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Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom

Winter in Madrid (original 2006; edition 2009)

by C. J. Sansom

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1,479635,031 (3.63)115
Title:Winter in Madrid
Authors:C. J. Sansom (Author)
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2009), eBook
Collections:Your library

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Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom (2006)

  1. 10
    Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell (BIzard)
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    Guernica by Dave Boling (LynnB)
    LynnB: Set in the same time period, this book tells the story of the Basque people of northern Spain.
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    To Serve Them All My Days by R. F. Delderfield (Anonymous user)

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» See also 115 mentions

English (50)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

This was actually the first ebook I started when I first got my Kobo Glo. However, I didn't finish it until recently. Truth be told, I'd never made it past the 70 pages mark since I found the story slow and the Dutch translation, for lack of a better way to describe it, weird.

Set between the Spanish civil war and the second World War, the story had a great potential. A reluctant spy sent to Spain on a secret mission. It felt like the book was well researched although I'm not really a person who could say anything about that, since I don't know much about it myself.

The start was really slow, it took a lot of time for me to get at least a little bit invested in the story. There were many different characters that I couldn't really keep track of (especially after a break of more than a year). In the end, it was quite a fast read, but the story wasn't sensational and little surprising.

I think I'd expected something more like Zafon's novels, which I really liked, but this novel lacked the beautiful writing style (although it also speaks about Spain with much love). I'm not sure what portion of the clunky writing is due to the translation, but it felt unnatural at the best of times and downright weird at others. I've got another book by Samsom but luckily it's in English. I hope that will be a better reading experience... ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Interested in Spanish 20th Century history then a must ( )
  Tonyh. | Jan 27, 2016 |
I enjoyed this spy thriller set in Madrid after the Spanish Civil War, much more than I thought I would, given that I know next to nothing about the period. The book contains a lot of political material and has a great sense of history unfolding, and I certainly learned a lot. My only negative point would be that, while the characters were interesting and well developed, I didn't really care about most of them. A compelling read, well researched and deftly written; as always, this author has a knack of taking you to the time and place of the story. It's like stepping into an old black and white movie. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Fine story, rather realistic, all but happy-go-lucky chance meetings in Franco controlled Madrid during World War II. ( )
  perdalum | Oct 19, 2015 |
I didn't enjoy this novel as much as either the author's Shardlake series, or his alternate historical fiction novel, Dominion. The descriptions of oppression and poverty in Franco's Spain are vividly drawn, and one gets a very clear picture of a society riven by stark political and religious divides and chilling refusals to compromise. However, I found the jumping around of the action in the first half of the novel between 1940, 1931 and 1936 quite confusing, and throughout much of the book, the narrative drive was lacking, only the attempt to free Bernie from the labour camp coming across as exciting and dramatic. The Spanish characters were well drawn, while most of the British ones seemed a bit cliched. Ultimately, I found this a somewhat unsatisfying read, but one that could probably have been made tighter and more dramatic without a huge amount of change. ( )
  john257hopper | Mar 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
A best seller in Britain, “Winter in Madrid” prompted some reviewers there to compare Sansom to Graham Greene, Sebastian Faulks and even Hemingway, but I came away less convinced. The idea of transferring public school rivalries to a real battleground is certainly clever, but more introspection would have been welcome. Without the compensation of rich language, the novel’s formulaic structure becomes all too visible. True, Sansom has come up with a surprise ending, but that’s what you expect of a thriller. The problem is that there aren’t enough thrills in the chapters leading up to it.
It's always a risky strategy for an author to change horses in midstream. If you have enjoyed the critical (and commercial) success that C J Sansom has had with his elegantly written Tudor crime novels, why test the loyalty of your readership by delivering a literary saga set in Spain at the end of the Civil War? Yet if this radical change of direction loses readers, that will be a great shame. Sansom establishes that he is as much a master of this era as of that of Henry VIII.
added by starfishian | editThe Independent (Jun 19, 2006)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sansom, C. J.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beale, Simon RussellReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bronswijk, Ineke vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frydenlund, John ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffin, GordonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María Antoniasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raudaskoski, Sepposecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rose, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of the thousands of children of Republican parents who disappeared into the orphanages of Franco's Spain
First words
Bernie had lain at the foot of the knoll for hours, half-conscious.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330411985, Paperback)

trade edition paperback, fine

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Part thriller, part love story, this tale follows the fortunes of three young men, navigating the tumultous world of 1940s Spain. But, as the Second World war draws near, one is sent to spy on another and the ramifications of a tragic love story will haunt them all.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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