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El camino (Spanish Edition) by Miguel…

El camino (Spanish Edition) (original 1950; edition 2010)

by Miguel Delibes

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3051436,648 (3.85)5
Title:El camino (Spanish Edition)
Authors:Miguel Delibes
Info:Espasa Austral (2010), Paperback, 272 páginas
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El Camino by Miguel Delibes (1950)



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Spanish (11)  Catalan (2)  English (1)  All (14)
Delibes's breakthrough work, El Camino, was published in 1950 and was his third novel. It deals with the daily life of a remote village in the Spanish countryside, as seen though the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy who is on the point of leaving the village for the first time to go to boarding school in the big city.

It's something between a coming-of-age novel and a timeless portrait of life in a small community. There's a great deal of local colour, it positively drips with charm and sentiment, but it's not just chocolate-box: there's a lot of hard reality under the picturesque details, and probably rather too much sex and death for the average eleven-year-old to be entirely comfortable with. It becomes clear as you read it that it's a very cleverly constructed book, using all sorts of narrative tricks to build up the picture of how the village works and how Daniel comes to terms with the irreversibility of growing-up (which, as we all know, is one of the scariest things about childhood).

Superficially, it feels a bit like Just William as Marcel Pagnol might have written it, and there is also an occasional echo of the morality of Don Camillo (but without Guareschi's robust humour) — all of which probably just says that it's typical of the way writers of a nostalgic and moderately conservative frame of mind dealt with the challenges of post-war Europe.

Interesting, and very agreeable to read (with a splendidly weepy ending), but you probably wouldn't want too much of it. ( )
  thorold | Mar 21, 2014 |
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Las cosas podían haber sucedido de cualquier manera y, sin embargo, sucedieron así.
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