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Guernica by Dave Boling
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Guernica (2008)

by Dave Boling

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5506627,195 (3.78)79
  1. 20
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (infiniteletters)
  2. 20
    Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernières (BCCJillster)
    BCCJillster: Different country, different war, same gusto of characterization and sense of place and community
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An extraordinary epic of love, family and war set in the Basque town of Guernica before, during, and after its destruction by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War.

Calling to mind such timeless war-and-love classics as Corelli's Mandolin and The English Patient, Guernica is a transporting novel that thrums with the power of storytelling and is peopled with characters driven by grit and heart.

In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard, and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the center of Basque culture and tradition. In the midst of this isolated bastion of democratic values, Miguel finds more than a new life— he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is a charismatic and graceful dancer who has her pick of the bachelors in Guernica, but focuses only on the charming and mysterious Miguel. The two discover a love that war and tragedy can not destroy.

History and fiction merge seamlessly in this beautiful novel about the resilience of family, love, and tradition in the face of hardship. The bombing of Guernica was a devastating experiment in total warfare by the German Luftwaffe in the run-up to World War II. For Basques, it was an attack on the soul of their ancient nation; for the world, it was an unprecedented crime against humanity. In his first novel, Boling reintroduces the event and paints his own picture of a people so strong, vibrant, and proud that they are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their values, their country, and their loved ones.
  JESGalway | Sep 17, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A very interesting insight into Guernica and the tragedy they're known for. The dialogue and general writing style made this an easy read and the story remained complex and kept me very engaged as I followed the lives of his well developed group of characters. I do wish there had been more of a focus on the Spanish War and the historical aspects of that time period, but I enjoyed getting to know the characters and learning about the Basque traditions. ( )
  JOlson724 | Jul 8, 2017 |
I thought this sounded an interesting story and I was looking forward to reading it. But it fell short for me. It is an interesting story but there were too many characters and I didn't feel any connection to them. So when the attack happens I didn't feel the emotional connection that I should have. The Spanish Civil War and its atrocities have been overshadowed by WW2 so we all know less than we should about it and if fiction can help then that is all to the good. I felt there was a good story here but this novel wasn't it. ( )
  infjsarah | Jun 17, 2017 |
I found this a moving and beautifully-written book. Set in the town of Guernica, during the Spanish Civil War it tells the story of a small group of people connected by family, marriage and friendship. There is a great sense of place, conveyed through the landscape and the richness of the Basque culture. Although historical people play a part in the story, the complicated politics of the war are not examined in detail, rather, Boling concentrates on the effects that the consequent suspicion, violence and hardship have on his central characters.
It is not generally a sentimental book, although it did bring me to tears at times. However, I thought that the ending was the weakest part of the book, because there it did stray into sentimentality. ( )
  Goldengrove | Apr 15, 2016 |
Excellent ate at Tamatillos with Basque specialties; just Barb and Carole for dinner since snow might be scheduled for that evening. Compared Picasso's painting with events in the book. ( )
  Bibliofemmes | Feb 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"Guernica is the happiest town in the world...governed by an assembly of countrymen who meet under an oak tree and always reach the fairest decisions." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

"Guernica was...an experimental horror." - Winston Churchill.

"The painting which I am presently working on will be called Guernica. By means of it, I express my abhorrence of the race that has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death." - Pablo Picasso
Dedication
For the victims of Guernica...and all the Guernicas that followed.
First words
Justo Ansotegui returns to the market now to hear the language and to buy soap.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Publisher Comments:
An extraordinary epic of love, family, and war set in the Basque town of Guernica before, during, and after its destruction by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War.

Calling to mind such timeless war-and-love classics as Corelli's Mandolin and The English Patient, Guernica is a transporting novel that thrums with the power of storytelling and is peopled with characters driven by grit and heart.

In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard, and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the center of Basque culture and tradition. In the midst of this isolated bastion of democratic values, Miguel finds more than a new life — he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is a charismatic and graceful dancer who has her pick of the bachelors in Guernica, but focuses only on the charming and mysterious Miguel. The two discover a love that war and tragedy can not destroy.

History and fiction merge seamlessly in this beautiful novel about the resilience of family, love, and tradition in the face of hardship. The bombing of Guernica was a devastating experiment in total warfare by the German Luftwaffe in the run-up to World War II. For the Basques, it was an attack on the soul of their ancient nation; for the world, it was an unprecedented crime against humanity. In his first novel, Boling reintroduces the event and paints his own picture of a people so strong, vibrant, and proud that they are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their values, their country, and their loved ones.
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Fleeing his home in 1935 after a conflict with a Spanish Civil Guard, Miguel Navarro attempts to make a new start in the culturally rich town of Guernica, where his shared love with charismatic dancer Miren Ansotegui is tested by the German Luftwaffe.… (more)

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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