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The Hive by Camilo José Cela (1951)

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English (9)  Spanish (6)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  All (19)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
The story set in the WWII is a series of fragments of life. We looking into the life of almost uncountable men and women as if they sitting in a carousel and we can see them just for seconds time after time. Poverty, cheating, the tiny fragments of everyday life. ( )
  TheCrow2 | Sep 12, 2016 |
fascinating portrayal of all the make-shift ways of making a life (barely) in post-civil-war Madrid. Recommend it.
  revliz | Aug 9, 2016 |
Through this book of vignettes I learned much about what life was like following the Spanish Civil War. I enjoyed the author's writing and the 300 different characters were very interesting and together their stories worked liked bees in a hive to get the message across. There is a sense of hardship, hunger, illness and unhappiness, yet I felt confident that despite the hardships and misery that their lives would move forward. I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. ( )
1 vote EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
Taken as short vignettes showing poverty, misery, jealousy, love and the occasional bit of happiness, this is a fairly easy and enjoyable read. Taken as a novel in which I really would like to see a plot and get to know the characters, this is not the book for me. Cela introduces the reader to some 200 odd characters in a fairly short space of time. While as a reader we do get to see the protagonists again - some more than others - I didn't really feel like I got to know any of them or that I developed a huge amount of sympathy. What I did get was a general feeling of empathy for the people in Madrid during the later years of the Second World War and following the Spanish Civil War. The scenes are set around a single neighbourhood (which I am guessing is a stereotype but symptomatic of Madrid at the time) with many of the characters eventually revealed to be known to each other. The striking themes that come out of the book are the poverty and struggle to make ends meet, the desperate daily grind of trying to put together enough pesetas to get a meal, the lengths to which people will go in order to help those they love and the deceptions that seem to go hand in hand with the whole. There are copious affairs - it seems almost as if everyone has a lover, but somehow as a reader I didn't blame any of them. Cela manages to strike a tone of observer rather than judge and as a reader that is carried over. It was less of a novel and more of a series of vignettes for me to rate it higher than three stars. An interesting read which I'd be interested to know what others thought about it. ( )
1 vote sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
it has 346 chracters!! ( )
  Kirmuriel | Sep 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Camilo José Celaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barea, ArturoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, J. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ponzanelli, SergioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijkmans, J.G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'Laten we de verhoudingen niet uit het oog verliezen. Ik heb er meer dan genoeg van het telkens weer te zeggen, maar het is het enige belangrijke.'
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Book description
Madrid tijdens de winter van 1942. De kleine burgerij vegeteert in koffiehuizen en bordelen; het leven sleept zich voort in de monotonie van onbeduidende conflicten en schaarse momenten van geluk. Een bonte stoet van Madrilenen trekt voorbij - biddend, ruziënd, roddelend, de liefde bedrijvend.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374522308, Paperback)

In this extraordinary novel of life in Madrid after the Spanish Civil War, Camilo Jose Cela conveys with startling immediacy not only the brutality but also the vitality of life in the city. His style—economical but vivid—carries the reader through a series of vignettes, following Cela’s many characters through the streets and tenements and brothels and, above all, the cafés of the great beehive—la colmena—of Madrid. Both a social document of its time and place and a moving tale of human suffering—and human triumph--under a totalitarian regime, The Hive is “a brilliant and original work” (Gerald Brenan, The New York Times Book Review).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:19 -0400)

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