Aykut Sevin Sevin de Aglen, Bulgaria
C'était l'un des nombreux livres que mon superviseur m'a remis au cours de mon premier mois @ 93, mais c'était de loin l'un des plus utiles. Beers 'explique très clairement comment mettre en œuvre les stratégies de lecture dans l'enseignement ELA; elle propose de nombreuses idées pratiques et utiles que j'ai réellement employées dans ma classe. Ses petites anecdotes sur George, un ancien élève, étaient quelque peu ringardes, mais cela me donne envie d'avoir un élève comme George, quelqu'un pour me garder engagé dans la profession. Je pensais que j'avais un enfant un peu comme ça, mais il est retourné à l'école cette semaine et j'ai été douloureusement rappelé qu'il n'était pas George.
I absolutely loved this book. Some people were expecting some waiter's version of "Kitchen Confidential" or whatever the hell that book is, but this is an entirely separate book unto itself. Sure, it's not the deepest memoir I've ever read, but it was funny, held my attention, and I thought it was interesting to be privy to the goings-on in upscale restaurants. Not to mention I appreciated the writer's sense of humor - Steve didn't try to be over the top with his humor and never came across as though he was trying too hard. I've never read his blog, but I imagine fans of his blog would enjoy the book. Good brain candy.
This was a quite entertaining book, and some of the characters and scenes were, I think the phrase is, 'beautifully observed'. In fact I wrote a review of it for work so if you are seriously contemplating whether to read it or not this may well help you. Or of course you could always just read my review instead - it's quite lengthy. Firstly, I liked this as a book: it was wittily and amusingly written, but quite simple and not particularly demanding to read. The story kept me interested and wondering about the end, although I wouldn’t say that I was gripped. Its story was an analogy to do with Nazis during the post-war era which I must say wasn’t obvious to me – I would put this down to the book having dated given that a lot of people in the 21st Century are not particularly au fait with the social implications following the demise of Nazism. Having said this it provided a mirror to what happens to a lot of countries and people after war. However, I would not say that this not being obvious was much of a problem, being unaware of it just shaves off an element from what is otherwise an entertaining story. The plot centres around Lorry Widdenberg – a princess whose full name is Lorelei Ulrike Maria von und zu Boschkampf von Widdenburg - who starts the story at a Swiss finishing school at the age of 13 with various other titled and grand girl friends, although none as aristocratic, beautiful or charming as her. Lorry is vastly intellectually-developed, socially-aware and a thoroughly rebellious young girl, who, outraged at the injustices meted out to the Baader-Meinhof-Esslin group during the Second World War, forms the Himbeere group with four of her friends. Himbeere’s main aim is the destruction of fascism thereby putting an end to worldwide social and sexual inequality. They call this period the Raspberry Reich, and their emblem is a raspberry with blood coming from it, secretly worn underneath their uniform printed on t-shirts. Their activities culminate in a screeching and offensive punk number performed at their end of term concert – following on the heels of Bach recitals, upper-crust mummies drop their caviar canapés etc., and the girls are subsequently expelled. Fortuitously, Lorry’s mother dies in a car crash with her latest ‘fabulous’ young man, leaving Lorry an orphan. She is shipped off to stay with her grandfather, with whom her long-dead scientific genius of a father had fallen out before her birth, as a result of his defection to the America after the war. Against her will, Lorry is mesmerised by the fairytale castle, deer-populated grounds and her dignified magical grandfather, Von Widdenberg. Lorry becomes Lorelei, and fits in to the lifestyle of a princess in terms of dress, language and decorum. The levis and Mickey Mouse trainers are stuffed to the back of her new wardrobe. However, after a few weeks of getting along ‘divinely’ with her grandfather, cracks start to appear when he goes back to spending time with his mistress the Countess Stephanie, and soon the precocious, cynical and lonely Lorry reappears: the Lorry who has been shunted between boarding schools, missing her dead father and in denial of her glamorous but absent mother’s recent death. She decides to invite one of the Himbeere gang over, the large-breasted and sexually-voracious Clio Hankey-Heymann, and while exploring they discover her grandfather’s secret bank office, hidden behind a moveable bookcase in the castle’s library. There they find a photo of her beloved grandfather shaking hands with Hitler, a case of swastika-embossed daggers, and equally-incriminating war medals. Lorry is deeply shocked, and the discovery obviously has dire repercussions for her new-found security with the only remaining member of her family.