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Une touche d'amour
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Une touche d'amour

3.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  736 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Robin once had promise. Now he has an unfinished thesis in his drawer. Hidden away in his room in Coventry, he writes a sequence of short stories in four notebooks, each an oblique commentary on his circumstances. Then a comical misunderstanding in a public park lands him in serious trouble.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published 2004 by Gallimard (first published 1989)
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Nov 22, 2011 T4ncr3d1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglesi
"Voglio dire che una parola può essere un'arma letale" E su questa frase fece una pausa con soddisfazione evidente. "Una sola parola può distruggere ciò che un milione di altre ha fatto. Una parola fuori posto può disfare qualsiasi cosa: una famiglia, un matrimonio, un'amicizia".

Secondo romanzo di Jonathan Coe e anteprima di quel che sarà il resto della sua produzione più famosa. A leggere questo romanzo solo dopo aver letto gli altri, invertendo l'ordine cronologico, si perde un po' il gusto d
In a desperate bid to end the recent run of bad books (except for the Hornby - review to follow) I chose a Jonathan Coe. I had to pick the one that sucked though, didn't I? Well, that's not entirely fair. But I didn't get what I wanted, or had come to expect from Coe, from it.

However, this illuminating exchange between unpublished author Robin and his on-off friend Aparna and, in fact the entire conversation from which it comes, almost convince me to read it again:

Robin - "Did you find it amusin
Jun 22, 2010 Janh55 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading the reviews of others, I'm mystified how anyone found this book remotely witty or laugh out loud.

I was expecting humour or at least a bit of a jocular lift. Instead I got world-weary relationship disappointments, awkwardness, promises unfulfilled, and the central tragedy of Robin and his relationships.

I read it on a weekend away, always expecting it to suddenly burst from black and white into colour like the Wizard of Oz but it didn't. I was not engaged or amused by any of these people -
Jun 26, 2008 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: frustrated academics
Shelves: fiction
I loved Jonathan Coe's House of Sleep and this is more proof that he is a very fine writer. The language is spare and deceptively simple, since the nested narrative techniques used are quite complex. It explores real human emotion in a postmodern way but without feeling show-offy or unnecessarily tricksy. My only criticisms are the unsatisfying ending and that no one character has left a lasting impression on me. Good but somehow forgettable.
Dec 12, 2008 Trish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is early Jonathan Coe; it lacks the clarity and fullness of later work, like The House of Sleep (my favorite).

Robin Grant is having a bad day, a bad year, and possibly a bad life. He's allegedly working on a thesis at Coventry, but he hasn't produced anything in the past five years, other than anxiety, depression, failed relationships, and a few short stories scribbled in notebooks. These four stories are interspersed with Robin's meeting with an old pal (who remembers their college days in
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Secondo romanzo di Jonathan Coe e anteprima di quel che sarà il resto della sua produzione più famosa. A leggere questo romanzo solo dopo aver letto gli altri, invertendo l'ordine cronologico, si perde un po' il gusto della lettura: già scritto, e pure meglio. Inevitabile. Ciò però non deve togliere a questo breve romanzo i suoi meriti, fosse solo perché rappresenta la miccia che ha fatto deflagrare il talento di Coe. Di lui c'è già tutto, o quasi: la critica sociopolitica (i tanto contestati an ...more
Mar 22, 2014 GONZA rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ho apprezzato molto "La famiglia Winshaw", ma questo libro non mi è piaciuto. Particolare l'idea dei racconti nel romanzo, ma anche questa non è proprio un'idea che nessuno aveva avuto prima.
Troppa dietrologia, troppe spiegazioni ricercate tra parole estrapolate dal contesto, troppo dolore taciuto ed agito; insomma non è un libro che rileggerei, tantomeno in un bel pomeriggio d'estate sdraiata al sole, figurarsi in una stagione uggiosa come questa, quando davvero pensi che piovera' per sempre.
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Another amazing of example of the high quality of Coe's output. After reading the Dwarves of Death, which I wasn't all that thrilled by, I expected that as I moved further back through Coe's work I'd find less of the magic that make books like The House of Sleep, The Rotters Club, and The Rain Before it falls so amazing. Boy was I wrong! Coe's a master at capturing human emotion and while he's at it, weaving tales that really keep you guessing. My only gripe here is that A Touch of Love felt a t ...more
Derek Baldwin
The everyday unhappiness of a perennial under-achiever becomes unbearable when a ridiculous misunderstanding is blown out of proportion. This is rather slight, though I applaud the author's intentions. Revealing more about Robin's inner life through his unpublished stories is quite poignant, and that some of them outlive him is horribly ironic. But this just doesn't have the emotional depth the author may have been striving for. However there are some funny moments, it's well written, an easy re ...more
Georgiana 1792
Avendo letto "I Terribili segreti di Maxwell Sim" prima di questo romanzo, la prima cosa a cui ho pensato è stata che "L'Amore non guasta" fosse in qualche modo l'embrione di Maxwell Sim, sia come temi e concetti, che come struttura, con i quattro racconti (sempre quattro) che intervallano la narrazione.
E devo dire che, in questo caso, ho trovato i racconti più interessanti del romanzo in cui sono incastonati.
Comunque, rispetto alle altre letture di Coe da tre stelle, questa varrebbe una mezza s
Sandra KS Pitt
Mar 23, 2016 Sandra KS Pitt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk
Robin, 26 ans, est doctorant depuis 4 ans et ne semble pas prendre la chose très au sérieux. Il rêve plutôt d’être écrivain. Tout au long du livre on découvrira ses 4 nouvelles qui chacune à sa manière montre un pan de la personnalité de Robin ou simplement d’une vie fantasmée avec ses désirs inavoués. De manière générale on peut dire que c’est un être humain à tendance dépressive, qui ne se contente pas de sa vie et qui vit dans le souvenir d’un amour qui aurait pu être mais qui n’a pas été.

May 15, 2014 Ilmatte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
intenso e veloce, la vita immersa nel nichilismo di uno studente/scrittore, fallito e depresso, vissuta attraverso i suoi racconti brevi, a metà tra una confessione e uno sfogo. i racconti sono l'unico modo per prendere contatto con la propria realtà, per ammettere i propri fallimenti, ma in modo disperato, che non porterà alla salvezza. a un animo debole gli errori del passato portano disperazione. l'amore non guasta, ma è difficile riconoscerlo. purtroppo molte pagine di questo breve libro si ...more
Dec 08, 2015 thalakii rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Αν και ξεκίνησε καλά, στην πορεία μου φάνηκε περισσότερο άσκηση τεχνικής και σύνθεση διαφόρων ιστοριών που είχε στο μυαλό του παρά ολοκληρωμένο μυθιστόρημα. Ακόμα και στα πρώτα του βήματα βέβαια είναι χαρακτηριστικά αστείος. Δε μου κάνει εντύπωση πάντως που τα δυο πρώτα μυθιστορήματα του δεν μεταφράστηκαν στα ελληνικά.
Dec 18, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tutto-coe
This is Coe's second novel, and it's as goog as the first. His favourite topics are clearly developed: (troubled) friendship, (troubled) love, (troubled) working life, especially in the academic field.
But the end is, as usual, lighter. Although most of his characters suffers through his pages, there's always one of them who manage to detatch him/herself from the crowd, and rebuild his/her life in a more positive way
Feb 03, 2008 Mouse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reading
I'm not sure what to think or say about that novel. Except for that it was absolutely not what I expected. Not that I didn't like it; not at all but I thought it would be a different story.

On the back cover the Sunday Times described the novel as 'unusual and intriguing' and I guess it works, as descriptions go.

I certainly felt for Robin, but can't really say the same about the other characters.
Jan 17, 2011 D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
This is not a happy story, and it has no happy ending. But I didn't know that. Having read and appreciated 'What a Carve Up' by the same author, I expected this book to be a satirical novel. Still, after a somewhat boring first chapter, the plot quickly becomes very rich and interesting. I got drawn into this moving tale and, unusually, could not put the book down until it was finished.
Wan Ni
An interesting tale where the protagonist is not the primary actor. Despite a certain incident being pivotal to the plot, it is not described, but only mentioned in passing by one other character, not the parties involved. There are stories within stories in this novel and yet they all seem to tie to the protagonist and his psyche. A very confounding yet quaint read.
May 09, 2010 Vi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anguish. That is the feeling that I was left with after I finsihed the book. Emptiness, heartache and sorrow followed. Despite having said that, it was also full of laughter and I remmeber I actually laughed out loud at a scene in the book. Perhaps I'm just a very emotional reader but it was a story that moved me immensely, but not in a feel-good way.
Oct 23, 2012 Emanuela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non mi è dispiaciuto ma non mi ha nemmeno esaltato.
Forse, come leggo nelle review, questa è un'opera propedeutica a quelle successive di Coe di cui salvo i racconti all'interno della storia, narrati da Robin, un intellettuale letterato, inconcludente e depresso.

Vedrò in futuro di leggere qualcosa d'altro e farmi un'idea più precisa sull'autore.
Jan 05, 2014 Lara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Well written, and an interesting structure. Told from various points of view by characters who have dealings with the central young depressive. And interspersed with four stories by the perennial student himself.

But I felt I didn't quite get it. And didn't see the humour in lonely, odd characters, who I would cross the road to avoid.
May 21, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very nice read: light, witty, full of humour and yet touching yet deeper strings of our innermost feelings: loneliness, unrequited love, inability to relate to other. I loved the way the small novels by the protagonist, were inserted into the main plot, unfolding secrets by alluding to them via parrallel stories. Very touching indeed.
Mary  Goodnight
Jul 28, 2011 Mary Goodnight rated it really liked it
Frère jumeau de la "Femme de Hasard", Colin Grant, intellectuel aux révoltes et aux sentiments rentrés, trouve un sens à sa ... mort, le jour où il se retrouve accusé de pédophilie. Et l'on ressort de la lecture de ce deuxième roman de Jonathan Coe une nouvelle fois ébloui par le talent narratif de l'écrivain anglais...
May 27, 2013 Louise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is another author I think I like more than I do.
He writes well, but I just understand what this book was about....the stories within story were the best bit for me, and the completely different recollection of student days rang so true...but other than that, feel a bit flat.
Jayne Charles
The main interest I had in this was its setting - I know Coventry quite well as my husband comes from there. Lots of real life places are mentioned in the story. Quite short and to the point, as far as plot is concerned; I preferred Coe's longer stuff.
Monica Co
Nov 14, 2010 Monica Co rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story whose main character anticipates Coe's best creation (Benjamin Trotter). The story here is sadder and there is less space for hope. However the writing is absolutely fantastic and there are moments of genuine fun.
Più che per la trama in sé, il libro mi ha colpito per la sua funzione "metaletteraria", ovvero per il fatto che da ciò che Robin, il protagonista scrive, chi gli sta intorno, cerca di capire di più della sua personalità.
incipit mania

Non dire sciocchezze, cara, no che non ci sarà una guerra atomica ...
L'amore non guasta
Il mio primo Coe: una noia infinita.
Non so poi dove abbia trovato la forza per leggerne un secondo: e non che l'aver trovato questa forza sia stato ripagato in qualche modo.
Amos Martino
Apr 30, 2013 Amos Martino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
molta della malinconia pungente di Coe è concentrate in queste poche pagine. una scrittura a tratti amara e riservata per una storia da leggere...oltre le righe.
Jun 24, 2010 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Jonathan Coe, born 19 August 1961 in Birmingham, is a British novelist and writer. His work usually has an underlying preoccupation with political issues, although this serious engagement is often expressed comically in the form of satire. For example, What a Carve Up! rew
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