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Des Parasites Comme Nous
 
by
Adam Johnson
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Des Parasites Comme Nous

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  566 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Hank Hannah, professeur de paléontologie, a connu son heure de gloire en publiant un livre controversé dans lequel il soutenait que les populations asiatiques ayant colonisé les deux Amériques sont à l'origine de la disparition de la plupart des grands mammifères. Depuis il s'intéresse à un jeune étudiant millionnaire qui vit, depuis un an, comme un homme des cavernes.
462 pages
Published 2006 by Denoël (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,261)
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Aaron
Aug 30, 2007 Aaron rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoy's slightly disturbing comic romps
It was the playwright that got to me. I was already into this book. Digging it, if you will. On page 272, a playwright gets gunned down and, as he dies, he begs our hero to "Find my play." He even tells the hero where to find it and then asks him to make necessary changes. "In Act IV," he instructs, "erase the cruel words that Lonnie speaks. He doesn't mean it. I know that now."

This got to me.

Isn't this one of the reasons we choose to write? For immortality, for recognition even after we die?
...more
Caris
Parasites Like Us follows the story of Dr. Hank Hannah, an anthropology instructor specializing in the Clovis, the original inhabitants of North America. Under his tutelage are two bright and innovative students: Eggers (whose thesis revolves around adopting the traditional Clovis lifestyle) and Trudy (who Dr. Hannah ashamedly pines for). The trio makes a discovery that turns the world on its head, and brings an end to comfort in which they live.

Although occasionally haunting and eloquent, this
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Adam
Horrible writing. I can't help but shake the feeling that the author wrote this in grad school with the hopes it would be picked up for a movie. But the writing and especially the dialogue are suitable for only a Sci-Fi Network TV-Movie.

Midlife Crisis Academic - Check
Quirky Old Man - Check
Cold Woman eventually warms up to Midlife Crisis Academic - Check
Various slapstick shenanigans - Check
Adventures with animals, extreme weather, military and various other things to spice up a movie script. - Ch
...more
Chris
Guh. You know, who doesn't love a good end-of-the-world story, to say nothing of an end of the world story involving a tarblack sense of humor and a big, burning pig, but I swear I just don't know how many more books we need about past-their-prime academics who can't get a handle on their lives who muddle through their role as an uninspiring lead.

I mean, I tried sticking around (like 'Titanic') to see the world end, but this book couldn't get out of its own way -- it pretty much droned on and on
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Chazzbot
This is the best end-of-the-world novel I've ever read. What begins as a razor-sharp satire of academia (tenured professors who've lost their passion, grad students trying to make a name for themselves, the tedious social order of the university) and archeology slowly boils into a equally sharp portrayal of a world collapsing on itself. Though the novel ends on a rather bleak note--Johnson finds little salvation in humanity's struggle--it is as realistic and darkly comedic as you might hope an a ...more
Jeremy Zerbe
"After trashing his cherry '72 Corvette, illegally breaking into an ancient burial site, and snacking on 12,000-year-old popcorn, Hank Hannah finds that he's inadvertently unleashed the apocalypse," begins the blurb on the back cover of Adam Johnson's debut novel, last year's Parasites Like Us. Sounds pretty interesting, doesn't it? It certainly did to me. Interesting enough for me to buy the book on a whim when I saw it at a discount book store. I had seen the novel a year earlier when it had j ...more
Erin
Dear Mr. Johnson,

Please end the world more quickly in your next book. It turns out you are way more interesting when you're destroying humanity. It took us about five pages to realize how lame Hank was. Then you kept establishing that fact for half the book. Props to your sweet apocalypse, but we could use some more of it.

Sweet. Thanks.

Sincerely,

Erin
Barbi
While the premise is interesting, this is an example of a book with terrible pacing. The beginning of the book crawled, and too much was jammed into the end. It felt like two different book crammed into one. At the end, I was annoyed with myself for finishing the book.
Christy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Acellnamedscooter
I am left with a 'huh?' feeling after finishing this book. It feels like there was so much build up and then it ended so quickly, like the author ran over a deadline and had to wrap it up. The climax is so rushed over, that it could easily be missed (I had to go back and read it twice). Why all the mom-issues that he spent ages agonizing about are never referred to after the climax? Julia (or is it Yulia??) - why the obsession? Still don't get it.
The end of the world scenario is a frightening id
...more
Susan
Dr Hank Hannah is a professor of anthropology at the University of Southeastern South Dakota. In this novel, we learn of how he studies the Clovis people – the first humans to cross the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia 12,000 years previously, created an empire, exploited the lands resources and then disbanded into over 600 Native American tribes. Much of this book is ironic and filled with dark humour; tying in the exploitation of the land so long ago to events in the present.

Hannah has two stu
...more
David
Interesting premise (anthropologist disturbs an artifact in an ancient burial mound and triggers the apocalypse); but the development was rambling, poorly written and completely boring.

Full disclosure: I stopped reading this book with only about 40 pages to go, because I just couldn't stand it any longer.
Ryandake
wow, i can't believe i hadn't read this before, or that none of my friends insisted i read it--it is so perfectly up my alley, and so well-done.

why does it inhabit the alley? because there's a lot to be learned in this book, in this case about how people who dig up other people for a living view the world. our hero, Hank Hannah, is sliding rather too rapidly into the academic dustbin (but he has tenure!). his love life is nonexistent. his family is shattered; he has only one friend. he has two o
...more
C
I was very looking forward to reading this one since I loved the brilliant 'The Orphan Master's Son' that should win all the awards and that still wouldn't say how amazing the book is. This one is interesting! It's a bit like a humorous Darwinian apocalypse tale, with shades of Kurt Vonnegut (especially 'Cat's Cradle' with the scientists as main characters and the icy doom... this one even has little drawings reminiscent of Vonnegut's.) It also reminded me of T.C. Boyle's smart and detailed writ ...more
Allison Hogan
I read this book after reading Adam Johnson's second novel, the Orphan Master's Son, which won the Pulitzer. I was interested in seeing how he got to that book, which I thought was incredible. To be honest, I was kind of surprised. Parasites Like Us takes place in a much less interesting setting, South Dakota. Narrator Hank Hannah is a self-absorbed professor trying to come to terms with the death of his step-mother and the fact that his career is quickly becoming something of a joke. He has two ...more
Emily
I just loved The Orphan Master's son and thought I would go back to early Adam Johnson to get a good idea of his humble roots. But this book was weird. Not really even a good weird. Kind of a gross weird. There's a lot of archaeology talk in here which turns out to be more existential than Jurassic Park. Throw in some post apocalyptic stuff and there you have it. I think it was certainly creative but most of the time the concept was lost on me. I still think he's great though! Go Adam Go!
GONZA
Strange book that somehow made ​​me feel unease while reading it or later when I was thinking about it, not so much for the story as for the strange characters who inhabit it. I would rather complain about the back cover that spoilers the whole story, it is true that one just goes on Goodreads for knowing the plot of a book, but I usually just avoid it so as not to spoil the surprise! Anyway I loved all the thoughts about anthropology.

Strano libro che in qualche modo non mi ha fatto sentire a mi
...more
Monica
A challenging and different read taking place in South Dakota. A nebbish and initially unappealing anthropology professor whose field is Clovis - the forerunners of American Indians - and his two top PhD students find a 12,000 year old skeleton and artifacts. A virus from an artifact kills 99.99999% of mankind within 10 days.

While I liked Johnson's Orphan Master's Son more, Parasites is quite intriguing.
Judy
Hank Hannah is an anthropologist working at The University of South Eastern South Dakota. He once wrote a book about the Clovis people, the first people to cross the Bering Strait to North America, and who were thought to have caused the extinction of 35 species of mammals. He is no longer held in such high esteem by his peers, having produced nothing of note since writing his book “The Depletionists”. He is supervising two anthropology students – Eggers is living in the style of the Clovis peop ...more
Karen Cole
After trashing his cherry '72 Corvette, illegally breaking into an ancient burial site, and snacking on 12,000-year-old popcorn, Hank Hannah finds that he's inadvertently unleashed the apocalypse. Hank, a professor of anthropology back in the days when there were still co-eds to ogle and now one of only twelve humans still alive on earth, decides to record the last days of human civilization for whomever - or whatever - might replace us."

The description for Parasites Like Us led me to believe th
...more
Cheryl
Feb 06, 2014 Cheryl marked it as skimmed-reference-dnf  ·  review of another edition
I got to page 124 of 341. As best as I can tell: Not SF. Not literature. And if these people are meant to be representative of humanity - I say good riddance to us; bring on the apocalypse.
Lisa Houlihan
One of the best typos ever: Instead of dropping the tranny (transmission), someone "drops the tyranny." Fight the power!

199: "I've taken a liking to a dish I call 'culvert surprise.'"

It also took me till page 199 to read the title's "like" as a verb instead of only a preposition.

The pacing is uneven and the two parts of the book don't quite flow but they're both great so that's okay.

It bothers me that I can't pin "Parkton" with its "University of Southeasterern South Dakota" to a particular pla
...more
Glyde.com
Felt like a was reading a mediocre movie, if you will.
Josh Trapani
After being blown away by The Orphan Master's Son, I found this - Johnson's first novel - somewhat of a disappointment. The language is spectacular and the characters distinctive. The wry tone was sometimes amusing (though rarely funny) but more often a bit irritating or even confusing (there were a few scenes I thought must be dreams as I read them, but evidently they weren't). I think something else that stuck in my craw about this book: the protagonist is an anthropologist who studies Clovis ...more
Brad Kirk
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was funny, well-written, and has a great premise. This book isn't about the end of human civilisation and I think the complaints from readers who wish the book started at the final 100 pages are unjust. I think the point of this book is to understand and accept ourselves and to cultivate the things that really matter in life. Our relationships with others being the primary thing instead of trying to attain some goal or status that ultimately doesn't matte ...more
David
It took me a long, long time to finish Parasites Like Us. This is where I'd normally explain that the book couldn't keep my attention and that I finished it only to see it through to the bitter end, etc. But not this time. Nope, the book itself is not to blame at all. I was just having a hard time fitting reading into my daily schedule. So it's perhaps remarkable that when Parasites would veer off into a tangent or two, or when I found myself disliking some of his characters, Johnson's writing a ...more
Karson
At times this book was maddening. The last one hundred pages or so made it almost worth it. The idea is great. An anthropologist tries to get closer to the people around him by furthering his understanding of people that lived 10,000 years ago (The Clovis - hunter gatherers that crossed the land bridge from Asia to North America.) I'm not going to give anything away but in the last 100 pages this book turns big-scale adventurous. The first 250 pages, however, meandered too much, were too wordy, ...more
Glenn Murphy
It often amazes me how some of the most thoughtful, philosophical writing comes intertwined with over the top satire. Maybe it needs to be that way, maybe the ridiculous puts you off guard and lets the serious sneak up on you. The character of Hank Hannah and the plot he's caught up in are absurd, but through him Johnson explores very real issues of coping with loss, loneliness, and isolation, and does it with carefully crafted and sometimes beautiful language.

"If there are ghosts on this earth,
...more
Trish
Outstanding. I enjoyed this novel immensely. It starts slow, with intimations of a coming cataclysm. Anthropologist Hank Hannah narrates what at first simply seems to be the tale of his own mishaps and blunders and then expands to encompass the downfall of humanity.

Hank's not doing so well. His career has stalled at a small South Dakota college. The death of his step-mother has left him feeling unmoored and estranged from his now swinging bachelor father. And his two graduate students quickly h
...more
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Adam Johnson was born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona. He earned a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University in 1992; a MFA from the writing program at McNeese State University, in 1996; and a PhD in English from Florida State University in 2000. Johnson is currently a San Francisco writer and associate professor in creative writing at Stanford University.

He founded the Stanford Graphi
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