- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: SCEPTRE; New Ed edition (2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034083126X
- ISBN-13: 978-0340831267
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,729,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Earth and Sky of Jacques Dorme Paperback – Import, 2006
Top Customer Reviews
The story of Andrei Makine is a compelling one. Makine, for those not familiar with his work, was born in the Soviet Union in 1958. He emigrated to France as a young man and immediately assumed the role of a struggling writer. Written in French (Makine learned French as a student in the USSR) his manuscripts were rejected by every publisher in Paris. He spent many nights sleeping in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Finally, out of desperation, he told one publisher that the manuscript of his first book was a translation from the Russian. It was immediately accepted for publication.
Earth and Sky represents the third-volume of a loosely-structured trilogy. The first volume, Dreams of My Russian Summers won two of France's most esteemed literary prizes, the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medicis. The second volume, Requiem for a Lost Empire was also well received. All of these books have been remarkably well translated by Geoffrey Strachan. Although Earth and Sky can be enjoyed in its own right, reading Dreams of My Russian Summers (not necessarily Requiem for a Lost Empire) first would enhance the reader's enjoyment of this work.
Earth and Sky consists of three separate but connected story lines over three generations. It begins with a love story. Jacques Dorme, a French pilot was a German prisoner of war.Read more ›
Alexandra is another Charlotte, who has a story of love and woe to tell. The narrator is a young boy living in an orphanage, as his parents were "liquidated" in soviet purges. On his weekend visits to Alexandra, he learns both French and a lot of personalized Russian history from this woman, who, years later, still mourns her lover, the French pilot Jacques Dorme who fought in Russia during WWII and perished somewhere in the depths of frozen Siberia.
Back in France, the narrator talks with disgust about the suburbia that are really no longer populated by people who follow the rules of decent behavior or of French grammar. The novel is very lyrical and very nostalgic, while being critical of both the worlds that Makine inhabits. A fantastic read by an author who deserves every prize he receives.
Alas, JD crashed his plane into a mountain crest in NW Siberia. The complete story is told by a Russian orphan. In the 1960s he is allowed to spend weekends with `Aunt' Alexandra who knew his deceased parents. From her and from the remains of books found in a burnt-out top floor room, he learns to read, understand and speak French. When he is 13, she tells him about the 8 or 9 days with JD and the story stays with him forever. Decades later, as a stateless refugee in France, he mounts a clandestine, physically brutal campaign to see the spot where Dorme came down. Later, the orphan/author makes two dramatic journeys to the younger brother living in JD's house of birth, a visit Alexandra was promised so long ago.Read more ›