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Dr Monte Cristo

Irwin Philip Sobel

326 pages
Doubleday - 1978 - États-Unis
Roman

Intérêt: 0

 

Ce livre appartient à la catégorie "romans médicaux", sous-genre de la littérature de gare qui a donné naissance à une abondante production de feuilletons télévisés.
L'histoire commence dans un grand hôpital new-yorkais où le docteur John Calvin, bon et honnête, découvre les machinations d'un tandem de chirurgiens véreux. Pour l'empêcher de les dénoncer, ces derniers euthanasient un patient du Dr Calvin et font croire que ce dernier a commis un meurtre pour hériter de son malade. Condamné, le docteur se suicide, en léguant à son fils Jim, quinze ans, un livre: Le comte de Monte-Cristo.

Jim s'enfuit, change d'identité (il s'appelle désormais Jim Monte Cristo - sic!), ce qui suffit apparemment à empêcher quiconque de le reconnaître, se lie avec un patron de la Mafia, devient une vedette nationale du basket-ball, apprend le karaté - ce qui lui permet de commencer sa vengeance en brisant sciemment la colonne vertébrale de Haas, le faux témoin des deux docteurs félons, devenu entre temps tueur de prostituées - devient le protégé d'un multi-milliardaire qui lui fait épouser sa nièce...

Et la vengeance, dans tout cela? Incapable, semble-t-il, d'imaginer une intrigue permettant à Jim de prendre intelligemment sa revanche sur les assassins de son père, l'auteur s'en remet à une intervention de la Mafia, qui retrouve les preuves de leur forfaiture passée, ce qui permet à la justice d'intervenir.

Ecrit - mal - totalement au premier degré, le livre est donc plutôt consternant. Lu au deuxième degré, il en devient beaucoup plus amusant. Dr. Monte Cristo est un véritable festival des mythes américains les moins ragoûtants: l'argent omniprésent, l'individualisme exacerbé, le sport valeur suprême, la Mafia quasi respectable où l'on a tellement le sens de l'amitié... et même la chirurgie esthétique capable de transformer une femme insignifiante en beauté ravageuse!

Extrait du chapitre 15

At midnight neurosurgeons at Bellevue Hospital operated upon Haas. They found contusions and lacerations of the cervical portion of the spinal cord. There was little they could do. On the fourth postoperative day he spoke to them for the first time.

"Will I be able to get a hard on later on?"

"I'm afraid not," said the surgeon-in-chief.

"And I'll be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of my life?"

"Yes".

There was a dreadful silence in the hospital room interrupted only by the clicking of the monitors.

"Get the police," said Haas.

The inspector sat by the head of the bed and outlined the State's case.

"If I had only been a little quicker on the trigger ", said Haas.

Then he confessed to the murder of the seven prostitutes, each of which he remembered perfectly. The inspector was also impressed by the fact that he confirmed Jim's story in every detail.

The press pointed out that a series of murders which neither the police nor the Chicago Mafia had been able to crack had been solved by a lad of twenty-one at considerable risk to his life. Brought up in the house of a midwestern jewel fence, befriended as a child by the daughter who years later became a prostitute, he never forgot that she had once been good to him and when the time came he had avenged her brutal death. Not for nothing was he called the Count of Monte Cristo. He was not only an All-American basketball player, he was an All-American man.

Haas was quickly convicted of murder and received a sentence of twenty-five years to life. After he had been in the prison infirmary for a week, he was handed a stamped envelope addressed to him in blocked letters clipped from a newspaper. Inside, on a piece of blank paper, had been pasted in similar capitals the words, THE NINTH COMMANDMENT. He asked the chaplain whose presence he had requested what the ninth commandment was. The good man had replied,

"The ninth commandment? Why, of course. Let me see. Oh, yes. 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."'

Haas seemed puzzled. Then a terrible pallor and a look of intense horror spread over his face. What did killing those girls amount to, he said to himself? They were whores, cheats, cocksuckers. But Dr. Calvin had been a fine man, a noble man, with a sick wife and a brave son, a physician who had always been kind to him.

"Shall I send for the doctor?" asked the chaplain anxiously.

Haas shook his head. "He can't help me; you can't help me; God can't help me."

He drew the sheet over his face.



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