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Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones
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Cathedral of the Sea (2006)

by Ildefonso Falcones

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2,017943,341 (3.73)65
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  1. 101
    The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (Smahler1986, OTVTT2010)
    OTVTT2010: Molemmat mieleenpainuvia lukukokemuksia, laadukasta viihdettä.
  2. 61
    World Without End by Ken Follett (Smahler1986)
  3. 00
    L'atles furtiu by Alfred Bosch (omaixant)
  4. 00
    Historia del rey transparente (Narrativa (Punto de Lectura)) (Spanish Edition) by Rosa Montero (LilianaL)
    LilianaL: Una novela historica muy linda y entretenida, con ingredientes como los cátaros y el norte de Caalunya
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» See also 65 mentions

English (46)  Spanish (19)  Dutch (7)  Norwegian (6)  German (3)  Danish (2)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  Czech (1)  Finnish (1)  Polish (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  All languages (94)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
A very enjoyable read. I would compare this to Pillars of the Earth but it's not quite as good. It's definitely not heavy reading but don't let that put you off. After all a good story is a good story, you either enjoy a book or you don't. If you're a fan of literature set in mediaeval times or Ken Follett's [b:The Pillars of the Earth|5043|The Pillars of the Earth|Ken Follett|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1165517379s/5043.jpg|3359698] I would highly recommend it and it's a definite 'must read' for anyone who's living in Barcelona, like myself. ( )
  pcollins | Jul 27, 2014 |
First novel of Ildefonso Falcones, it tells the story and adventures of a servant during the Medium Age. His life will involve a lot of turning points during the story. ( )
  Anaveliz3 | Mar 25, 2014 |
Great story that keeps you interested. ( )
  Benjamin.Timmins | Jan 8, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book, a doorstopper but a page-turner. The setting was 14th century Catalonia and backdrop was the construction of a cathedral [Santa Maria del Mar] by the workingmen of Barcelona over a period of decades. The cathedral still exists today in the Ribera district of Barcelona: http://catholicbarcelona.com/2013/11/... and is a gorgeous example of the Gothic style. This church serves as framework for the main plot, concerning the Estanyol family.

To escape brutal serfdom, the father, Bernat, flees his cruel lord. With his small son, Arnau, he reaches Barcelona and stays with his sister and her family until, after a year and a day, father and son are free. The novel recounts their fortunes. Arnau befriends a lonely boy, Joan. Bernat 'adopts' Joan as his son and the two boys become as close as brothers. After Bernat dies, Arnau becomes one of the bastaixos, who load and unload merchant ships. More importantly, they carry heavy stones on their backs to build the church. Years pass in which Arnau falls into lust, is married [twice; first wife dies of plague], rises from humble beginnings to nobility and public office. He even fights in war to defend Catalonia. This war is known in Spanish history as the 'War of the Two Peters' [Guerra de los Dos Pedros]. Out of Arnau's deep friendships with a Jew and a Moor, he becomes a well-known moneylender. Then he is denounced to the Inquisition. What will be the attitude of Joan, who has become a Dominican friar and an inquisitor himself, towards Arnau? Joan is torn between his religious duty and his love for his brother.

I enjoyed the novel and could hardly put it down. I don't know if this was just the translation: but the writing seemed quite ordinary, nothing outstanding. It seemed like there was too much coincidence and sometimes the story fell into melodrama. Arnau was engaging, but he did seem too good to be true. All classes of people were represented. Battle scenes were well done. King Pedro the Cruel of Castille did actually try to invade Barcelona, as written in Pedro IV of Aragón aka Pedro III of Catalonia's Crónica. The sea battle was also described there. I learned something about that period of history and the socioeconomic conditions, when Spain consisted of individual kingdoms. In the author's note, he states the laws he used in the novel came from actual legal treatises of that time ( )
  janerawoof | Dec 22, 2013 |
Fascinating, if horrifying, story. All those nice people doing re-enactments and faires might want to reconsider what the world back then was really like... if interested, this would be an enlightening read. ( )
  kwkslvr | Aug 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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Dla Carmen
To Carmen  (English translation)
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"Num m omento em que ninguém parecia prestar-lhe atenção, Bernat ergueu o olhar para o límpido céu azul." 
Bernat realized nobody was looking in his direction, and glanced up at the clear blue sky.  (English translation)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525950486, Hardcover)

The “riveting”(The Washington Post) #1 international bestseller—now in paperback in the U.S.

In the tradition of Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth, here is a thrilling historical novel of friendship and revenge, plague and hope, love and war, set in the golden age of 14th-century Barcelona. Arnau Estanyol arrives in Barcelona and joins the powerful guild of stone-workers building the magnificent cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar, while his adoptive brother Joan studies to become a priest. As Arnau prospers, he secretly falls in love with a forbidden woman. When he is betrayed and hauled before the Inquisitor, he finds himself face-to-face with his own brother. Will he lose his life just as his beloved cathedral is finally completed, or will his brother spare him?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Set in 14th century Barcelona, the 80-year construction of the Church of Santa Maria affects the lives of the citizens, those who devoted their lives to building it, and those who were sheltered there.

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