Les Lanceurs de feu
(Sabine Wespieser, 2021)
The novel The Fire Starters by Jan Carson stands out in many ways. The mixing of elements borrowed to historical events, the fantastic genre or the great importance given to the psychological portrait of the characters.makes it special and enthralling. Moreover, the web of contrasts throughout the book is remarkable. In fact, the plot is based on a series of parallels and oppositions like between the two Irelands, the two main characters and their relationships with their children or the water and the fire that can illustrate the chaos, ubiquitous in the book. It is very simple to get into the story and I appreciate the fact that we can access the characters’ thoughts because it is easier to identify with them and to put ourselves in their shoes.
Été 2014, Belfast brûle et les feux sont incontrôlables. Des vidéos mises en ligne par « le lanceur de feu » sont devenues virales et mettent le feu aux poudres ! Deux pères évoluent dans cette atmosphère étouffante et doivent faire face à leurs démons. Sammy Agnew, s’interroge sur la transmission possible du gène de la violence à son fils aîné, Mark, la vingtaine. Jonathan Murray redoute que son bébé, Sophie, ne ressemble trop à sa mère en grandissant. Dans ce roman où la réalité historique se mêle au fantastique, les personnages vont questionner l’idée même de devoir et d’héritage. Jusqu'où sont-ils prêts à aller pour protéger leur enfant ? Un point de vue original, un roman surprenant, captivant qui interroge sur les responsabilités individuelles et les conséquences de nos actes.
Jan Carson - Les lanceurs de feu - Chapitre 1 : Les troubles & Sammy/Jonathan (VF)
Les Lanceurs de Feu : Un récit entre la fiction et la réalité
Les Lanceurs de Feu, un roman de Jan Carson, se déroule à Belfast, une ville marquée par la violence et la division historique entre Catholiques et Protestants.
L’histoire aborde des sujets comme la paternité et les liens du sang. Dans cette ville où les incendies se multiplient et la tradition se transforme en une révolte, Jonathan et Sammy vont devoir faire face à la monstruosité de leurs enfants. Quelles en seront les conséquences ? Des personnages profonds et une intrigue captivante. Les Lanceurs de Feu nous plonge en Irlande du Nord et montre que seize ans après les Troubles, le feu continue de se propager. A lire !
L'histoire se déroule à Belfast, seize ans après la période des Troubles opposant les Protestants et les Catholiques en Irlande du Nord. Durant l’été caniculaire de 2014, un mystérieux homme masqué se faisant appeler "le lanceur de feu" menace de mettre la ville à feu et à sang en cette période de veille de festivité Orangiste.
Dans cette toile de fond de violence, Jan Carson nous présente en parallèle l’histoire de deux pères. Sammy Agnew, ancien voyou, et Jonathan Murray, médecin généraliste. L'un a peur que son fils lui ressemble trop, l'autre a peur que sa fille ne lui ressemble pas assez.
Ce roman à suspense mêle un style à la fois réaliste et fantastique, tout en offrant un point de vue original.
Un roman magique et historique
Plongez dans l’univers de Belfast,seize après “Les Troubles”, durant l'été des Grands Feux de 2014. Une référence aux foyers élevés par tradition le 11 juillet au soir, veille du défilé des Orangistes. Mais que se passe-t-il lorsque la situation devient incontrôlable et que de gigantesques incendies embrasent la ville ?
Jan Carson nous raconte le quotidien de deux pères de famille : Jonathan Murray et Sammy Agnew. L’un, médecin généraliste, vient d’avoir un bébé et l’autre, ancien malfrat, revoit son passé de violences ressurgir.
Un récit marquant, un point de vue inhabituel qui nous fait pénétrer au cœur des pensées des personnages dans un style mélangeant le réel et le fantastique. Nous recommandons chaudement !
Été 2014, Belfast brûle et les feux sont incontrôlables. Des vidéos mises en ligne par « le lanceur de feu » sont devenues virales et mettent le feu aux poudres !
Deux pères évoluent dans cette atmosphère étouffante et doivent faire face à leurs démons.
Sammy Agnew, s’interroge sur la transmission possible du gène de la violence à son fils aîné, Mark, la vingtaine.
Jonathan Murray redoute que son bébé, Sophie, ne ressemble trop à sa mère en grandissant.
Dans ce roman où la réalité historique se mêle au fantastique, les personnages vont questionner l’idée même de devoir et d’héritage. Jusqu'où sont-ils prêts à aller pour protéger leur enfant ?
Un point de vue original, un roman surprenant, captivant qui interroge sur les responsabilités individuelles et les conséquences de nos actes.
The Fire starters by Jane Carson sure is a good book. However, I kind of had lots of ups and downs when I was reading this book. Honestly,I found it hard to get into the book, I liked the first chapter but then I found myself lost and confused in the second chapter, there was too much information. I am a big reader, I love reading, I am obsessed with books and when I do not really like one at the beginning, I always give it a chance because it is part of my motto for books as a reader. So, I did give it a chance and guess what? I did not regret it at all. Besides, there are many aspects that I like and others that I do not like. But let’s start with those that I do not like.
Well, I am French and most of the time I read in English to practice and because I love this
language, I usually read books written by American authors, so I am used to American English. Therefore, I was a bit disturbed by the Irish language but it is just a personal matter. And also I learnt new words such as “wee”, “fella” which are really funny by the way.
Then, I did not like the fact that we could not have or know Mark’s feelings, like, deeply know them, everything was said and showed by his father and the author. I wish I could exactly know his feelings andwhy he is the way he is. Even though they say that he turns into a bad person because of his father. Speaking of his father, I literally do not appreciate him at all, he just keeps blaming himself, cursing himself, he is totally powerless and he knows it but he could have done something to really save his son, something much better and impactful but he just let himself be overwhelmed by sadness, fear and even cowardice. However, I pity him at the same time.Plus, I took a long time to understand that The Fire Starters is part of the fantasy genre, it was so confusing because the book is literally split in two sides, two stories, Jonathan’s side and Sammy’s side. But only Jonathan’s side is fantastical and not Sammy’s. That’s what I understand, because in Sammy’s part there is no magical thing like in Jonathan’s part with the mermaid. So I wondered why the whole book wasn't fantastical. I know that it is what it is, but it just bothers me that we do not have a magical event happening in Sammy’s part.
Well now, I am going to tell you all the things that I liked!
Despite what I did not like the book got me hooked up on different things. First, I truly love Jonathan’s character; I think a lot of people can relate to him. He is so pure, innocent, he is a nice guy, a bit naïve; or extremely naïve actually but I can feel for him; he is just an unloved man trying desperately to give love to his child, relying on the love that he never got from his parents. Throughout the story, I meticulously studied Jonathan’s persona, I tried to know whether he was crazy or if he was just telling the truth about the fact that Sophie’s mother is a mermaid. Even though you tell me that the Fire Starters is a fantasy book and that Sophie’s mother is a mermaid and plus, there are the unfortunate children to rely on that, I still doubt. What if Jonathan was crazy? What if he just made it all up? What if the girl that came in his office to talk about her child and the unfortunate children was not real? He could have pictured it because he felt lonely and exhausted. It is just how I was feeling and it was so interesting and well- written and I just found myself picturing lots of this, which is good because it means that I love it.I definitely like Jonathan’s story better than Sammy’s but it does not mean that Sammy’s story is not interesting. The plot really focuses on fatherhood and parenthood and I really liked this and both characters are going through difficult moments and I really liked that the author decided to show that fatherhood and motherhood are both important because in some families or cultures they tend to say that children will be happier when they are with their mother when there is a divorce, which is not true at all. And in this case, we can feel fathers’ feelings and worry about the children; we can feel that they love them as much as mothers and that there is no difference regarding mother’s duty and father’s duty. Lots of fathers raise their children alone and sometimes they are not the bad ones. That is what I understood from Jane Carson’s message and I might be wrong as well. And last but not least I liked the fact that all this fear, worry, sadness, stress and even happiness all the feelings that readers and characters felt were portrayed by the fires, these tall fires.
The Fire Starters and I come from a long way but it was worth it.
Birds in a fridge, a man taking his dog to McDonalds, an obsession with IKEA, a man listening to trees, humans in bottles, robots, ghosts. Welcome to the strange universe of Postcard Stories, mostly situated in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 2 books with 110 original stories. You will surf on a rough sea where the real world rubs shoulders with the imaginary, where the limit between madness and reason is thin. Each page is a wave of fresh ideas full of mystery, poetry and weirdness. Each story will make you smile, sometimes shiver, startle or nod. Are you ready to meet the famous spirits of Frida Kahlo or Picasso looking for souvenirs ? Will you manage to find out the hidden meanings and the serious themes the books address with wit and humour ?
Two original and unsettling books, both for their format, their illustrations, and for the meaning of their stories. Each “postcard page” is unique and told in a very often witty — at times sarcastic — thought-provoking way : a seemingly simple memory, anecdote or observation, which soon unveils a lot more, and allows the reader to travel not only the city of Belfast but also further places outside Northern Ireland while making all types of encounters and experiencing all sorts of emotions. It is easy and tempting to read each postcard several times — not in a specific order — to fully grasp its meaning. Ready to embark on this poetic and sometimes uncanny journey filled with twisted tales ? Check your mail !
How to bake a Jan Carson ?
To begin, you will need :
• Northern Ireland, Ballymena
How to proceed :
• At sixteen (in 1996), make her wish to be Emily Brontë « At sixteen I wished to be Emily Brontë »
• Make her fall in love with Miss Marple « My first love was Christie’s Miss Marple »
• In 1999, make her fall in love with the series Holby City,
Make sure she’s still following it after 23 seasons
• Make her move to Belfast
• Make her write her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears in 2014
• Make her write The Fire Starters in 2019, for which she will receive the EU Prize for literature
• Make her run art projects and events with old people, especially those living with dementia
• Make her start her own blog in 2021 : www.jancarson. co.uk/blog
• In 2021, make her realize she is a spinster and make her take it with humor « Because I now find myself a confirmed spinster at 41 » « Whilst I’ve drawn the line at acquiring cats, I do live alone with my books and my wine »