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Susan八年级校园生活(22)--地狱设备(畅销小说)

 

地狱设备

 

Susan 小哭译

 

对我来说,读一本书就如同赴一场约会。开始时,我要么因为找到了一本真正的好书而激动万分,要么会因为感觉乏味而迫不急待地想结束这第一次约会。通常,读完第一章,如果我不喜欢这本书,我就会结束这种关系。当我真的遇到一本好书时,我就会继续读下去,读得越多,我就会与书联系得越紧密,就好像是在与它约会一样。但是,书和约会的不同之处在于最后总要分手:我总会读完一本书,这事儿无可避免。如果一本书从一开始就不令人激动,那读完也算是一种解脱。然而,当我遇到一本特别好的书时,读完书我就会非常地难过。我通常用找到另一本好书去寄托来处理这种分手后的悲伤(我知道,那不是一个非常好的应对机制)。可是,有时分手实在是令人太伤心了,我觉得自己好像永远也不想再去读任何一本书了。当一本书超级精彩时,读完就是一个让我永远都不想再读书了的充满痛苦的经历。真是太痛苦了,那就是我读完《地狱设备》后的感觉。

 

这事儿我以前说过很多次,但是我从来也没有像这次感觉这么强烈:《地狱设备》是我读过的最好的书。几乎所有的方面它都位于我最喜欢的书单上:最好的人物发展、 魔幻和现实最好的结合、最好的写作风格、最好的关系发展、最好的场景、最感人的书,还有它是我读过的最好的一套书。可能一段时间以后它都将是我读过的最好的书。当我读完这个三部曲的最后一本的最后一章时,我为书读完了这事儿想哭。事实上,我真的就大哭了。那么,让我们来看看是什么让这套书如此地迷人吧?

 

如前所述,这套书有着最好的人物发展。当人物第一次出场时,我根本没有任何感觉。随着故事的推进,克莱尔(作者)用文字将他们变得鲜活,我越读越觉得与他们紧密相联并想去保护他们。人物就如同洋葱一样地有着他们自己的层次,象真实的人一样,第一本书的大部和第二本书,作者发展了这些层次,帮助我从里到外彻底地了解他们。结果我对这些人物的了解,还深过现实生活中的许多人。读过一千页,到了第三本书的时候,我已经了解了他们,我成为了他们。我知道这听起来真的很荒诞,但却是真的。我能感受到他们的绝望,我也能感受到他们的快乐。我和他们一起经历痛苦,在形势危急时哭泣。而当他们中的某个人讲了一个妙趣横生的笑话时则又大笑。对我来说他们已经变成真实的了。

 

我想这本书的写作目的并不是去讲一个想利用由发条装置制造的机器人来掌管世界的恶人,也不是去讲试图阻止这个恶人的好人,更不是去讲泰萨、杰姆和威尔之间热烈的三角恋。完全不是。它甚至也不是去讲整个故事的标题——“地狱设备”。因为所有的写作都只是用来帮助建立和发展人物的。这本书的目的在于所讲述的这个故事到底是关于什么的——它是关于人物的,这本书是他们的故事。整个三角恋也只是故事中的一小部分。这三本书加起来有整整1554页,这些全是献给泰萨、杰姆和威尔的苦乐参半的故事。

 

这套三部曲有着令人称奇的结局。我甚至都不知道故事是从哪里开始结局的。如果允许,我愿说最后这本书全部的570页都是结局。最后一本显然是最好的一本。人们通常说一个系列中的第一本是最好看的,接下来的质量则会有所下降。但《地狱设备》不是,这套书的第一本是最差的,最后一本是最好的。最后的最后,书的后记部分,是这本书最好也是最差的部分。它竟然让我以一种非常不优雅的方式放声大哭,而我却说不清那是快乐的泪水还是悲伤的泪水。那最后二十页比之前的几百页都让我更受冲击。

 

书的结局让我思考死亡。通常的书会有一个大团圆的欢乐结局。尤其是象《地狱设备》这类关于爱情与冒险的书,它们会留给读者一个关于男女英雄的快乐想像——手牵着手,双唇热烈地吻在一起。这类书通常不会突然间跳到半个世纪之后,花上三页纸的篇幅去描写主人公最后因为年老而死,那样会彻底毁掉读者对于主人公的青春印象。喂,可这本书的后记却竟然就这么做了。事实上,它跳到了整整一个世纪之后,用个闪回来描写青春、帅气、诙谐并娶了泰萨的这个大男孩威尔的死。更糟糕的是,那是一个自然死亡,你不能怪罪任何人。为什么?!为什么克莱尔把我带到这样的境地?这简直是往伤口上撒盐!克来尔竟然还花费了几个自然段去描写威尔和泰萨在一起的那些快乐记忆,让威尔的死亡令人甚至更难以接受。

 

这让我意识到永生不死是一个什么样的咒诅。泰萨是永生不死的,因此,当威尔在她的臂弯中老死时,那时的她看起来还是二十岁出头时的青春模样。她永远也不会死,她不得不看着她深爱着的那些人在她身边慢慢地老死。我不得不看着那些我已经慢慢地爱上的人物变老并衰弱死去。我知道所有我喜欢的人物最后都会死,但我还是宁愿自己不去想这件事儿。然而,克莱尔强迫我去面对这一现实,去接受威尔的死亡。在这一点上,我不知道自己是爱克莱尔呢,还是恨她。结局里介绍了所发生的一大把的事情,让我感慨万千。把这些都放在一起去想,后记中的这些内容就犹如子弹射向我的心房。当我最后读完这套书后心乱如麻。再也不会有一本书能让我有这么强烈的感觉了。

 

总体来说,《地狱设备》是一个精彩的故事,它让人思考爱和友谊的极限。这是一个充满了失去与背叛、而最终又充满了爱的故事。故事的背景是十九世纪七十年代的英国伦墩,作者用的是有点旧式的语言写作,文笔优美。克莱尔真是一个令人称奇的作家,她创造的世界栩栩如生,让我很难相信那只是一个故事。她也参考了很多诸如“坦尼森”和“莎士比亚”等的古典文学,她书中的人物对书的喜爱和我很像。《地狱设备》是我读过的最好的书。虽然读完了这套三部曲我很伤心,可我竟又迫不急待地想去读克莱尔写的其它系列了。《圣杯神器》这个系列的故事背景与“影子猎人”的世界一样。我愿意把《地狱设备》三部曲推荐给所有的人。它们是迄今为止整个世界上我最喜欢的书,我很高兴我曾经有机会与它们“约会”过(参见文中第一段)。

 

 

 

【小哭介绍背景】这个读后感译得辛苦,主要是涉及到卡珊卓拉.克莱尔写的不少书的背景,而我一本也没有读过,对其没有任何了解。最后在网上查了半天,才算基本上弄清了克莱尔所著的这些畅销书的三个主要系列:《地狱设备》系列有三本书,故事发生在伦墩,属于前传,已经于20102013年间出版;《圣杯神器》(又译《致命契约》、《凡人圣物》、《魔人丽都》)系列有六本书,故事发生在纽约,已经于2007年后出版了五本,第六本即将在2014年春季出版,并且于2012年始有台版中译本;《黑暗诡计》系列有三本书,故事发生在洛杉矶,属于后传,计划在2015年出版第一本书。

 

这三个系列讲的都是“半人半神”的影子猎人的故事,故事的背景是一个与我们日常生活的世界所不同的一个世界——“影子猎人”(又译“暗影猎人”)世界。其中《圣杯神器》系列中的第一本《骸骨之城》已拍成电影,并于2013年在北美暑期档上映,被称为《暮色》的接力棒,可见受欢迎程度之深。Susan另有一篇读后感,写的就是关于《圣杯神器》这个系列的。作者克莱尔曾在远期展望中希望还能再写一、两个前传与后传,不过她也说这些都是说不清的事情。当然,所有的这些故事都将是关于影子猎人这个世界的。她说在一个已经建立起来的世界中写的故事,与在一个全新的世界里写的故事相比,类似于一个五岁的孩子和一个刚出生的小婴儿,两个孩子都可爱。

 

Susan热爱阅读,这已不是什么还需要多说的事情了。可是,这么多年下来,我头一次看到她因为读完了喜欢的书,哭得如此稀里哗啦的,几天都不能恢复平静。那些天只要她一开口,就是《地狱设备》,就跟中了邪似的,最后我们不得不问她,可不可以换个话题?她不断地跟我们解释着那套书有多么地好!!!作者有多么地了不起!!!说是书的结尾有多么地不可思议。她总是会忍不住站在作者的角度去理解作品,但同时还能享受着当读者的那一份快乐。如果不是认真地翻译这篇读后感,我真的是不知道她到底在读书的过程中经历了些什么。我把她的这篇读后感传给了才女教授昭君,想看看同样热爱阅读的昭君的小儿子是否也酷爱这个系列。结果昭君说:“给儿子看了,他对第一段非常有共鸣(他曾经也跟我提到过一个自己喜欢的series 结束的时候那种痛苦的感受)。这套书他没有读过,但听说过,我有点想动员他也借来看看呢。”

 

Susan对于这个系列结尾中关于死亡与永生之间关系的思考,是我觉得这篇小文最有思想的部分。读到她对永生不死的重新理解——简直是一种诅咒,上我也想到了自己对“长寿”的理解之转变。当年母亲去世时,我一直为勤劳善良的母亲一生所遭遇的坎坷感到不平,我觉得老天很不公。但是当几年后父亲也去世了,对比两个老人最后的岁月再重新来思考这个问题,发觉事实上后走的人,未必是幸福的那个,没有老伴儿的日子其实很痛苦。因此在我眼中,活得久和活得有质量完全是两回事儿!

 

另外,我们曾经有一次在从教会团契回家的途中,放过一曲小宝的英文儿歌。歌词讲的是沙滩上有一个小男孩和一条小龙,一同玩耍一同长大。可是有一天小男孩长大了,去了远方后再也没有回来,孤单的小龙一直留在沙滩上苦苦守候却从未守到小男孩的归期。就这么一首儿歌,Susan听后哭得一把鼻涕一把泪的,最后我都不知道是应该理解她、还是笑她。我们不停地用我们能够想到的理由给她解释,这事儿不是她所理解的那么伤心。小男孩长大了离开了,但人类还在继续,还会有新的小男孩来到沙滩上和小龙做朋友,小男孩永远地留在海滩上并不一定代表着一个美好的人生。但是,不管我们讲什么,Susan一直在车里哭泣不止。这除了让我们想到了Susan的善良之外,也想到了“永生不死”这事儿到底有多么地好。

 

关于Susan所说的这本书其实即不是讲这也不是讲那,所讲的仅仅就是三个人的故事而已,我并不是很理解。翻译完我还专门和她讨论过这一点,但她仍坚持认为这个系列就是讲了三个人的故事而已。至于若干年后她是否还会持同样的观点,答案显然是“不会”。正如她前几天告诉我的,说她重读了一些去年写的作文,发现七年级时所持的观点和对未来的判断,她现在就已经开始不同意了:)她说当初怎么会对现在这个学校印象那么不好呢?我说就是,当初一直拖着不让我们搬家呢。要是按照现在的观点,应该早点搬过来才是。给她时间让她慢慢地长大吧,八年级生能够有这么多的人生思考,我已经很为她骄傲了。

 

 

 

附上英文原文:

 

The Infernal Devices

 

For me, reading a book is like dating. When I first start, I either get really excited because I’ve found a really good book, or I get really bored by it and can’t wait for the first date to end. Usually, after the first chapter, if I don’t like the book, I end the relationship. When I come across a really good book, I keep on reading it, and the more I read, the more attached to it I become, just like how it is with dates. However, one way book are different from dates is that eventually, I have to break up: I have to finish the book. It’s unavoidable. If it wasn’t that exciting of a book in the first place, finishing it would be a relief. However, when I come across a particularly good book, finishing it can be quiet sad. I usually deal with that post-break up trauma by finding another good book to get attached to (I know, that’s not a very good coping mechanism). However, sometimes, the break up can be so bad that I feel like I never want to read a single book ever again. When the book is super-amazing, finishing it can be a tear-filled experience that makes me want to swear off book forever. It’s painful. That’s how I felt when I finished The Infernal Devices trilogy.

 

I’ve said this a lot of times before, but I’ve never meant it as much as I do this time: The Infernal Devices are the best books I have ever read. They are at the top of my list for almost everything: best character developement, best mixing of fantasy and reality, best writing style, best relationship development, best setting, most emotional books ever, and finally: the best books that I have ever read. And probably the best that I will ever read for some time. When I finished the last chapter of the last book in the trilogy, I felt like crying my eyes out over the fact that it has ended. Actually, that was exactly what I did. So, shall we take a look at what made the books so amazing?

 

Like I mentioned earlier, these books had one of the best character developments ever. When they were first introduced, I didn’t feel anything for them at all. As the story progressed, Clare (the author) brought them to life with her words, and the more I read, the more attached and protective of them I became. The characters had layers to themselves like onions, just like real people, and for most of the first book and the second book, the author developed those layers, helping me know them, inside and out. The result was characters who had more depth to them than a lot of the people I know in real life. By the third book, one thousand pages later, I understood them, I became them. I know that sounds really weird, but it’s true. I felt their despair, I felt their joy. I went through their struggles with them, crying when things went horribly wrong and laughing when one of them make a witty joke. They became real to me.

 

I think the whole point of the book wasn’t about this evil guy who is about to take over the world with robots made of clockwork, or about the good guys trying to stop him. It wasn’t about the passionate love triangle between Tessa, Jem, and Will. Not really. It wasn’t even about the Infernal Devices, the title of the whole story. Those were all things things that were written to help build and develop the characters. That’s what the story was about. It was about the characters. It was their story. That whole love triangle thing was only a small part of it. All three books, all one thousand five hundred fifty-four pages, was dedicated entirely to the bittersweet story of Tessa, Jem, and Will.

 

This trilogy had an amazing ending. I don’t even know where the end of the story started. If I’m allowed to, I would say the whole five hundred and seventy pages of the last book was the ending. The last book was definitely the best one. Usually, people say the first book is the best, and the quality of the writing decreases. Not so with The Infernal Devices. The first book was the worst, and the last book the best. The end of the end, the epilogue, was the best and the worst part of the book. It did make me start bawling in a very ungraceful manner, but I don’t know whether those were tears of joy or tears of sorrow. Those last twenty pages had more impact on me than all those hundreds of pages before it.

 

The ending made me think about death. Usually, books end on a happy note. Especially romance-adventure books like The Infernal Devices. They end leaving the reader with a happy image of the heroine and the hero, hand in hand, their lips sealed in a passionate kiss. Usually, they don’t suddenly jump to half a century later and spend three pages describing the main character die of old age. That just complete ruins that youthful image of the main character. Well, that’s exactly what the epilogue did. In fact, it jumped to a whole century later, and had a flashback describing the death of Will, the young, handsome, and witty boy that Tessa married. What made it even worse was that it was a natural death, so there was nobody to blame. WHY?! Why would Clare put me through that? And to rub some salt on the wound, Clare also had to spend paragraphs describing the happy memories Will and Tessa had together, making it even more unbearable for Will to pass away.

 

That made me realize how much of a curse immortality is. Tessa is immortal, therefore, when Will was old and gray and died in her arms, she still looked like she was in her late teens/early twenties. She would never die, and she had to watch those whom she love grow old and die around her. I had to watch those whom I had grown to love grow old and fade away. I had already known that all the characters I like in books would eventually die, but I would rather not think about it. However, Clare forced me to see the truth, to accept Will’s death. I don’t know if I love her or hate her for that. There are a bunch of other things that happened in the ending that I have mixed emotions about, and stringed together, the events in epilogue of the book were like gunshots to my heart. Finally, when I finished the trilogy, my emotions were in a big, huge, tangled mess. Never has a book triggered that sort of response in me.

 

Overall, The Infernal Devices was an amazing story. It pushed the limits of love and friendship. It was a story full of loss and betrayal, and ultimately, love. Set in the English city of London during the 1870’s, the story was written in beautiful and somewhat old-fashioned language. Clare is truly an amazing author, and the world she has created is so real and vivid that I have a hard time convincing myself that it’s just a story. She also referenced to a lot of classic literature like Tennyson and Shakespeare, and her characters’ love for books is equivalent with my own. The Infernal Devices are the best books I have ever read, and although I am sad to have finished the trilogy, I can’t wait to keep on reading Clare’s other series, The Mortal Instruments, also set in the world of Shadowhunters. I would recommend The Infernal Devices trilogy to everyone and anyone. They are by far my favorite books in the whole wide world, and (referencing back to the first paragraph) I am happy that I have had a chance to “date” them.

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