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Métaphysique des tubes

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  10,186 ratings  ·  619 reviews
"Il existe des êtres qui ne subissent pas la loi de l'évolution. Ce sont les légumes cliniques", ou des tubes par où circule seule la nourriture. Ces tubes ne sont pas pour autant sans cervelle puisqu'il arrive que celle-ci, suite à un "accident fatal", se réveille soudain, et déclenche la vie. C'est exactement ce qu'a vécu la (très) jeune narratrice de Métaphysique des tu ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 156 pages
Published January 10th 2004 by Le Livre de Poche (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,186 ratings  ·  619 reviews

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Petra-X Off having adventures
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Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, belgium, short
Another good one from Nothomb. I love her short but powerful novels. This wants to be her autobiography from the age of 2 and 1/2 until 3 while living in Japan. Obviously it is an invention as nobody has memories from that time as the author pretends to have. However, it is a special book and Amelie is a wonderful writer. Also, I love to read about her experience of Japan despite it being mostly fiction.
Salam Ch
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
just finished the French version so currently reading the English version before the rating till now it s quite better :-)

this is the weirdest autobiography I ever read!! starting reading it in French with a tube a god and a vegetable what the hell !!! either am not understanding or this writer is hyper crazy couldn't tie anything together so I decided to finish the French version and read the English version coz I didnt want any idea or word to slip without looking deeply to it and she rocked m
Really 2.5*: it's not a bad book, but I didn't really enjoy it (fortunately, it's very short).

This describes Nothomb's life from her birth until her third birthday. The youngest child of a Belgian diplomat in Japan, she tells it with the Japanese assumption that children are gods until their third birthday: "at three... you see everything and understand nothing" because you don't remember the previous year (though she claims to). Unfortunately, I quickly found the gimmick of the omniscient and
MJ Nicholls
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book narrated by a two-year-old intellectual prodigy, slyly based on the author’s own upbringing in Japan. As the blurb states, the book looks at the Japanese notion of okosama, or the Lord Child, a piece of lore where children are revered as Gods until they are three. This is true of a toddler’s own outlook: there is no one more important in the world than themselves—attention lavished on others is downright insulting.

What transpires is a curious novel about a two-year-old experiencing the wo
Lukasz Pruski
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Writers create worlds in their books. These worlds may be reflections of the real, physical world, but they do not have to be. The only constraint writers are subject to while creating these worlds is to make them internally consistent (and original and captivating, of course). Amelie Nothomb has created in her books a world in which a little child (in "The Character of Rain" the narrator is Amelie herself at the age between two and three) is fully developed intellectually and emotionally, able ...more
Nick Klagge
Aug 15, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found reading this book to be a pretty unpleasant experience--surprising, as it was recommended by a good friend of mine.

The narrator is a child prodigy who goes from age 0 to age 3 in this book. I found her extremely unpleasant, and two main touchstones came to mind. One was Alia Atreides from the "Dune" novels, who is called "The Abomination" because she is born with the memories and mental capacities of an adult. The sense in which this is an "abomination" was left mostly tacit in the Dune
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lang-fr
What a book! I was doubtful going into this, which then turned into wary, which slowly transformed into interested, then amused, then laughing out loud for a whole chapter (how the dad got into Noh! Brilliant stuff), and finally fascinated. All of this in 157 pages!

This is a book about a baby who spends 2 and a half years in a vegetative state. After two and a half years, she wakes up. The book describes the first three years of her life, including some of the time she was a "vegetable". As she
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-belgium
This is a difficult book to describe. Put briefly, the novel attempts to capture the mind of an infant. It is occasionally engaging and sometimes witty, but is spoiled by numerous pseudo-philosophical musings. These supposed pearls of wisdom include the following:

"There isn't any point to remembering that which has no connection to pleasure". Really? No point in remembering your past mistakes, then?

"For children the only true pleasure lies in eating". Obviously no child enjoys playing in the par
Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
I certainly have no idea how much of it is fiction and how much real memories. I could argue about the impossibility of one remembering actual facts from birth till the 3rd birthday, but it's definitely not important and I can't expect everybody to have my poor memory. Anyway, she freely admits herself to be an ingenious liar, so...

I totally love this insane woman and I so needed this humorous book right now, I wish it worked as an anti-flu shot.
Rihab Sebaaly
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
That's what I can call a talented writer ! ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing this book has going for it is that it's short.. And at 132 pages it's still too long. Dont even bother.... ...more
“People are often asked what, as children, they wanted to be when they grew up. In my case it would be better to ask my parents. Their replies would provide an idea of precisely what I didn’t want to be when I grew up.”

As a kid, I’ve always wanted to be a scientist, not necessarily having a specific specialization in mind, but since I secretly liked insects, I was gradually fantasizing about becoming an entomologist as a grown up. I was also fond of astronomy and had the urge to learn more about
Luna Grandón
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked the philosophical way of Amelie's writing. If you remain on the surface, trying to understand the plot and why there is an omniscient baby telling the story, you will loose the very deep opportunity this book gives to think about life, consciousness, pleasure, self vs. relationships, etc. ...more
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
French is not my first language, nor my second. So the first times I started reading this I never got past page 17. For many months I ignored the book. Then a week ago I took it with me on the train and when I got home again I had reached page 57.

This is an amazing book, written from the point of view of a child between two-and-a-half and three years old, except for the first part of the book where the same child has a rather strange start in life which is told in third person (but still as muc
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
A more detailed description of Amelie's childhood. Like all her autobiographical works, I loved it!

The beginning was a most awkward and fascinating one. She awakes at the taste of chocolate, oh Amelie, I think I understand what you are trying to say. Chocolate is a most exquisite food, is it not? :)

When the "tube" finally awakens we get to see her experience in the beautiful Japan. I do think I loved Japan more through her eye. Every-time I hear about this country I fall in love again, they are
Apr 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japandemonium
I have to say, Nothomb's books fascinate me. It's best not to read them as memoirs, though she draws from her life, as she freely admits she loves to lie and doesn't care if she's believed. That said, this is the story of a child/God/tube from day one to shortly after her third birthday. From scrupulously debating within herself what should be her third spoken word to finally confessing to her parents she knows how to speak (complex thoughts in complex sentences), Nothomb's little creation bears ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Japanese , the character used for Rain is the same as the character used for Amelie.

Amelie is a Belgian who lived her toddler days in Kobe Japan when her diplomat parents were stationed there .This little novella encapsulates her memories from age Two to Three.

‘What a load of crock ?’ would be the first response from anyone after reading that statement. But, let me tell you it’s a delightful read.

It plays like a studio Ghibli movie , where you feel kinship with the animation.
Amelie describes
Mar 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, french
Already the one-line description "an autobiography from age 0-3" had me intrigued, but I wasn't prepared for the amount and level of philosophical thought, not to mention wit, which could be incorporated into what is essentially a 150-page toddler's internal monologue. Tweeness is avoided by having the child reason and express herself (in her own mind, if not to others) like an adult (a fairly sophisticated adult at that), which makes the contrast with her infantile emotional states and physical ...more
Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Wow--the most original work of fiction in 100 years of fiction. I usually don't review more than "a good beat, and I can dance to it," but this exploration of mind, self, and whether we are part of the world or separate from it makes the old existentialists seem like the children. The narrator/god explains her perception, from birth to age three. Will she have desires, or just be whole? The universe (Japan) embraces her, and those in tune with the universe understand that an act as simple as sav ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020, belgium
Amelie Nothomb retold her life experiences when she was two and a half years old living in Kobe, Japan with her family. I couldn't believe a two and a half years old would have such mature thinking processes and life interpretation. She was a precocious little girl for sure.
(I myself did not remember anything when I was at that age :-))

Like many other works of hers, The Character of Rain blends facts and fiction together, and the result is a hilarious and original novella.

Rue Matthiessen
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting, flawed book. It's hard to pull off a far out, philosophical, west meets east narrative like this. High concept reading, for sure. But a distinct voice, and a fearless one. Though it didn't work as a whole, the ideas and vision were strong enough that it sustained this reader, for one. I do recommend it as a departure from the ordinary. ...more
Jul 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I had a totally different idea of what the book was supposed to be about at the beginning, then slowly and surely understood the irony in her voice. Cute book, interesting cultural notations as well.
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book is one of its kind. while i was reading the book it was like i was also living it in my daily life. I didnt want it to be over. Her way of writing is very distinctive. She makes her criticsm on patriarchal society is the part I mostly enjoy reading
Subhasree Basu
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful novella about the workings of the mind of a three-year old. A sterling example of magical realism where Nothomb attempts to answer a great deal of philosophical questions through the innocence and curiosity of a toddler.
El Vladu
Jan 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
It´s a big nothing. I did´nt like it. Maybe Amelie writes a lot of books, but... Books are not shits. You don´t produce them every day... Sorry, I think this was just a waste of time.
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely little novel - funny and insightful.
Underwhelming. I really liked the beginning, I thought it was original and very interesting but then the story went flat. Luckily it was a very short book otherwise it would have been a dnf for me.
Anna Stephenson
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
this is so much fun, would recommend if you want something fairly easy to read in French which is full of wit and charm
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
Early childhood in a Belgian family living in Japan. Some funny observations.
This is the author's second book in which she talks about eating Shrimp Okonomiyaki with Hiroshima Sauce. I need to try this.

WSU library
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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

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