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The House of the Spirits (1982)

by Isabel Allende

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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12,574224400 (4.08)562
As a girl, Clara del Valle can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own, and predict the future. Following the mysterious death of her sister, Rosa the Beautiful, Clara is mute for nine years. When she breaks her silence, it is to announce that she will be married soon to the stern and volatile landowner Esteban Trueba. Set in an unnamed Latin American country over three generations, The House of the Spirits is a magnificent epic of a proud and passionate family, secret loves and violent revolution.… (more)
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» See also 562 mentions

English (175)  Spanish (21)  Italian (9)  Dutch (6)  French (3)  German (2)  Danish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (224)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
8481302473
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
8401381665
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
This is a 2016 review that refers to the fact that I took Spanish in high school and traveled abroad for two weeks. I forgot all my Spanish after graduating in 2005.

I read the English one over a period of a few months in high school. I would wake up earlier than my close friend when I stayed over at her house, and, not wanting to disturb her, pluck this book off her shelf. She laughed when I told her, and said she'd hated having to analyze the book. Even now, I barely remember any of the English version. I remember it talked a lot about friendship and relationships. I love Allende's writing style.

I read the Spanish version later in one sitting. Re: the well-written, engaging plot that had me turning pages nonstop: At moments, I was disconcerted. At others, I was sickened. At the -torture scenes which were censored from the English version I read-, I was horrified. Re: the settings, the descriptions of characters, the everything else: I wish I could write like that. I still remember character descriptions so clearly, and I wanted to be in the mere presence of these women.

The stark difference between the two versions I read was likely due to the fact that wow, America censors a whooole lot. If it's not outright censorship, writing is frequently watered-down, especially with a book so political as this one. Both carried very different messages and connotations that were fit for both countries at the time (I read the Spanish version in Peru, the English version in America). It was really a lot for me to think about once I had set both versions aside and had time to reflect on what the differences were, and why. The English version is okay for high schoolers to read and analyze; that's fine. It's also a watered-down, heavily censored version and they're not getting what the real message was. If they were? This book would be aimed at adults only. I think because of the -kinds- of sex and violence described, as well as certain relationships and themes, that teenagers might not fully grasp what was going on, and it might not be the right time for them to read the book. Early twenties, yeah. It's about life experience, I guess. An adult is going to have a radically different understanding of this book and will probably have fewer nightmares.

This is a book that does need to be widely read. The themes do need to be discussed, especially every part of the plot ever. This is an important book! ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 22, 2022 |
A family saga spanning three generations of the Del Valle family. Setting is late 19th century through the mid to late 20th in Chile (though the country is never actually named). I'm not really a fan of the third person omniscient POV; it distances the characters and I can't really focus on one over another, though it is clear that Allende wants you to identify mostly with Clara, Rosa, and Alba. I really like Allende's version of magical realism and how it offsets some of the brutality inflicted by and on her characters. ( )
  Bodagirl | Mar 27, 2022 |
Il Club del Libro / DRS
Libro del mese di Novembre 2016

Libro del mese successivo
[b:Dove il tempo si ferma|36473861|Dove il tempo si ferma|Stephen Hawking|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1508928764l/36473861._SY75_.jpg|49835418] ( )
  JaqJaq | Jan 7, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
Primera novela de Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus narra la saga de una poderosa familia de terratenientes latinoamericanos. El despótico patriarca Esteban Trueba ha construido, con mano de hierro, un imperio privado que empieza a tambalearse a raíz del paso del tiempo y de un entorno social explosivo. Finalmente, la decadencia personal del patriarca arrastrará a los Trueba a una dolorosa desintegración. Atrapados en unas dramáticas relaciones familiares, los personajes de esta portentosa novela encarnan las tensiones sociales y espirituales de una época que abarca gran parte de este siglo.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (78 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morino AngeloTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piloto Di Castri, SoniaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bogin, MagdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Botond, AnnelieseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hitchens, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juan, AnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lappi-Seppälä, JyrkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nikolov, VentseslavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Otter, SaskiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, MichelleCover artistsecondary 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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As a girl, Clara del Valle can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own, and predict the future. Following the mysterious death of her sister, Rosa the Beautiful, Clara is mute for nine years. When she breaks her silence, it is to announce that she will be married soon to the stern and volatile landowner Esteban Trueba. Set in an unnamed Latin American country over three generations, The House of the Spirits is a magnificent epic of a proud and passionate family, secret loves and violent revolution.

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