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The Stars' Tennis Balls (2000)

door Stephen Fry

Andere auteurs: Zie de sectie andere auteurs.

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1,589348,299 (3.68)1 / 52
Ned Maddstone has the world at his feet. He is handsome, talented and about to go to Cambridge, after which he is expected to follow his father into politics. But an unfortunate confrontation with a boy in his school results in a prank that goes badly wrong and suddenly he's incarcerated - without chance of release. So begins a year long process of torment and hopelessness, which will destroy his very identity, until almost nothing remains of him but this unquenchable desire for revenge. Inspired by the Count of Monte Cristo, Fry's psychological thriller is written with the pace, wit and shrewd insight that we have come to expect from one of our finest novelists.… (meer)
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Engels (31)  Duits (3)  Alle talen (34)
1-5 van 34 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
Spoilers for those who don't know their classic literature

Stephen Fry updates The Count of Monte Cristo for the Millennium. That's not just embarrassing press release speak, the dotcom bubble plays a huge part in the latter part of the novel – and having been born in the 1980s, the adolescent nostalgia rush the book gave me earns it a star all on its own.

On the other hand, I find stories of betrayal and false imprisonment very difficult. I suppose you could dig into my childhood for reasons behind that too, but let's be honest, the enduring success of the story of Edmond Dantès suggests plenty of people don't like being screwed over or accused of things they haven't done.

And boy are people screwed over in The Stars' Tennis Balls. It's not a book for the squeamish – bits are up there with Misery for the levels of cruelty they depict. But cruel it must be or Ned/Dantes's revenge would not be so satisfying.

It never escaping the boundaries of the original text, but it's not clear it wants to, and it doesn't need to in order to be a taut and compelling thriller.

(Some might complain that the plot relies on most people in power knowing each other by some extension, but after almost a decade of living in London, I'm willing to buy that.) ( )
  m_k_m | May 19, 2021 |
What intrigued me about this book is that it was a modern retelling of Alexandre Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo." Well, it was that, but the entire point of the original is Edmund Dantes' machinations of revenge against the people who destroyed his life -- and so it was that Ned Maddstone obtained revenge on his persecutors, who essentially through their own weaknesses and frailties provided him with the fodder through which he carried about their destruction. Altogether, a very well-written book, but its effect was rather depressing. ( )
  Cynthia_Parkhill | Nov 24, 2018 |
Fry's modern-day version of The Count of Monte Cristo, with a young Oxford student in the part of Edmund Dantes (now Ned Maddstone).

I read The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time last year. Going into it (I have to be honest here), I thought I was likely in for a bit of a slog, but boy, was I wrong. I LOVED it, and as long as it is, I was still sad when it was over. I'm also a long-time and devoted fan of Stephen Fry's work, and I picked this one up without knowing anything about it, not needing to know because I knew it would be amazing. And it is. So. Amazing. Fry does a fantastic and clever job of translating the story and the characters into a modern setting. I loved it. LOVED it. ( )
  scaifea | Apr 12, 2018 |
Ned Maddstone ist der Sohn eines britischen Politikers und hat alles, was manch anderer sich wünschen kann: Er sieht gut aus, hat den Posten des Schulsprechers so gut wie sicher, ist sportlich sehr begabt und die Aussicht nach Oxford zu gehen. Noch dazu hat er eine wunderbare Freundin, die ihn geradezu vergöttert.
Das ruft natürlich die Neider auf den Plan. Jeder von ihnen besitzt ein eigenes Motiv, Ned etwas Schlechtes zu wollen und so fassen sie gemeinschaftlich einen Plan, der das Ansehen Neds und der Familie Maddstone in den Dreck ziehen soll.
Doch dann verschwindet Ned spurlos.

Das Beste an der ganzen Sache ist: Das ist erst der Anfang. Ned erlebt in Laufe der Geschichte eine wahre Odysee an Ungerechtigkeiten und muss lernen, dass jeder in seinem Leben nur der Sterne Tennisbälle ist. Nichts ist beeinflussbar oder gar lenkbar. Und jeder ist für sich selbst verantwortlich. So stellt er sich eine Maxime, die ihn fortan fast in den Wahnsinn treibt: Durch und durch durchdacht.

An dieser Stelle möchte ich auch nicht mehr zum Inhalt des Buches verraten, denn jedes Wort ab Neds Verschwinden wäre ein Wort zuviel. Jeder Leser sollte sich selbst auf die Suche nach dem weiteren Verlauf dieser Geschichte machen und es lohnt sich wirklich. Noch nie war Vergeltung so herrlich, so bösartig und lustvoll.
Stephen Fry scheint ein wundervoller Autor. Was allerdings erst durch ein weiteres Werk seinerseits bzw das Lesen durch mich bestätigt werden muss. ( )
  TheFallingAlice | Jan 15, 2017 |
It took me quite a while to get into the story, but having gotten past the first part which reads like an excerpt from Moab, I could not put it down. I had - on purpose - not read any reviews for this book, and am now glad about that as most reviews only make the comparison to The Count of Monte Christo.

What about the resonances of other works, though? I couldn't help but also be reminded of Zweig's Chess Story, Duerrenmatt's Physicists, The Bourne Identity, and Pulp Fiction. All in all I was reminded of a venerable hodge podge of dilemmas. The kind of pastiche episodes that make fab reading in any graphic novel, except of course that The Stars' Tennis Balls isn't a graphic novel.
Isn't it?
It will probably take a few days before I can make up my mind about this one.

In any case, 5 stars for gripping my imagination, for making me reconsider literary genres, for keeping me up half the night pondering about the characters, for - no doubt - sticking in my head for a long time to come. ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
1-5 van 34 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
"Engrossing from the start: one of the year’s most intelligent and entertaining stories."
toegevoegd door bookfitz | bewerkKirkus Reviews (May 1, 2002)
 

» Andere auteurs toevoegen (6 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Fry, Stephenprimaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Blumenbach, UlrichVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd

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Wikipedia in het Engels (1)

Ned Maddstone has the world at his feet. He is handsome, talented and about to go to Cambridge, after which he is expected to follow his father into politics. But an unfortunate confrontation with a boy in his school results in a prank that goes badly wrong and suddenly he's incarcerated - without chance of release. So begins a year long process of torment and hopelessness, which will destroy his very identity, until almost nothing remains of him but this unquenchable desire for revenge. Inspired by the Count of Monte Cristo, Fry's psychological thriller is written with the pace, wit and shrewd insight that we have come to expect from one of our finest novelists.

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