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The Four Musketeers
The revenge of Milady - Based on the screenplay by George Mac Donald Fraser

Michael Hardwick

123 pages
Bantam Books - 1975 - États-Unis

Intérêt: 0


Ce petit roman est la "novellisation" du film The Four Musketeers de Richard Lester (tourné avec une brochette impressionnante de stars: Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Christopher Lee, Geraldine Chaplin, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Faye Dunaway, Charlton Heston, etc..).

Convenablement écrit, le roman n'en a pas moins aucun intérêt. Les distorsions par rapport à l'histoire originale, qui passent fort bien dans un film enlevé comme sait en faire Richard Lester, sonnent ici cruellement faux: incohérences chronologiques (le récit se concentre sur l'épisode de La Rochelle et l'affrontement entre d'Artagnan et Milady, mais est censé se passer après l'affaire des ferrets de la Reine), transformation de personnages (Constance Bonacieux apparaît comme totalement demeurée) et de l'intrigue (c'est Planchet qui est envoyé en Angleterre prévenir Buckingham des intrigues de Milady).

De bons gags visuels deviennent poussifs quand ils sont décrits, comme les mousquetaires retranchés dans le fortin de La Rochelle et renvoyant les bombes jetées par les Protestants à coup de baguettes de pain, comme s'ils jouaient au golf...
Un livre à oublier, donc.

Extrait du chapitre trois

Despite the grace of her form and the beauty of her face, Constance Bonacieux possessed not much intellect. She was also, to a degree, accident-prone. Stall-holders in the market where she was well known enjoyed feasting their eyes on her but tended to wince apprehensively when she approached their stalls. Almost always the wake of her passing was marked with vegetables accidentally knocked off the stalls by her swishing gown, prime fruits bruised and gashed from falling from her clumsy grasp, coins dropped between the cobbles and left to the vendors to find.

On this particular morning she was causing something of a stir in front of a stall selling live and dead poultry and game. She had thrust one hand into the innards of a fowl - a dead one - and, being Constance, found that she could not withdraw it. The poulterer looked on gloomily as D'Artagnan came to her assistance, seizing the bird in both his leather-gloved hands and heaving while Constance pulled away in the opposite direction. In due course her hand came out, with a strange sound, and both she and D'Artagnan almost fell from the impetus. D'Artagnan replaced the fowl on the stall and smiled apologetically at the poulterer.

"You don't want it?" the man said, resigned.

D'Artagnan took Constance's arm and led her away. She began to explain, "My mother always said you could tell if they were fresh by ... Oh, peaches! Aren't they beautiful?"

She picked up one and stroked it against her cheek, watched, fascinated, by the stall-holder.

"Beside you, Constance, my dearest," D'Artagnan declared, "they look old and wrinkled."

She smiled back affection, and, forgetting the tenderness of ripe peaches, unthinkingly squeezed it. It burst.

Her attention was already elsewhere. "Ah, melons," she cried, moving, and in doing so dislodged a pumpkin which rolled off the stall and thundered down onto D'Artagnan's foot. He sighed and fished in his pocket. He held out a small coin to the stall-holder. "This is for the fruit Madame buys." He poured more coins into the man's other hand. "This is for what she destroys."

Constance, oblivious, had picked up two melons and was holding them up in front of her.

"Do I need melons?" she asked ingenuously. A snigger went up as bystanders nudged one another. The comparison was all too plain.

"Decidedly not," D'Artagnan assured her, and scowled at a man who winked at him.


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