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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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1,439595,222 (3.63)114
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)
  2. 00
    Guernica by Dave Boling (LynnB)
    LynnB: Set in the same time period, this book tells the story of the Basque people of northern Spain.
  3. 00
    To Serve Them All My Days by R. F. Delderfield (Anonymous user)

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» See also 114 mentions

English (48)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Fine story, rather realistic, all but happy-go-lucky chance meetings in Franco controlled Madrid during World War II. ( )
  perdalum | Oct 19, 2015 |
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 | Sep 6, 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 |
The Spanish Civil War has always intrigued me. Not just because I am vague about the details, but it was one of the conflicts where people came from all over the world to join in the fight. Not nations, but individual people. And some very famous personalities, like George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway, who had other lives and other occupations, but felt strongly enough about democracy for Spain that they joined in with the fight.

So did Winter in Madrid answer my questions? Yes and no. I learned that the war was not a straightforward conflict. There weren’t obvious good guys and bad guys. Both sides committed atrocities and as with all conflicts, families were destroyed. This book definitely conveyed the tragedies inflicted by this war and gave a sense of what Madrid was like during that period. My only complaint about this book was the pacing. Some parts seemed to drag and the end was almost too frantic. Still, I have loved Sansom’s books set in Tudor England and look forward to more ( )
  jmoncton | Oct 19, 2014 |
Excellent book portraying Madrid after the Civil War in the early days of Franco's dictatorship. Harry is asked to work in the British Embassy as a translator, but in reality he's there to spy on his old schoolfriend Sandy who is working closely with the Franco regime.

The story uncovers their schoolboy past and friendships that leads to a dramatic climax in the mountains around Madrid.

( )
  mancmilhist | Aug 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (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 (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. J. Sansomprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Griffin, GordonNarratorsecondary 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
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Bernie had lain at the foot of the knoll for hours, half-conscious.
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(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)

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Average: (3.63)
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1.5 1
2 26
2.5 12
3 95
3.5 45
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