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Una forma de vida
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Una forma de vida

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  1,615 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
Todo empieza cuando una novelista llamada Amélie Nothomb recibe una carta de uno de sus lectores, un soldado norteamericano, Melvin Mapple, que le escribe desde Irak. Mapple contrae una enfermedad, común entre los soldados. Y es la existencia de este padecimiento lo que deja al lector en estado de shock, lo hechiza y lo sume en un relato alucinante en el que, como en otras ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published 2012 by Anagrama (first published 2010)
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Arelis Uribe
Jun 05, 2015 Arelis Uribe rated it really liked it
Me gustó mucho, mucho el libro. Es una historia presentada de forma muy clásica —con su inicio, desarrollo, anagnórisis y cierre— pero con una idea que me parece original: un soldado en Irak le escribe a Nothomb, contándole que la nueva secuela patológica de esta guerra gringa no será el estrés postraumático —como el que sufría Rambo—, sino la obesidad. Hay soldados en el frente que comen hasta superar los doscientos kilos, porque no queda más que hacer, porque ésa es una forma de subvertir al r ...more
Mi sono imbattuta in questo romanzo per caso.
Era un poì' che avevo voglia di leggere un romanzo della Nothomb e ne ho scelto uno, così, senza neanche leggere la trama.
Avevo sentito dire che la Nothomb o la ami o la odi.. Sono sincera, io non l'ho ancora capito.

Certamente questo romanzo parla di una forma di vita che non è sana, non è attiva, ma è quella di un obeso..
Un uomo che arriva ad un punto dove è impossibile tornare indietro, perchè il cibo è la peggior droga che si può trovare in commerc
Mar 27, 2013 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two hundred pounds is already a huge person. I’m richer by one whole huge person now. Since she came and joined me here, I’ve been calling her Scheherazade. It’s not very kind to the real Scheherazade, who must have been a slender creature. But I’d rather identify her with one person and not two, and with a woman rather than a man, probably because I’m heterosexual. Besides, I like the idea of Scheherazade. She speaks to me all night long. She knows I can’t make love anymore, so instead of doing ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Feb 12, 2013 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2015
Life Form is a compelling and original book. For a start, Nothomb herself is the narrator, a Belgium writer living in France who receives a fan letter from an American soldier stationed in Iraq. At first, she gives a rote reply and is not too interested, but as the letters continue to come she gets caught up in the young man's story. Melvin Mapple is grotesquely obese, and his over-eating is a side-effect of the shock and horror of war, and a protest against it.

I saw my first combat, with rocke
Jan 10, 2013 Sergsab rated it really liked it
Parecía que ya nada podría sorprenderme de Nothomb. Estuvimos juntos durante mucho tiempo. Se apagó la magia y cada uno siguió por su lado. Así que las esperanzas de esta nueva incursión nothombiana era más una obligación por deudas pendientes que por puro interés.

Sorpresa, claro. Cuando no esperas nada cualquier cosa es bienvenida. Y en esta breve novela, son muchas las cosas que llegan para quedarse, para lavar la imagen desprestigiada de la Helena Bonham Carter de las letras.

En esta ocasión,
Feb 15, 2011 Iris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
A graphomaniac, Nothomb creates at least one novel per year while maintaining an immense correspondence. She's known to respond personally to each letter she receives. This novel dramatizes that practice: Amélie shares her (fictional) letters to and from a melancholy US soldier in Iraq. A Baltimore-born soldier who has read all her novels? An incisive insider critique of junk-food mess halls? A way into the vast problem of military health? (Check out an article in Slate about the appalling smorg ...more
Juan Almonacid
Aug 15, 2014 Juan Almonacid rated it really liked it
- Deseo existir para usted. Es pretencioso? No lo sé. Si lo es, lo siento. Es lo más auténtico que puedo decirle: deseo existir para usted.

-Las personas son como países. Resulta maravilloso que haya tantos y que una perpetua deriva de los continentes propicie que se encuentren islas tan nuevas. Pero si esa téctónica de las placas lleva un territorio desconocido hasta tu orilla, la hostilidad aparece de inmediato. Sólo quedan dos soluciones: la guerra o la diplomacia.

-La lectura permite descubrir
Jan 18, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, french
Nothomb's books are often unconventional, yet this one still surprised me with its mixture of reality and fiction, the subject matter, the format, and the plot twists towards the end. In the space of 170 pages, as well as telling an involving and moving story she manages to touch on issues of body image, written vs. verbal communication, fame, writing itself, and much more besides. Impressive stuff.
Dec 08, 2011 Sonia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Amélie Nothomb è un'artista ultramoderna: prende un'idea, non necessariamente originalissima, le dà forma con carta e inchiostro e ne ricava, solitamente, un'opera particolare, che anche se non otterrà il riconoscimento generale, riuscirà in ogni modo a far parlare di sé.
Capita così un po' con tutti i suoi romanzi, e Una forma di vita non è da meno.
In sole 116 pagine la Nothomb è capace di costruire una bella architettura, come se la lettura di quelle
May 01, 2013 Sonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a particularly unusual story to read. I have been recently favouring translated fiction and so far it has been a bit of a hit and miss experience.

The blurb was not appealing at all but I was still very intrigued. It is not often I’m faced with such a unique storyline. This novella is a narrative by one Amelie Nothomb (yes, the same name as the author) with mostly exchanges of letters between her and a soldier stationed in Iraq. We subsequently discover that this soldier, Melvin Mapple,
Jerome Parisse
Amelie Nothomb, the prolific Belgian writer, is an interesting person. Her always short, definitely out-there, novels (some of them more novellas than novels) revolve around a small number of common themes: impossible love, eating disorders, obesity, Japan, and self-introspection. She writes in French, but many of her novels have been translated in several other languages. Some of her books available in English include, Fear and Trembling, The Character of Rain, Tokyo Fiancée, The Life of Hunger ...more
My Inner Shelf
Youpi, le Nothomb 2010 est arrivé. Je ne sais pas pourquoi je persiste à la lire chaque année. Sans doute en souvenir de mes premiers émois nothombesques avec ses premiers romans, autobiographiques ou non. Un réflexe auquel on ne pense pas.
Mon attachement à son œuvre reste assez profond pour me pousser à tenter le coup tous les ans, et cette fois, je trouve que le niveau remonte un chouïa.
Ce que je souhaite y trouver à chaque fois y est. Style, maîtrise de la langue, vocabulaire soigné, mais jam
Aug 29, 2014 Phillio96 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ein merkwürdiges Buch.
Mich überfiel eines Tages die Lust, ein Amélie Nothomb-Buch umgehend zu lesen. Also kaufte ich mir "So etwas wie ein Leben" (frz.: "Une forme de vie"), auch wenn mir der Klappentext am wenigsten zusagte.
Es beginnt mit einem Briefwechsel zwischen der Autorin und einem US-Soldaten im Krieg, in welchem es über die krankhafte Fettleibigkeit des Soldaten geht, welche durch den Dienst an der Front ausgelöst wurde.
So gestalten sich ca. die ersten 100 Seiten, in denen ab und zu pac
Feb 06, 2013 A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange little novella translated from the French. The narrator is the author Amelie Nothomb. I usually love this kind of thing, especially when Philip Roth did it in Operation Shylock, and I enjoyed Nothomb's take on playing with identity. Nothomb, the fictional narrator, gets into a correspondence with an obese American soldier in Iraq. The letters back and forth are fascinating, but sometimes Nothomb's commentary on what's happening is less than astute. The criticisms of the war see ...more
John Pappas
Mar 05, 2013 John Pappas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richly symbolic and deeply allegorical, this quasi-epistolary novel tells the tale of two inveterate fiction writers -- one, the author-made-character, Belgian writer Amelie Nothomb, and two, a depressed and increasingly obese correspondent whose tales of self-loathing and self-obliteration in occupied Iraq captivate Nothomb. Both a political allegory and fascinating psychological drama, Nothomb's book is about both personal and cultural narcissism, the resulting lack of self-knowledge, and usin ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Deni rated it liked it
està bien, me gusta que sea corta y se lea ràpido, es muy placentero ese formato de novelita corta. la historia està buena y se desarrolla en torno a una correspondencia que va tomando nuevos giros dàndole a la trama aùn màs sustancia; sin embargo, le falta algo màs, algo màs que simples giros y cierto dramatismo del yo que es precisamente lo ùnico que sostiene esta escritura. la recomiendo? no. leerìa otro libro de esta autora? sì.
Jul 30, 2011 Isadora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amélie Nothomb proves once again that she is the master of originality with Une Forme de Vie. She creates a fictitious Nothomb who one day receives a letter from an American soldier stationed in Iraq, Melvin Mapple. Mapple reveals through his correspondence with the Belgian writer his unique way of repenting for the sins of a military man. Could his twisted justifications be considered an art form?
Aug 10, 2012 Sylvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Como siempre, Nothomb me sorprende.
Lo que empieza como una relación epistolar se vuelve de pronto una intriga de vida y cuerpo de hambre y sueño de ficción y realidad. ¿Es esto una novela? no lo sé, poco importa porque la autora logra... no no no, el señor Mapple logra envolvernos en su vida y en su peso. Una forma de vida presenta un twist al final que lo deja a uno sin aliento.
Nov 26, 2015 Leka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francia

A me, lei, generalmente, fa pensare. Ma non in modo generale. Nel modo e del mondo particolare che è ogni libro.
Nel canto fermo di alcuni temi che sono suoi, s'innestano sempre voci e controvoci che portano abbastanza lontano. O, almeno, che portano me piuttosto lontano.
Un'avventura del pensiero, quasi, oltre che ore in godibile compagnia.
Jan 05, 2012 LittleThing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un livre qui change. Beaucoup de confessions de la part de cette auteure que j'apprécie. Je suis arrivée à la dernière page, j'ai tourné et ... et la suite ?! Je ne m'attendais certes pas une fin de ce genre, mais je suppose que ça fait partie du charme du livre :)
May 17, 2016 Pekisch rated it did not like it
no sé si ha sido un mal comienzo pero el primer libro que leo de Amelie Nothomb me ha parecido infumable, y la culpa la tiene ella. cuánto ego, cuánto narcisismo, cuánto le gusta escucharse y leerse.
next, please
Oct 11, 2010 Josephina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ending is weak. I am not sure if the ending was a Nothomb type of ending, or is it that she did not know how to finish the story.
Feb 04, 2014 Kaloyana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ами още една чудесна история с неочакван край от Амели Нотомб. Чудесна и много готини разсъждения за епистоларната комуникация.
Josipa Marenić
Feb 25, 2014 Josipa Marenić rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Od iste autorice ima još hrpa dobrih knjiga. Sve odlikuje bizarnost, britkost, jezgrovitost i nepredvidivost!
Onestamente, non sono riuscita a finirlo. Uno dei peggiori libri di Amelie Nothomb.
Feb 01, 2016 Sniv rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La confidence sauve de l'asphyxie.
Jessie in Fashion Limbo
Great if you want to improve your French. Short and sweet, interesting story.
Syringa Smyrna
May 11, 2012 Syringa Smyrna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: belgian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2017 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I'm not terribly fond of epistolary novels, this was actually really fun and far more entertaining than I was expecting. The way Amelie took her American penpal so seriously despite the odd nature of his story added to the humour by making the joke lie more in the awkwardness of communication in general rather than in the simple fact of her penpal's obesity and I appreciated this balance. The story was also surprisingly more sweet and sincere than I was expecting which balances Améli ...more
Nov 17, 2016 Andreea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
For some reason I had a hard time getting into this book. Nothomb's writing and narrative bored me. Which is something new and weird since I used to devour her books in high school and be absolutely in love with them, having a hard time putting them down and reading one book in a day... But this one just left me not caring. The ending, Nothombian as usual, was fun and the only thing that I enjoyed in this book.

The themes are not bad. It's a mix of personal identity and a bunch of ideas about the
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Amélie Nothomb, born Fabienne Claire Nothomb, was born in Etterbeek, Belgium on 9 July 1966, to Belgian diplomats. Although Nothomb claims to have been born in Japan, she actually began living in Japan at the age of two until she was five years old. Subsequently, she lived in China, New York, Bangladesh, Burma, the United Kingdom (Coventry) and Laos.

She is from a distinguished Belgian political fa
More about Amélie Nothomb...

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“There is only one way to overcome the difficulty of writing, and that is to write. Thought only becomes effective and productive at the time of writing.” 6 likes
“The nature of the epistolary genre was revealed to me: a form of writing devoted to another person. Novels, poems, and so on, were texts into which others were free to enter, or not. Letters, on the other hand, did not exist without the other person, and their very mission, their significance, was the epiphany of the recipient.” 5 likes
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