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Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.) by…

Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.) (original 2009; edition 2011)

by Isabel Allende

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1,422755,312 (3.91)83
Title:Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.)
Authors:Isabel Allende
Info:Harper Perennial (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library

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Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende (2009)

  1. 10
    Zorro by Isabel Allende (fiercebunny)
    fiercebunny: Isabel Allende is one my favorite Authors of all time, and Zorro is a surprising and beautifully written novel. While it is not my favorite Allende novel, it is up there and it a a fun read.
  2. 10
    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Cecilturtle)
  3. 11
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Cast of interconnected characters are subjected to historical pressures through years-worth of events surrounding a revolution. Issues of paternity and social justice.

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» See also 83 mentions

English (53)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (6)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
I was so bored by this book that I gave up when I was about 40% into it. The basic premise was excellent and thss could have been a fantastic book, if told in a different way. It was just a factual description of events, with very little character development and a very strange flow. I tried hard to like it, but I simply could not empathize with any character and was annoyed that such a good story was told in such a mundane way. ( )
  rivergen | Jul 3, 2015 |
Based on true historical events surrounding the time of revolution in what is now known as Haiti, this book is beautifully written. I found the characters well-rounded and the integration of historical events into a fictional story was well done, providing information and insight into the historical past without coming across as a textbook lecture. It is, at times, very difficult to read; the passages describing the inhumane and brutal treatment of the slaves are truly heartbreaking, but are, unfortunately, a reminder of a cruel and terrible truth in our history. ( )
  TracyCampbell | May 8, 2015 |
This impressive epic novel is set in the late 18th century surrounding the time of revolution in Saint-Domingue, now Haiti. It describes the colonization and slavery on the plantations. Although beautifully written, eloquent and flowing, in some parts the story is harrowing as it brings a cruel history to life. The saga is based on factual events, which makes it informative and interesting, while at the same time heartbreaking because of the brutal nature of many passages.

This passage describes the source of the title:
"Many (infants) died of tetanus, paralyzed, their jaws frozen. That was one of the island's mysteries because whites did not suffer from that disease. The masters did not suspect that those symptoms could be provoked undetected by sticking a fine needle into a soft part of the baby's head before the cranial bones harden. In that way the baby went happily to the Island Beneath the Sea without ever experiencing slavery." ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Dec 9, 2014 |
As always it's an education to read a book by Allende. Great detail, well drawn out characters and an unflinching look at life from the various plot progenitors. ( )
  libgirl69 | Oct 17, 2014 |
First of all, I have to say I listened to the audiobook in Italian, read by an actress who unfortunately did a terrible job. She read the whole thing with a tone of amused delight, which is the farthest she could possibly go from the horrific ugliness described in this book. So, please bear with me.

It's not that I didn't like the story. It's the combination writer / italian reader that I really, really didn't like.

As for the book itself, I am fascinated by the history of Haiti, but Allende's characters meant less than nothing to me. Look at the book cover - you see how impersonal, flat and bi-dimensional that drawing of a girl's face looks? That's exactly how Allende's characters come across in the book: they feel fake, as if they were talking stereotypes, marionettes, who never once become truly alive.

I could never empathize with anyone. The only true feeling that I could sense throughout the novel was boredom. And perhaps that of being a victim of cruelty... question mark?

In other words: ok, the bare bones of this story are extremely unpleasant. Fine, but at least give me some damn adventure or thrills. Nothing at all, only a bit at the end, too late to save the book. Another writer, like for example Ken Follett, while sparing nothing of the violence and ugliness, would have written the story in a totally different way, providing that true conflict, dynamism and excitement that this book is totally lacking.

So when i think of Allende I now have this image of an old lady sitting in her neatly organized living room and droning on about this boring story, told with bitterness and a hint of sadistic pleasure, while seeping her tea. Her style is called "magic realism" because in the middle of an ornate, poetic and elegant descritpion she will use the word "shit" instead of feces. How magic! She is of course speaking in Spanish, and she has a crazy Italian translator next to her who translates every sentence for me with a spirited smile on her face, as if it was the highest form of poetry she has ever heard.

Right. Not good. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Margaret Sayers PedenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my children, Nicolas and Lori
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In my forty years I, Zarite Sedella, have had better luck than other slaves.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061988243, Hardcover)

Born on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité—known as Tété—is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and the voodoo loa she discovers through her fellow slaves.

When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it’s with powdered wigs in his trunks and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father’s plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. Although Valmorain purchases young Tété for his bride, it is he who will become dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.

Against the merciless backdrop of sugarcane fields, the lives of Tété and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture arrives at the gates of Saint Lazare, they flee the brutal conditions of the French colony, soon to become Haiti, for the raucous, free-wheeling enterprise of New Orleans. There Tété finally forges a new life, but her connection to Valmorain is deeper than anyone knows and not easily severed. With an impressive richness of detail, and a narrative wit and brio second to none, Allende crafts the riveting story of one woman’s determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been so battered, and to forge a new identity in the cruelest of circumstances.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:47 -0400)

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"The story of a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine, determined to take control of her own destiny in a society where that would seem impossible"--Provided by publisher.

(summary from another edition)

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