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 20th 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.
©1982 Isabel Allende (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
"There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS is Isabel Allende's stunning saga of the Trueba family over 3 generations in Chile ending a few years after the government overthrow led by General Pinochet, the abhorrent right-wing dictator who, with the support of the US gov't, seized the chance opened by fears that the country would be taken over by Marxists.
Ms. Allende', who should soon be Chile's 3d Nobel Laureate in Literature, wrote the novel based loosely on her own family and nation. The novel's fictional characters and events follow closely the lives and times of Chile, Pinochet and Salvadore Allende, her first cousin, once removed, and Chile's socialist president at the time of the coup d'etat. Reports conflict over whether he was assassinated or committed suicide shortly after the coup commenced.
Incidentally, Chile's last Nobel Laureate (1971) was the famous poet Pablo Neruda, who died from poisoning 2 weeks after the coup, some believe upon Pinochet's orders due to Neruda's support of Marxist politicians. Likewise, Allende's fictional famed poet died under suspicious circumstances and his funeral is a significant event in the novel, as civilians on both the left and the right were severely shaken by his death, which foreshadowed several more years of a ruthless, murderous military regime.
Ms. Allende's prose is both graceful and readily comprehensible, as she chronicles a captivating, concinnous tale chiseled in history and filled with passions inflamed by family, politics and power, love and lust, malevolence and mysticism.
The audible edition of this outstanding novel was a long time coming. One would hope a publisher would realize the importance of an established, estimable narrator equal to the work's stature. Here, the patriarch's granddaughter narrated about 95% of the novel, with the rest by the patriarch. While I have nothing against Marisol Ramirez's voice (and am glad the publisher hired a Hispanic narrator), Ms. Ramirez read this spirited novel as if she were reminiscing over a rock collection at a recluse reunion.
Notwithstanding, I highly recommend this audiobook.
Great story. Was very hard to stop listening. It was spellbinding. I experienced a range of emotions from sad to happy to angry.
This is such a great story and I want so much to listen to the whole thing but the narrators are both distracting and monotonous at the same time.
The female narrator has a habit of reading to the end of a line as if there is a period then putting the wrong emphasis on the beginning of the next, as if it's a new sentence.
They both lack the acting nuances to pull off the emotion that is written so well in this book.
It's a darn shame.
I often stumble on books or stories that I can't finish bc they don't enable me to imagine what's going on as if I was there ever this one did it like mine other! worth the hours of listening, specially for long drives.
I REALLY love this book. It has everything, at times delightful then devastatingly sad. It's the story of the rise and fall of fortunes in a South American family with so many memorable characters, especially the women. It has ghosts and magic set in a story arc which mirrors the actual political struggles of so many Latin countries. But the thing that sets this book apart for me is that it has such heart, mainly because the author has suffered through political upheavals and knows firsthand how it can grind up the lives of ordinary people. And yet, some have resilience too. This is a powerful, beautifully-written book.
The audio book would have been more interesting if presented by defferent narrators! The beginning was boring because of their almost monotone presenation. Towards the end they finally picked it up a notch and began to sound more enthusiastic!
The storyline was good. I enjoyed the ending emensly!!!
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