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The War of the Roses

af Warren Adler

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
19310143,471 (3.47)17
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

The War of the Roses has over time emerged as a synonym for modern divorce and its emotional aftershock. Since its publication, it has spawned numerous film and stage adaptations, prompted endless discourse on the dynamics of divorce, and has become part of the legal jargon describing the proceedings that follow.

Adler's iconic tale takes us from suburban bliss to a deadly territorial battle. Jonathan and Barbara Rose are at first glance the perfect couple. Jonathan has a stable law career; Barbara is an aspiring gourmet entrepreneur with a promising pt recipe. Their large home holds the rich antique collection that originally brought them together, as well as the loving familial bond that intertwines them with their children Eve and Josh.

When Jonathan finds himself suddenly gripped by what is presumably a heart attack and Barbara confronts the loveless spell lingering between them, the sun-soaked sky that was once the Rose family union drifts into a torrential downpour. Their mutual hatred becomes ammunition in a domestic warfare that escalates in the most unpredictable ways while they helplessly eye their dwindling nuptial flame. In the chaos that unfolds, Adler allows a moment of much needed contemplation on the shape of today's matrimonial bonds.

The War of the Roses illuminates the relationship-shattering materialism, contempt, and selfishness of husband and wife by posing a timeless question: how far are we willing to allow our material possessions the power to define who we are? Are today's marriages haunted by the struggle to get even?

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Ha esetleg kocsmai verekedésbe keverednénk, semmiképpen se William Shakespeare-t kérjük meg, hogy tanúskodjon mellettünk, pláne ellenünk. Mert még a végén az jönne ki, hogy „York szép városa lángokban áll! Letépett fülek és karok a kőbányais rekeszek szörnyű halmai alatt! Mindenki meghalt véresen, kínok között, csak Fortinbras nem: ő monologizál.” Szerencsére a Történelem, ez a nett, őszes barkójú úr szólásra emelkedik, és korrigálja, amit a kelekótya irodalom nagy lelkesülten kiszínezett.

Gillingham monográfiája a Rózsák háborújának történetét meséli el, ami így röviden összefoglalva arról szólt, hogy egy rakás Edward, Henrik meg Richard egymás torkának ugrott, mert nagyon szerettek volna római számot biggyeszteni a nevük elé. Ez az eseménysor a XV. század második felében zajlott le, és leginkább Shakespeare királydrámáinak interpretálásában lehet nekünk ismerős. Csak hát a jó öreg Lándzsarázó Vilmos nem oknyomozó riporter volt, hanem protohollywoodi forgatókönyveket írt, amelyek sikere nagyban függött attól, hány vödör vért locsoltak szét bennük a színpadon*. Gillingham fő ambíciója az, hogy lekaparja a mítoszokat az eseményekről. Rámutat, hogy bár azt hihetnénk, akkoriban gyakorlatilag egész Anglia egy merő káosz volt, a lakosság pedig belemakkant a vég nélküli gyilkolásba, valójában a Rózsák háborúja meglepően kevéssé, sőt, semennyire sem hátráltatta a szigetországot a fejlődésben. A városok továbbra is virágoztak, a kereskedelem szintúgy, és bár valóban fel-fellángoltak mindenféle csatározások, de összességében a korszak jelentős részében a béke uralkodott. Hogy lehet ez? Egyfelől azért, mert a Lancesterek és a Yorkok dinasztikus villongásai** az arisztokrácia „magánügyei” voltak, és mindegyik fél nagyon ügyelt arra, hogy a közemberek és az infrastruktúra ne sérüljön. Naná, hisz királyok akartak lenni – és mihez kezdtek volna egy olyan királysággal, amit előtte alaposan kifiléztek? Ugyanezen okból ódzkodtak attól is, hogy hatalmas adóterhekkel nehezítsék meg a lakosság életét, következésképpen seregeiket sosem tudták sokáig egyben tartani – ez pedig jótékonyan korlátozta a harci cselekmények időtartamát. Akkor miért terjedt el mégis, hogy ez egy vérben tocsogó korszak volt? Nos, paradox módon azért, mert nem volt az: ugyanis ekkoriban már annyira rendezettek voltak a viszonyok, hogy volt idejük a hivataloknak feljegyzéseket készíteni, míg az ezt megelőző századokban nem. Pedig hát ott is akadt csihipuhi rendesen. Csak lehet, senkinek nem volt ideje és energiája beszélni róluk.

Remek kötet, helyenként fanyar humorral megírt történelmi értekezés, amelyet áthat a (néha meddő) igyekezet, hogy forrásainak hiteléről meggyőződjön. (Mellesleg pont ez – a rigorózus forráskritika –, ami azok számára is érdekessé teszi, akik nem konkrétan a XV. század, hanem úgy általában a történelemtudomány működése iránt érdeklődnek.) Tanulsága is vagyon: sose higgy az irodalmárnak. Akkor se, ha Shakespeare. Sőt, akkor legkevésbé.

* Igaz, Shakespeare is csak hozott anyagból dolgozott: abból állította össze drámáit, amit elődei átpolitizált írásaikban ráhagyományoztak.
** Jegyezzük meg: a Rózsák háborúja valójában három jól elkülöníthető összeütközésből állt, amelyek közül csak az első színtiszta Lancester-York villongás. A többi már ennél jóval kacifántosabb belpolitikai katyvasz volt, amely elsősorban az uralomra jutott Yorkok berkein belül zajlott. ( )
  Kuszma | Jul 2, 2022 |
What exactly is marriage? Is marriage truly a sacred bond between two people who promise each other to be with each other in sickness and in health until death finally does them apart, or is marriage just this necessary action between two people to profess love towards one another on a piece of paper without actually knowing one another inside and out? Well, clearly this novel's not about the good side of a marriage, but more about the bad side, for it has this raging irrational wife who describes the B-word to a T, who's not really satisfied with her life and blames her husband for it, and a husband who does actually give a damn about his marriage, well, at least until his wife decides to destroy his stuff from one stuff to another, because he's just too stubborn to move out of the house that's half his and half hers, because they've built it together. Sounds complicated, right? Well, add money thirsty lawyers, two great kids, and pride to the mix and you have got a recipe for disaster and pretty much a possibility for something immensely bad to happen to one of them or both of them. Whatever the case, Barbara and Oliver Rose may not be the most perfect married couple, but their story has earned four stars from me, because even though she was a B-word and he eventually became an A-word, I could understand both of their struggles they were facing from both of their perspective, and the writer has truly done an outstanding job with describing both of their struggles, and explaining how the household that was once the happiest household in the neighborhood, can, if we are not careful enough, turn into a battlefield, and battlefield into war that's either won or lost. ( )
  Champ88 | Dec 25, 2019 |
This is definitely not your War of the Roses movie. Although there are some of the same things happening in both, the movie was made into a black comedy and there is nothing comedic about this book. A look into the world of divorce where each one thinks of all the material possessions as theirs exclusively and how far they will go to keep it. I do have to say that while the movie makes you sympathetic towards Barbara I was somewhat surprised to find that in the book I actually hated her. In the movie she is basically bullied by Jonathan and his self important role in their lives while in the book he is all about family and his children and providing for them.

I love the movie and I am so happy that I read the book because I love it also. I kind of would like to see a movie made from the seriousness of the book. Give it a try. ( )
  Draak | Oct 22, 2014 |
When the son of the infamous Roses marries the daughter of a bitter divorced woman there is bound to be trouble. The old quote "Children learn what they live" shows its truth here. There comes a time when there is trouble in their marriage.
The characters are wonderful. Josh Rose is incredibly likeable despite his lapse in judgement. Victoria Rose is a woman who sees life in black and white, there are no grey areas for her. She seems so rigid you expect her to snap. I wanted to dislike her but I couldn't. I found myself feeling pity for her. Aunt Evie is lovable. Everyone should have Aunt Evie in their lives. Victoria's mother is a bitter old shrew. She is very easy to hate. I wanted to shake got her.
The story itself is captivating. I was pulled in immediately and the book wouldn't let me go. I kept saying to myself "Just one more chapter and I'll go to bed.". It was suddenly 4:00 a.m. and there were no more chapters.

I loved it! ( )
  lexiesmom | Aug 26, 2014 |
This was a Goodreads First-read. I liked the book, but it was sad - not dark, just sad. ( )
  LoisB | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

The War of the Roses has over time emerged as a synonym for modern divorce and its emotional aftershock. Since its publication, it has spawned numerous film and stage adaptations, prompted endless discourse on the dynamics of divorce, and has become part of the legal jargon describing the proceedings that follow.

Adler's iconic tale takes us from suburban bliss to a deadly territorial battle. Jonathan and Barbara Rose are at first glance the perfect couple. Jonathan has a stable law career; Barbara is an aspiring gourmet entrepreneur with a promising pt recipe. Their large home holds the rich antique collection that originally brought them together, as well as the loving familial bond that intertwines them with their children Eve and Josh.

When Jonathan finds himself suddenly gripped by what is presumably a heart attack and Barbara confronts the loveless spell lingering between them, the sun-soaked sky that was once the Rose family union drifts into a torrential downpour. Their mutual hatred becomes ammunition in a domestic warfare that escalates in the most unpredictable ways while they helplessly eye their dwindling nuptial flame. In the chaos that unfolds, Adler allows a moment of much needed contemplation on the shape of today's matrimonial bonds.

The War of the Roses illuminates the relationship-shattering materialism, contempt, and selfishness of husband and wife by posing a timeless question: how far are we willing to allow our material possessions the power to define who we are? Are today's marriages haunted by the struggle to get even?

.

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