The Ickabog

The Ickabog Livres audio Audible – Version intégrale

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Détails sur le produit

Durée 7 heures et 52 minutes
Auteur J.K. Rowling
Narrateur Stephen Fry
Date de publication sur 10 novembre 2020
Éditeur Audible Studios
Type de programme Livre audio
Version Version intégrale
Langue Anglais
Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon 4,949 en Livres et œuvres originales Audible (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres et œuvres originales Audible)
24 en Sociabilité/comp. essentielles enfants
48 en Contes de fées/populaires, mythes enfant
49 en Fiction sur les monstres pour enfants

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4,7 sur 5 étoiles
4,7 sur 5
14 526 évaluations

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Commenté en France le 23 novembre 2020
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4,0 sur 5 étoiles Un peu trop politiquement correct
Commenté en France le 23 novembre 2020
The project of the book, of the tale, is by itself good. The story was invented chapter after chapter during the COVID-19 epidemic’s first wave, released free on the Internet, still chapter after chapter, day after day, and young readers from all over the world were invited to illustrate the tale, the book. Some of these numerous drawings were selected and were used in the book when it finally was published in November 2020. Apparently, the final version of the published tale was validated by the readers who insisted on keeping some of the details or events that were in the daily version and had been removed or changed by the author. All writers who work with young audiences and give them a say in the story know that these children are particularly keen on some details or events to be added or kept, even if they are apparently illogical. The writer is supposed to make it fit and it is always possible to find a way.

The story is a blend of several lines that have been traditional in many children’s stories since at least the 17th century, and for some a lot longer since they had not been codified in written form before the 17th century, for most of them thanks to Charles Perrault (1628-1703) and the Grimm brothers (Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm, 1785–1863, and Wilhelm Carl Grimm, 1786–1859), and a few others. We could trace these lines but that would divert us from the originality of the tale and book.

We start with a rich kingdom inherited by the young heir after the death of his father and he became King Fred the Fearless, a nickname based on nothing at all since he has never taken part in any battle of any sort. Three people are around this young king: two lords, Lord Spittleworth and Lord Flapoon (note the derogatory connections of these two names that make them at least funny if not ridiculous), and the Chief Advisor, Herringbone. And this name has to be connected with a pattern consisting of columns of short parallel lines, with all the lines in one column sloping one way and all the lines in the next column sloping the other way, so as to resemble the bones in a fish, for example as used in the weave of cloth. Slanting or leaning one way or the other. Or it could be a duck practicing skiing in the snow using the herringbone technique, a method of ascending a slope by walking up it with the skis pointing outwards. And that brings to mind a red herring image, something that draws attention away from the matter being discussed or dealt with, in other words, he is the one who tries all the time to block all the speculations of the two lords and bring the king back on the right path, or keep him there. The two lords are ambitious, and they will do all they can to become the true masters of the country, and they surely succeed in no time thanks to the Ickabog.

Second line in the story, the Ickabog is a “monster” in the family folklore to keep children on the proper path by menacing them with being eaten up by the Ickabog. The two lords use an incident to make this fear real by making the Ickabog real, meaning they created all kinds of incidents to eliminate those opposed to their absolute power and they declared the Ickabog responsible for the “crimes.” It is entirely fake and yet the Ickabog will be revealed to be in a way a true being.

The third line is children. The story centers on a few children who will save the kingdom from complete perdition, rejuvenate and regenerate the Ickabog myth, and catch and punish the two lords and a few of their accomplices, just one or two notches of guilt higher than plain accessories. But the author misses the perfection of Shakespeare’s plays by having only three marriages at the end instead of four, though a fourth one would have been possible, but the author makes them brother and sister, though they definitely are not.

An important section is on the abuse of children, most of them declared orphans or abandoned by their parents who are too poor to take care of them. This line is represented by an orphanage in which the owner is making a fortune thanks to the money she gets from the two lords to get these children off the streets and roads, to famish and abuse them in all possible ways till they die as soon as possible and are buried in a private cemetery behind the orphanage. It explores some of the ways children can resist such abuse, but it is not entirely convincing because without the main children (four of them) who will save the kingdom there would have been no resistance. And yet the end sees a popular upheaval against the corrupted lords but it is once again only possible because of the four children we are speaking of, Daisy, Bert, Martha, and Roderick, two boys and two girls, let’s remain well balanced in gender, though on the side of the political power of the king and of the republic after him, men are definitely dominant. No female Prime Minister, please, and no female soldiers, please. Note all Ickabogs can deliver children, and they generally deliver two and these two babies can have very different characters. In other words, they are desexualized since it is in their genes to give birth to two children and die in the process, and it is in their genes that the two babies will have the characters corresponding to the moods of the deliverer at the time of delivery.

That means the story is rather well balanced as for gender but yet it reveals males remain dominant in the higher spheres of power, even if the new male Prime Minister of Cornucopia tells the king of Pluritania to stop exchanging his daughters for delicatessen food, hence treating his own daughters has some kind of bartering currency. The author still has some way to go to reach real equality, balanced diversity, and the mushroom development is not making the Ickabogs rich, but it is making some good old humans rich and on the sole basis of married couples, man and woman of course, with only two who remain unmarried, Bert and Daisy who are promoted to the fake status of brother and sister. The author still has some problem with diversity and gender, though this last element was exacerbated by her support to a woman who defended the position that sex cannot be changed, thus asserting that any trans-being is not human, and any gender “confusion” is in no way biologically acceptable. A man is a man and will die a man, no matter what. A woman is a woman and will die a woman no matter what. She definitely could have explored, even on the side of the tale, but why not right in the center, some gender diversity. But she does not. She says, in public life, she supports all gender diversity positions, but she does not integrate them into her stories. That was already true with Harry Potter and it is still true with The Ickabog. To be different in gender you have to be a monster, an Ickabog, and that is genetically determined by the species. An Ickabog is genetically of one single sex or gender like some hermaphrodite animals, like snails, echinoderms, worms, and some fish, and when they give birth the delivering individual dies like some snakes whose eggs hatched inside the delivering individual and this individual has to pop open and die to let the newly hatched snakes come out.

Interesting though but still slightly behind times when we read stories about orphanages and foster kids that are sorted out as easily 30% non-hetero in some recent studies in the USA. Though these studies seem to insist on the disruptive dimension of such situations that are depicted as being out of the standard family pattern. There is still a long way to go before we recognize that such variations in gender and gender orientation are “socially natural,” which means both genetic and social, hence the result of two dimensions, one being purely biological. So, in other words, a man can be a lot more than just plainly a male, and a woman can be a lot more than just plainly a female.

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5,0 sur 5 étoiles Really enjoying the book
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 11 novembre 2020
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Mr. Raymond Bolitho
5,0 sur 5 étoiles Good
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Pamela Scott
5,0 sur 5 étoiles Such a treat
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 15 novembre 2020
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5,0 sur 5 étoiles My 9 year old loves this book!
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 10 novembre 2020
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5,0 sur 5 étoiles CHILDREN LOVE IT (and adults too)
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