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The house of the spirits by Isabel Allende
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The house of the spirits (original 1982; edition 1985)

by Isabel Allende

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9,271132323 (4.09)354
Member:SandBook
Title:The house of the spirits
Authors:Isabel Allende
Info:New York : A.A. Knopf, 1985.
Collections:Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (1982)

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» See also 354 mentions

English (104)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (6)  Italian (5)  Danish (2)  German (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (131)
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
This is the third novel by Isabel Allende I have read. Each time I think it's the best I have read. The house of Spirits is excellent and bye far the best (so far). It is a feast of color, language, history and story-telling! ( )
  elsyd | Jan 16, 2015 |
Apesar de ser apaixonada por literatura sul-americana sentia-me simultaneamente curiosa e intimidada em ler este livro, pela sua popularidade. "A Casa dos Espíritos" foi um livro de grande sucesso em Portugal, sucesso este impulsionado pela filmagem do livro nele baseado ter sido feita quase na sua totalidade no nosso país. Ultrapassada esta pressão mergulhei na sua leitura e depressa percebi que pouco ou nada me lembrava dos acontecimentos que tinha visto no filme há muitos anos atrás.
A acção desta história decorre num país sem nome da América do Sul, em tudo semelhante ao país da família da autora, o Chile. Neste livro seguimos três gerações da mesma família, desde o início do século até ao golpe de estado que depôs "O Candidato" eleito nos anos setenta. É curioso como o vilão da história sobrevive a todos os outros personagens que, de uma forma ou de outra, perecem à sua volta. Esteban é um homem duro e muitas vezes cruel, determinado a impor a sua visão do mundo na vida de todos aqueles que o rodeiam.
Felicitou-se por ter comprado uma passagem mais cara, pela primeira vez na vida, e concluiu que era nos pormenores que estava a diferença entre um cavalheiro e um camponês. Por isso, embora em má situação, desse dia em diante iria gastar dinheiro nas pequenas comodidades que o faziam sentir rico.
Essa sua atitude acaba por alienar todos aqueles que ele ama, principalmente Clara, quem ele amava de uma forma quase doentia.
Enquanto Esteban é o sustento financeiro para as mulheres da sua vida, estas são o seu sustento emocional e espiritual. Sem elas Esteban não é ninguém e a morte de cada uma delas transforma sempre o rumo da sua vida.
Clara é uma dos três narradores da história e, durante grande parte da história, o pilar desta família pouco convencional. As suas qualidades sobrenaturais dão um colorido interessante a esta história maioritariamente de tom político. Aliás, não fossem os conflitos familiares, as características extravagantes de alguns personagens e o romance, "A Casa dos Espíritos" seria um livro terrivelmente monótono abafado pelos ideais políticos que a autora tenta transmitir. Há muito mais para dizer sobre este livro em termos de simbologia mas penso que análises desse tipo são mais dignas para uma dissertação do que para uma opinião geral de um blogue. Além disso sinto que sempre que sobreanaliso uma obra acabo por "matar" um pouco a magia da primeira leitura, patamar onde me quero manter em relação a este livro.
Gostei bastante d' "A Casa dos Espíritos" , principalmente do seu enredo denso e complexo, inundado de personagens interessantes e situações um pouco invulgares. A escrita é muito bonita mas longe da beleza de outros autores sul-americanos, como Gabriel Garcia Marquéz. ( )
  tchetcha | Jan 15, 2015 |
The House of Spirits is the sprawling epic tale of a family through many generations told by a descendent of Esteban Trueba and Clara DelValle.

It begins with the story of Trueba as a young man falling in love with Clara's sister, Rosa the Beautiful who has green hair and is so ethereal people call her a mermaid with legs. Alas, Rosa dies and Esteban marries Clara and they settle into a not so satisfactory life together.

Esteban Trueba has a fearful temper, and Clara retreats from it by communing with the ghosts and holding Friday salons for other spiritualists and seers.

Children are born into this sotrmy dynamic and are shuttled between the big house in the city and Sr. Trueba's proud hacienda in the country, Tres Marias. Each brings his or her own quirks to the family mix. Some support Clara's spiritual tendencies, and one thinks it's all hogwash.

Set against the turmoil of Chilean politics, the Trueba family lives and dies in the heart of this tumult. Esteban becomes an official placed high in the government, and is convinced that Marxists, Socialist and Leftists are going to destroy the country. His fearsome temper never abates.

Clara keeps journals, and it is through these the story is recreated by her and Esteban's granddaughter, Alba.

One of the things I enjoy most about magical realism, especially in South American books, is the conflation of the "real" and the "spiritual." Ghosts and omens live side by side with humans and their foibles. And it is an accepted way of life for these characters. It makes for some really goofy reading if one stops to think about it, but in the world of the book, it makes perfect sense. And that, to me, is one of the hallmarks of success in a book, for things to make sense in that world.

This was a re-read for me and I got much more out of it than the first time. What a gorgeous, lush story of stormy times and stormy relations. ( )
  AuntieClio | Oct 12, 2014 |
Easily, the most beautiful book I have ever read. ( )
  AaronKappel | Sep 17, 2014 |
As I read the last few pages of this novel, I felt myself on the verge of weeping at the sheer enormity of the emotions I felt in this epic story of a family and a nation's political changes. The story of main character, Esteban Trueba, a deeply-flawed individual who claws his way to riches and power, spans the turn of the century Chile until the military coup of the early 70s and Pinochet regime.

Esteban is a Conservative and believes in the old patronal system of landowners and peasants. His ideologies clash with those of the women in his family and the men in their lives who support a Marxist form of government. Esteban's wife Clara, the clairvoyant, is a fragile woman who sees spirits, conducts seances and documents everything in her notebooks that "bear witness to life." His daughter and sons disappoint him with their radical friends and ideas and their unwillingness to allow him to exert control over everything.

The lives of the Del Valles--Clara and her sister Rosa, the Beautiful, the two women Esteban loved--are interwoven with Esteban Trueba's story. The point of view shifts from that of the third person narrator to the first person POV of Esteban Trueba, which caught me off guard at first, but I quickly got used to the shifts.

Allende's writing is beautiful and powerful. She expresses the mysticism and richness of the Latin culture along with the brutality of humanity, man's need for power, and Esteban's ultimate questioning and realization that the truths he held to be so absolute maybe didn't mean so much in the end. (As a writer, I feel like such a hack!) I can see why this is on my son's high school reading list. (I nabbed the book quickly when it arrived in the mail). I'm so glad I read it. ( )
  mclesh | Sep 2, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (94 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morino AngeloTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piloto Di Castri, SoniaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bogin, MagdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lappi-Seppälä, JyrkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Николаева, СусаннаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
How much does a man live, after all?
Does he live a thousand days, or one only?
For a week, or for several centuries?
How long does a man spend dying?
What does it mean to say "for ever"?

Pablo Neruda
Dedication
To my mother, my grandmother,
and all the other extraordinary women
of this story.
First words
Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy.
Quotations
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Esteban hatte Chinchillas auf seinem Gut herumhuschen sehen. Gelegentlich schoß er sie ab, weil sie die junge Saat fraßen, war aber nie auf den Gedanken gekommen, daß sich diese unscheinbaren Nagetiere in Damenpelzmäntel umwandeln ließen. Jean de Satigny suchte einen Kompagnon, der das Kapital, die Arbeit und die Gehege stellte, alle Risiken übernahm und den Gewinn fünfzig zu fünfzig mit ihm teilte.
(Kapitel 6, Hardcover Seite 187)
"Fast in allen Familien ist irgendein Blöder oder Verrückter, Alba", versicherte Clara, die Augen starr auf ihr Strickzeug geheftet, weil sie in all den Jahren nicht gelernt hatte, zu stricken, ohne hinzuschauen. "Manchmal bekommt man sie nicht zu sehen, weil die Angehörigen sie verstecken, als ob es eine Schande wäre. Sie sperren sie in die hintersten Zimmer, damit Besucher sie nicht zu Gesicht bekommen. Aber in Wirklichkeit braucht man sich ihrer nicht zu schämen, auch sie sind Werke Gottes."
"Aber wir haben keinen in unserer Familie", gab Alba zu bedenken.
"Nein, bei uns ist die Verrücktheit auf alle verteilt, und es ist nicht genug übriggeblieben, daß auch wir unseren Verrückten haben."
(Kapitel 9, Hardcover S. 288 f.)
Das Land füllte sich mit Uniformen, Kriegsmaschinen, Fahnen, Hymnen und Paraden, denn die Militärs kannten das Bedürfnis des Volkes nach eigenen Symbolen und Rhythmen. Senator Trueba, der diese Dinge grundsätzlich haßte, begriff, was seine Freunde im Club meinten, wenn sie sagten, der Marxismus habe in Lateinamerika nicht die geringste Chance, weil er die magische Seite der Dinge außer acht ließe. "Brot, Zirkus und irgendwas zum Verehren, das ist alles, was sie brauchen", schloß der Senator und bedauerte im stillen, daß das Brot fehlte.
Kapitel 13, Hardcover S. 392)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553273914, Mass Market Paperback)

Here, in an astonishing debut by a gifted storyteller, is the magnificent saga of proud and passionate men and women and the turbulent times through which they suffer and triumph. They are the Truebas. And theirs is a world you will not want to leave, and one you will not forget.

Esteban -- The patriarch, a volatile and proud man whose lust for land is legendary and who is haunted by his tyrannical passion for the wife he can never completely possess.

Clara -- The matriarch, elusive and mysterious, who foretells family tragedy and shapes the fortunes of the house of the Truebas.

Blanca -- Their daughter, soft-spoken yet rebellious, whose shocking love for the son of her father's foreman fuels Esteban's everlasting contempt... even as it produces the grandchild he adores.

Alba -- The fruit of Blanca's forbidden love, a luminous bearty, a fiery and willful woman... the family's break with the past and link to the future.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:12 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The Trueba family embodies strong feelings from the beginning of the 2 through the assassination of Allende in 1973.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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