Book review: The Greenland Breach – I love France #73

I LOVE FRANCE!

I plan to publish this meme every Thursday.

You can share here about any book

or anything cultural you just discovered related to France, Paris, etc.

Please spread the news on Twitter, Facebook, etc !

Feel free to grab my button,

and link your own post through Mister Linky,

at the bottom of this post.

*******

The Greenland Breach

by

Bernard BESSON

285 pages
113,000 words

Release date: October 30, 2013
by Le French Book

  The Greenland BreachIsbn: 978-1-939474-94-0 (Kindle)
978-1-939474-95-7 (epub)

Purchase on

Le French Book | Buy The Greenland Breach for your Kindle Buy The Greenland Breach for your iPad, iPhone or iPod touchBuy The Greenland Breach for your NookBuy The Greenland Breach for your Kobo

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

     Books on FranceNew Authors 2013 

2013 Ebook Challenge aroundtheworld2012

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

Rating systemWhen I was a teen in France, it was fairly common to hear about Bernard Besson, a top-level chief of staff of the French intelligence services. I was totally thrilled when I discovered he was also a writer, and that his spy thriller The Greenland Breach had just been translated in English! With that type of career background, I could imagine how good his thriller would be.

And indeed it is! I believe actually only someone with that sort of stature could have written such a complex and intricate thriller.

I treat spy thrillers as historical novels, in the sense that I start reading with a pen and a paper to write down all the names, trying to put them in different camps, the good, the bad, who is friend/enemy with, etc. You definitely need to do this with this thriller, as you meet many characters, in different milieus. And when you think you know who is with whom, well, something happens and you need to reconsider; actually it may take you the whole book to figure it all out, and that’s the beauty of spy stories. If it’s too easy to guess, what fun is that!

The book starts with a mysterious Lars Jensen in a very disturbing scene in Greenland: the global warming has gradually so much hurt the planet that it seems to be going through its last pangs, as the Arctic ice caps are breaking up.
Then you are quickly sent to Paris, where you meet John Spencer Larivière: he just received an unknown mission, but sure to bring him a very nice amount of money.
And finally you find yourself in the company of Le Guévenec on his boat the Bouc-Bel-Air, between Le Havre, France, and Greenland, surrounded by icebergs.

Little by little, you discover big companies behind these people, companies that could be ready to do anything to secure the few reminding natural resources on earth. And it gets more and more nasty, more and more mysterious and intriguing, and you can’t just stop reading, until you discover the truth of what’s really going between a few super powers.

It was fascinating to read a story set on the background of global warming and cyber conflicts, with all the ugly intrigues and fights such a situation could easily lead to in a not too distant future.

I really liked the descriptions of the characters, the almost innocent ones caught in something so much bigger than they could ever expect, the mean ones, the women – yes, there are a few tough ones in here. I also enjoyed Luc, the internet geek and pirate, who is really good and creative at what he is doing!

I really enjoyed how the story broadened up and staged countries in death and survival situations, including the Inuits. The whole plot is really breath taking in its width and astute intricacy.

And the descriptions of the landscape are incredible: they are really apocalyptic like in several examples, and so beautiful at the same time, on the ice and in the sea. I felt there, caught in fear and ecstatic beauty in the same minute.

If you feel bored in your little corner of the Earth and are eager for adventure, read this smart book now!

And I hope Le French Book will translate more books by Bernard Besson!

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

 A stylish, fast-paced spy thriller about the intrigue, economic warfare and struggles for natural resources promised by global warming. The Arctic ice caps are breaking up. Europe and the East Coast of the Unites States brace for a tidal wave. Meanwhile, former French intelligence officer John Spencer Larivière, his karate-trained, steamy Eurasian partner, Victoire, and their bisexual computer-genius sidekick, Luc, pick up an ordinary freelance assignment that quickly leads them into the glacial silence of the great north, where a merciless war is being waged for control of discoveries that will change the future of humanity. [provided by the publisher]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND THE TRANSLATOR

Bernard BESSON

Award-winning thriller writer Bernard Besson, who was born in Lyon, France, in 1949, is a former top-level chief of staff of the French intelligence services, an eminent specialist in economic intelligence and Honorary General Controller of the French National Police. He was involved in dismantling Soviet spy rings in France and Western Europe when the USSR fell and has real inside knowledge from his work auditing intelligence services and the police. He has also written a number of prize-winning thrillers and several works of nonfiction. He currently lives in the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris, right down the street from his heroes.
Julie Rose is a prize-winning, world-renowned translator of major French thinkers, known for, among other works, her acclaimed translation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, which was published by Random House in 2008. She has translated twenty-eight books, including many French classics, and writes on the side. She lives in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, with her husband, dog and two cats.

COME BACK ON NOVEMBER 6
FOR MY INTERVIEW WITH THE TRANSLATOR
AND A GIVEAWAY!

***

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NOVEL ON GLOBAL WARMING?

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE

***

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN THIS BOOK?
CLICK ON THE BANNER HERE BELOW
TO READ OTHER REVIEWS
AND ENTER A GIVEAWAY!

Greenland Breach bannerIn full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook for free from  the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.

***

Just a reminder guys:

If you link your own post on France,

please if possible

include the title of the book or topic in your link:

name of your blog (name of the book title or topic):

example : me @ myblog (Camus)

Thanks!

Advertisements

New book releases: Flight behavior

Flight Behavior

by

Barbara KINGSOLVER

448 pages

Publication date:
today, November 6th 2012 by HarperCollins

 

Are you a fan of great American writing? of Barbara Kingsolver? Be prepared then for another great read with Flight Behavior!

Right away, Kingsolver grabs your attention with her fluid style. What I mean by that, is that when I read Kingsolver, I often lose the feeling that I am reading, it feels so much like she is taking you in real life, with very human characters, with their daily concerns, their dreams, their dialogs full of graphic, inventive images. How can she come up with those really funny and so self-explanatory images?

Dellarobia Turnbow has been living on a farm in the Appalachia with her husband, her two young kids, and not too friendly in-laws, and she has had enough with her narrow world. One day, as she has reached the edge of what she can bear and is ready to plunge into a romantic affair, she hikes a nearby wood to join a handsome potential lover. On her way, she witnesses an event of a majestic beauty that takes her breath away, eventually opening a much wider horizon than the one she was prepared for; launching her in new directions affecting her entire life.

As a matter of fact, I really enjoyed…

Are you intrigued?

Go read my full review

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist, and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in Africa in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in Biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her most famous works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a non-fiction account of her family’s attempts to eat locally.

Her work often focuses on topics such as social justice, biodiversity, and the interaction between humans and their communities and environments. Each of her books published since 1993 have been on The New York Times Best Seller list. Kingsolver has received numerous awards, including the UK’s Orange Prize for Fiction 2010, for The Lacuna and the National Humanities Medal. She has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

In 2000, Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize to support “literature of social change.”

Kingsolver was born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1955 and grew up in Carlisle in rural Kentucky. When Kingsolver was seven years old, her father, a physician, took the family to the former Republic of Congo in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her parents worked in a public health capacity, and the family lived without electricity or running water.

After graduating from high school, Kingsolver attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana on a music scholarship, studying classical piano. Eventually, however, she changed her major to biology when she realized that “classical pianists compete for six job openings a year, and the rest of [them:] get to play ‘Blue Moon’ in a hotel lobby.” She was involved in activism on her campus, and took part in protests against the Vietnam war. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1977, and moved to France for a year before settling in Tucson, Arizona, where she would live for much of the next two decades. In 1980 she enrolled in graduate school at the University of Arizona, where she earned a Master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology.

Kingsolver began her full-time writing career in the mid 1980s as a science writer for the university, which eventually lead to some freelance feature writing. She began her career in fiction writing after winning a short story contest in a local Phoenix newspaper. In 1985 she married Joseph Hoffmann; their daughter Camille was born in 1987. She moved with her daughter to Tenerife in the Canary Islands for a year during the first Gulf war, mostly due to frustration over America’s military involvement. After returning to the US in 1992, she separated from her husband.

In 1994, Kingsolver was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from her alma mater, DePauw University. She was also married to Steven Hopp, that year, and their daughter, Lily, was born in 1996. In 2004, Kingsolver moved with her family to a farm in Washington County, Virginia, where they currently reside. In 2008, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Duke University, where she delivered a commencement address entitled “How to be Hopeful”.

In a 2010 interview with The Guardian, Kingsolver says, “I never wanted to be famous, and still don’t, […:] the universe rewarded me with what I dreaded most.” She says created her own website just to compete with a plethora of fake ones, “as a defence to protect my family from misinformation. Wikipedia abhors a vacuum. If you don’t define yourself, it will get done for you in colourful ways.” [Goodreads]

To read more about Barbara Kingsolver and her books, go to her website.

CRITICAL PRAISE FOR FLIGHT BEHAVIOR

“Drawing on both her Appalachian roots and her background in biology, Kingsolver delivers a passionate novel on the effects of global warming.” — Booklist (starred review)

“With her powerful new novel, Kingsolver delivers literary fiction that conveys an urgent social message… a clarion call about climate change, too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

WHICH NEW BOOK RELEASE
ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THIS MONTH?

(2012) # 55 review: Flight behavior

Flight Behavior

by

Barbara KINGSOLVER

448 pages

Expected publication date: November 6th 2012 by HarperCollins

Copy received from HarperCollins and Edelweiss

This book counts for the following Reading Challenge:

    

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

Are you a fan of great American writing? of Barbara Kingsolver? Be prepared then for another great read with Flight Behavior!

I was so thrilled when Edelweiss [click on the link if you have not tried their service yet]  allowed me to download this ebook, months before its publication date. As a perk, its download totally froze my ipod touch, even after several reinstallings of the ebook reader app, so I ended up finally buying a Nook Color. That was a delight to have a larger screen to devour this ebook!

Right away, Kingsolver grabs your attention with her fluid style. What I mean by that, is that when I read Kingsolver, I often lose the feeling that I am reading, it feels so much like she is taking you in real life, with very human characters, with their daily concerns, their dreams, their dialogs full of graphic, inventive images. How can she come up with those really funny and so self-explanatory images?

Dellarobia Turnbow has been living on a farm in the Appalachia with her husband, her two young kids, and not too friendly in-laws, and she has had enough with her narrow world. One day, as she has reached the edge of what she can bear and is ready to plunge into a romantic affair, she hikes a nearby wood to join a handsome potential lover. On her way, she witnesses an event of a majestic beauty that takes her breath away, eventually opening a much wider horizon than the one she was prepared for; launching her in new directions affecting her entire life.

As a matter of fact, I really enjoyed very much the description of the interaction between her daily chores and her inner growth. Through the witnessing of this strange beauty she witnessed, leading her to connect with people both inside and outside her local community, she begins to see things in a different way. This story brings to life issues or religion, geography, science, and much more.

I cannot say more and reveal what it was she saw, and to where it eventually lead her. I can only say that her horizon keeps expanding throughout the whole novel, culminating in her dramatic decision at the end.

With the first words describing what Dellarobia saw, you may experience the “aha” moment immediately, or thirty pages later, when the author deigns to tell you what it is all about. Will you get it right away? Will it put you on the edge of your seat for a while? It does not matter. Ultimately, the beauty of the story and Kingsolver’s writing style will irresistibly draw you in.

I actually learned a lot in this book, about the phenomenon Dellarobia witnessed, what caused it, ecology, and the whole problem of global warming.

It was also fascinating to keep discovering new layers of meaning pertaining to the title.

This is undeniably and charmingly Kingsolver at her best.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman’s narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel’s inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world, in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.

Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world. [synopsis by the publisher HarperCollins]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist, and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in Africa in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in Biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her most famous works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a non-fiction account of her family’s attempts to eat locally.

Her work often focuses on topics such as social justice, biodiversity, and the interaction between humans and their communities and environments. Each of her books published since 1993 have been on The New York Times Best Seller list. Kingsolver has received numerous awards, including the UK’s Orange Prize for Fiction 2010, for The Lacuna and the National Humanities Medal. She has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

In 2000, Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize to support “literature of social change.”

Kingsolver was born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1955 and grew up in Carlisle in rural Kentucky. When Kingsolver was seven years old, her father, a physician, took the family to the former Republic of Congo in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her parents worked in a public health capacity, and the family lived without electricity or running water.

After graduating from high school, Kingsolver attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana on a music scholarship, studying classical piano. Eventually, however, she changed her major to biology when she realized that “classical pianists compete for six job openings a year, and the rest of [them:] get to play ‘Blue Moon’ in a hotel lobby.” She was involved in activism on her campus, and took part in protests against the Vietnam war. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1977, and moved to France for a year before settling in Tucson, Arizona, where she would live for much of the next two decades. In 1980 she enrolled in graduate school at the University of Arizona, where she earned a Master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology.

Kingsolver began her full-time writing career in the mid 1980s as a science writer for the university, which eventually lead to some freelance feature writing. She began her career in fiction writing after winning a short story contest in a local Phoenix newspaper. In 1985 she married Joseph Hoffmann; their daughter Camille was born in 1987. She moved with her daughter to Tenerife in the Canary Islands for a year during the first Gulf war, mostly due to frustration over America’s military involvement. After returning to the US in 1992, she separated from her husband.

In 1994, Kingsolver was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from her alma mater, DePauw University. She was also married to Steven Hopp, that year, and their daughter, Lily, was born in 1996. In 2004, Kingsolver moved with her family to a farm in Washington County, Virginia, where they currently reside. In 2008, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Duke University, where she delivered a commencement address entitled “How to be Hopeful”.

In a 2010 interview with The Guardian, Kingsolver says, “I never wanted to be famous, and still don’t, […:] the universe rewarded me with what I dreaded most.” She says created her own website just to compete with a plethora of fake ones, “as a defence to protect my family from misinformation. Wikipedia abhors a vacuum. If you don’t define yourself, it will get done for you in colourful ways.” [Goodreads]

To read more about Barbara Kingsolver and her books, go to her website.

CRITICAL PRAISE FOR FLIGHT BEHAVIOR

“Drawing on both her Appalachian roots and her background in biology, Kingsolver delivers a passionate novel on the effects of global warming.” — Booklist (starred review)

“With her powerful new novel, Kingsolver delivers literary fiction that conveys an urgent social message… a clarion call about climate change, too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)


HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
WHICH KINGSOLVER’S BOOK IS YOUR FAVORITE?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE