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The House of the Spirits: A Novel by Isabel…
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The House of the Spirits: A Novel (original 1982; edition 2005)

by Isabel Allende

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11,861201375 (4.08)520
"The unforgettable first novel that established Isabel Allende as one of the world's most gifted and imaginative storytellers. The House of the Spirits brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife, Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world. When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future. One of the most important novels of the twentieth century, The House of the Spirits is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate"--… (more)
Member:JorgeCarvajal
Title:The House of the Spirits: A Novel
Authors:Isabel Allende
Info:Dial Press Trade Paperback (2005), Paperback, 433 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (1982)

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» See also 520 mentions

English (156)  Spanish (18)  Italian (9)  Dutch (6)  French (3)  German (2)  Danish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (201)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
I knew I had read this, but was not sure when. In going over my old journals, I found the date for it. This is one of my mother's favorites, and I think that I can see why. Here is what I wrote back then.

>>The element of magical realism was good, though not as strong as Garcia Marquez. The plot was interesting, and the use of regression was very effective with the epilogue serving to bring the novel full circle. I felt for the character of Esteban Trueba, who fell victim of his own anti-communist obsession with the coup. I liked the presence of spirits and the books of Marcos (yet these were not detailed in any way in terms of content). I enjoyed the tale overall. I do recommend it. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
When I started reading this book, I had my doubts. I have a love-hate relationship with authors from South America and southern Europe.

I liked this book lots, something I hadn't expected at all, considering the description of the contents (for all clarity: I'm referring to the romantic parts of the book).

But the stories of the women, the men, their complicated relationships, their failures, successes, their stubbornness, loyalty (both political and romantical) with in the background the political developments interested me more than I had thought.
Wanting to known how things would turn out, I kept reading and reading and reading. Untill I finished the book which felt like a loss. I could have read much more pages with the same focus & the same interest.

Really a recommended book! ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Aug 7, 2020 |
I just looked at when I started this book and have to say it's really sad it took me this long to through in the towel. I already could tell as soon as I started the writing was going to drive me bonkers, but it became too much for me to overcome in the end and I stopped reading at 26 percent, or page 125 of 468 in my Kindle version of this book.

What's to say in the end. There were too many characters doing random things that I didn't follow. I know this is a magical realism book, but didn't really see it much in what I read. But I think the wall of text is what was so offputting to me as a reader. There were just whole pages with a block of text and no spacing in between. I had a hard time keeping the sentence straight which hasn't happened to me in a long time.

I know this book is a classic, but in the end it's not just for me.

"The House of the Spirits" follows three generations of the Trueba family, living in Chile. And I could not tell you a single character's name without cheating and going back to the synopsis.

I just found the what I read to be rather flat and colorless and finally jumped back into a memoir I was reading. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Four generations
chained to a bull of a man
bound, even in death. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
This one was a book club read, and I have to say I was hesitant in it at first. Rather than hooking me quickly as I'm used to, "The House of the Spirits" wound itself around the back of my mind, tugging gently on my fingers until I got up the nerve (and time) to follow its unspooling thread. This isn't a book to be read in short chunks, but chewed on for an hour or more at a time, while you sink deep into the rich, complex, and often fraught lives of its characters.

Ultimately, I cannot say I didn't enjoy this read, but there's no lying about it's toughness — the main narrator, Esteban, is a callous and unlikeable man, a serial rapist and cruel husband. That even he is somewhat redeemed in the eyes of his beloved granddaughter, Alba, however, gave me pause. Was I supposed to forgive him alongside her? I'm not sure we wholly do, or whether I did, but by the end of the book I think I saw a bit of him as Alba saw him: a complicated, horrible man, but also that: a man, even a horrible one, not a cardboard cut-out of a villain or worrying narrator. It was Alba, ultimately, that I admire most in this story, and the end of "The House of the Spirits" is a testament to the power of story itself, Alba taking the first-person narration from her dying grandfather. She also takes her grandmother, Clara's, notebooks and diaries, beginning to weave them with her own story. In the end, "House of the Spirits" ends with the hopes of breaking cycles, but only if we remember how they have been cyclical before — if we can see the past with open eyes for its goods and ills to not repeat the same mistakes. ( )
  priorfictions | Jun 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (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 (35 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
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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"The unforgettable first novel that established Isabel Allende as one of the world's most gifted and imaginative storytellers. The House of the Spirits brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife, Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world. When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future. One of the most important novels of the twentieth century, The House of the Spirits is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate"--

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