakes are allegorical of nothing. The misunderstanding and discovery of language reveals nothing. A teenager struggled in her first year of adult life. She went on an adventure and struggled. She liked a boy and struggled. Just like everyone else.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Mireia Sainz Canela
  • Mireia Sainz Canela
  • 08/07/2019

From nowhere to nowhere

I was unsure about this book, but unlike some reviewers, I have enjoyed the sweet voice of the author: it sounds as if it were her inner voice reading out her thoughts to you, trying not to sway your opinion one way or another.
However, I rated it with three stars, as I was expecting more of a story or a plot. I grabbed the author's hand, and walked with her for many months, countries, people, through great awkwardness... up to nowhere.
I had been building expectations, but there was nothing in the end, the same kind of hollow sensation that impregnated everything else.