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La casa de los espíritus

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La casa de los espíritus narra la saga familiar de los Trueba, desde principios de siglo hasta el presente. Magistralmente ambientada en algún lugar de América Latina, la novela sigue paso a paso el dramático y extravagante destino de unos personajes atrapados en un entorno sorprendente y exótico.

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La casa de los espíritus narra la saga familiar de los Trueba, desde principios de siglo hasta el presente. Magistralmente ambientada en algún lugar de América Latina, la novela sigue paso a paso el dramático y extravagante destino de unos personajes atrapados en un entorno sorprendente y exótico.

30 review for La casa de los espíritus

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    House of the Spirits started my love affair with Isabel Allende's writing twenty years ago. I remember how the first line "Barrabas came to us from the sea" left me captivated and eager to read on. In college, I was fortunate that La Casa de los Espiritus was required reading for one of my classes, so I read the prose a second time in Spanish. Allende's writing is exceptional in both languages. Recently, I completed Allende's memoir The Sum of Our Days. She reveals that Clara represents her own House of the Spirits started my love affair with Isabel Allende's writing twenty years ago. I remember how the first line "Barrabas came to us from the sea" left me captivated and eager to read on. In college, I was fortunate that La Casa de los Espiritus was required reading for one of my classes, so I read the prose a second time in Spanish. Allende's writing is exceptional in both languages. Recently, I completed Allende's memoir The Sum of Our Days. She reveals that Clara represents her own grandmother: she also had the gift of being clairvoyant and communicating with all the spirits that entered her home by way of a three-legged table and tarot cards. Handed down this gift, Allende admits that she has had a number of meaningful dreams over the years that have influenced both her writing and family life. La Casa de Los Espiritus is a sweeping epic that spans three generations of Chilean women- Clara, Blanca, and Alba Del Valle Trueba- from post World War I up until the Pinochet coup which overthrew the Allende government (Isabel's uncle) in 1973. The opus detailed their family saga in both good times and bad, reflecting on how the same mistakes repeated themselves through the generations. This is most evident as Allende uses the same name over again for all four women in the family: Nivea, Clara, Blanca, Alba. Each woman attempted to be as independent as her era allowed, yet falling for the society mores expected of an upper crust Chilean family. As the years pass, however, adhering to the higher class norms becomes harder as both family and society crumble around the Del Valle/Trueba clan. Allende may be known for her feminist leanings, but she creates a strong, memorable male lead in Esteban Trueba. Reaching the ripe old age of ninety and telling this story alongside his grand-daughter Alba, Senator Trueba sees Chile rise, fall, and rise again. The country's hardships and successes mirror those of his own family as the Senator remains staunchly conservative even as the younger generations of his family opt for more liberal values. Trueba in his role as patriarch sees how the world has changed and holds his family together as Chile crashes around them. Isabel fled Chile with her family and her writing has undergone changes since, depending on where she is on her life journey. This saga remains my measuring stick against which all of her other books are rated. As long as she maintains her high level of Latina magical realism, I have no difficulties rating all of her books at least 4.5 stars. Knowing that Daughter of Fortune and Portrait of Sepia make up a trilogy leading up to Los Espiritus, whenever I reread these books every few years or so, they will have to be read in succession, creating an epic family saga spanning nearly 200 years. House of the Spirits through its highs and lows will always keep its place as one of my favorite books read. Post script: I just re-read House of the Spirits for the fourth time as part of a group read for catching up with classics in September 2016. What I can take away from this reread of Allende's contemporary classic, is that her writing is as captivating as ever, even twenty years later. Having read her memoirs and current novel, by returning to her House of the Spirits, it is hard to tell if Alba Trueba is speaking or Allende herself, as this book appears to be a fictionalized autobiography of her family. Culling through the 90 years of Esteban Trueba's life, Chile has seen her share of hardships. Yet, by writing down memories as both Clara and Alba do, one is able to break the chain of torment, so that history is no longer doomed to repeat itself. As I have the other times I have read this masterpiece, I rate House of the Spirits 5 shining stars for Allende's outstanding prose and magical realism.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Huda Yahya

    جولة لا تُنسى في بيت الأرواح ::::::::::::::::::::::::: هذه رواية تنطق بقداسة الأنثى تمجد السحر الأنثوي البراق تحكي تاريخ الدولة الأنثى أو الأنثى الدولة تشيــلي أرض الجنيات والساحرات وعرائس البحر هذه رواية السنوات البحرية المحفوظة في ذاكرة وراثية لا تضيع أبدا بل تنزلق بلطف عبر الأجيال النسوية الرحبة الصدور والطيبة كعجينة تراب من رحم الأرض خصبة وشغوفة والشغف يكاد يصرخ متخطيا حدود العقل فيما سطرت إيزابيل بتاريخ عرق عائلتها النصف مخبولة والمعجونة بالسحر أو فلنقل تاريخ إنساني سطرته الأرواح الشفافة وهي من ذلك ال جولة لا تُنسى في بيت الأرواح ::::::::::::::::::::::::: هذه رواية تنطق بقداسة الأنثى تمجد السحر الأنثوي البراق تحكي تاريخ الدولة الأنثى أو الأنثى الدولة تشيــلي أرض الجنيات والساحرات وعرائس البحر هذه رواية السنوات البحرية المحفوظة في ذاكرة وراثية لا تضيع أبدا ‏ بل تنزلق بلطف عبر الأجيال النسوية الرحبة الصدور والطيبة كعجينة تراب من رحم الأرض ‏خصبة وشغوفة والشغف يكاد يصرخ متخطيا حدود العقل فيما سطرت إيزابيل بتاريخ عرق عائلتها ‏النصف مخبولة والمعجونة بالسحر أو فلنقل تاريخ إنساني سطرته الأرواح الشفافة وهي من ذلك النوع من الرويات تلك التي تندمج بذراتك كلما توغلت في القراءة التي تصنع من نفسها ذكرى تتعدى انبهارك بقطعة أدب تحفر عميقا في داخلك ولا ‏تتركك إلا ملهَما مصابا بدوار نشوة قد يصل به الأمر لإخافتك ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; روزا :جنية البحر والحلم المقتول في مهده روزا هي السمكة الأرضية التي ولدت بقدمين ‏ هي الملاك الميثولوجي الذي يتمخطر بين البشر فواحا برائحة أعشابٍ بحرية وهي البسيطة كنسمة هواء لا تدري شيئا عن سحرها القاتل والتي تنسج على قماشها مخلوقات لا أرضية تحاكيها ‏غرابة وتؤكد كونها ليست من هذا العالم حتى قررت إيزابيل محوها بحرة قلم من الرواية مؤكدة الشائعة الطريفة التي تقول بأنها تغار من ‏بطلاتها المبهرات الجمال فتميتهنّ مبكرا‏ وقد سكنت روزا بهدوء على طاولة التشريح كاملة كما لم تكن من قبل بشعرها كشلال لامعا كنبتة ‏بحرية وبلون المحيط ‏ وأكثر جمالا مما كانت في أي مرة ‏ وظلت بهية في قبرها الأرضي حتى تناثرت ذرات مع أول لفحة هواء طالتها لتبقى روحها في ‏أعماق المحيط حيث تنتمي ‏ لقد بقى تأثيرها ممتدًا طوال الرواية ‏ ليس فقط من خلال شعرها الأخضر الذي ورّثته لابنة أختها أو مخلوقاتها الخرافية المنسوجة التي ‏انتقلت بأشكال أخرى من الفن لعبر أجيال جديدة بل عبر روحها البحرية وصوت الموج المحيط بالبطلات يهسهس مع الأرواح الشفافة التي تتبع ‏كلارا برقة ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; كلارا :روح شفافة تطفو فوق بحر هادئ من حريرأزرق حين أعدتُ قراءة أجزاء من بــاولا بغية البحث بتوسع عن عائلة إيزابيل ومقارنتها بالرواية قرأتُ ‏شيئا أشعرني بنوع ساذج من السعادة لقد ذكرت إيزابيل عرضا أن كلارا تبقى الأحب والأقرب إلى قلبها من بين شخصياتها الروائية و هكذا صفقت بيدي مثل طفلة ساذجة :P :$ لقد خبلتْ كلارا لُبِّي بلا أي مبالغة و بقوة نافستْ سليمة غرناطة حتى غلبَتها واحتلت الصدارة في قلبي بلا منازع كأحب شخصية أدبية تعرفت عليها في حياتي أحببت كلارا التي كانت تجعل المملحة تطوف حول الرؤوس على مائدة الطعام وهي بعد طفلة والتي ترقص كراسي البيت كله في حضورها والتي تعزف شوبان والبيانو مغلق والتي تحضر الأرواح مع صديقاتها الأخوات الثلاث اسبوعيا بلا كلل أو إخفاق‏ والتي كانت تعرف يقينا أن لغة الأرواح لا تتعدى الإسبرانتو والإسبانية وأن الإنجليزية بلا طائل :D والتي تمضي في المنزل هائمة بنصف عقل خلفها الأشباح وأوراق التبوء في يدها والمناضد تهتز ‏تحية لها والتي ألصقت ابنتها بها كدودة لتحقق نوع عجيب يناسبها من التواصل والتخاطر والتي حولت البيت لمتاهة مجنونة من الغرف تناسبها تماما كانت كلارا بعيدة عن كل ما هو مادي تطفو كروح أثيرية فلا يترك في نفسها خاتم ألماس ثمين هدية من زوجها أثرا أكبر ‏من مشاهدة عصفورا يطير أو كوب أعشاب دافئ أو حوض استحمام معطر كلارا المغرية أبدا بتتبعها ضحكتها البهلوانية كطفلة شقية عابثة جلبابها الكتاني الأبيض الفضفاض كثوب مجانين دفتر ملاحظاتها عن الحياة الذي بقى يحكي قصة أجيال مصابة بنصف لوثة وخبل لا نهائي سريرها الذي تلقبه بحر هادئ من حرير أزرق‏ صورتها في المتحف والتي تظهر فيها على كرسي يطفو فوق سطح الأرض مع بعض الفازات المنزلية الطائرة في الهواء جوارها يحسبها من يراها إبداع غرائبي من الفنان لا حقيقة كلارا المجردة بكل جنونها،، طفولتها ،، حنانها ،،مشاريعها الخيرية ،،وأصدقائها التخاطريين وصناع المطر كلارا الهتماء التي تحمل أسنانها الخزفية بخيط في عنقها كمشرد ينتمي إلى الهيبيز كانت كلارا شبحا آدميا وقعت في غرامه وتشربت تفاصيله وبات وسيظل جزءا نابضا في داخلي‏ ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; منذ ذلك الحين وعشقي يداخله عُرف الخشب ويستحيل خشبا كل ما تمسه كفاي ــــــــــــــــ إيستيبان وفيرولا :أخ وأخت من الجحيم ‏!‏ إيستيبان ‏ هذا الإقطاعي المغتصب هاتك الأعراض القاسي المتفجر غضبا والمسكين العاشق حتى النخاع لم أملك إلا أن أقع في حبه في نهاية المطاف وأنا أراه عجوزا وحيدا متهالك العظام يبكي أخطاءه وشراسته ‏وقراراته الغبية ويحاول في ندم انقاذ ما يمكن انقاذه ‏ أما فيرولا فهي العانس المسكينة التي تملّكها الحرمان والتي كانت أسيرة شعور مستمر بالذنب تحاول ‏التكفير عنه بكل الطرق المتاحة كما تحاول أن تنقل هذا الشعور لأخيها الذي جمعتها به علاقة حب ‏وكراهية امتدت لآخر نفس من حياتهما لقد أوجعت فيرولا قلبي وأنا أرى مأساتها مع أخيها وزوجته وكدت أتجمد حزنا وشبحها الأبيض ‏يقترب من كلارا في الثامنة مساءا ليطبع على جبينها قبلة الوداع ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; بدأتْ هذه الرواية برسالة تبعثها إيزابيل إلى جدها المحتضر المناهز مئة عام وانتهت قطعة ‏مبهرة من الأدب لا أكاد أصدق أنها عمل إيزابيل الأول والذي بقى الأشهر والأكثر إذهالا عاشت إيزابيل هذه الرواية قبل أن تكتبها فالشخصيات حقيقية من لحم ودم وأبهاهم كلارا التي ببساطة ‏خبلت لبي والتي استمدتها إيزابيل من جدتها الأثيرية صديقة الأرواح ;;;;;;;; لقد تمنيتُ أن أجد الرواية بترجمة صالح علماني فقراءة إيزابيل بنكهته كانت لتكون تجربة مثيرة مجددا كان صالح علماني ليجعل من هذه الرواية جنة ترى الجنيات فيها نحيفات ‏شفافات يطرن من حولك بأجنحة ذهبية كان ليجعل الأرواح تهيم بلون الفضة وأنت جوارها تتنشق زهور كلارا وتسمع قرقرة القطط ‏السعيدة اللطيفة ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; من عجائبيات وطرائف بيت الأرواح البحري رموز عجيبة و أنصاف مخبولين ‏*‏ ‏*‏ القبعة الجلدية وعلبتها التي قبعت سنوات في القبو حاملة رأس نيفيا فاليه والذي وجدته كلارا بقوة الإلهام ‏وحدها بعد أن فشل الجميع في العثور عليه ‏*‏ ‏*‏ مذكرات الخال ماركوس عن البحر والتي دون فيها مغامراته وحكايا الجنيات والتي سكنت أحلام ‏سلالته جيلا بعد جيل ‏*‏ ‏*‏ المخلوقات الخرافية في نسيج روزا التي انتقلت إلى صلصال بلانكا ثم إلى رسوم ألبا الملونة على حائط ‏غرفتها ‏*‏ ‏*‏ طاولة خشب السنديان العجيبة والتي تحملت عَتَه العائلة عبر قرن تم تشريح روزا عليها ‏ كما عرفت أقدام جيم جيدا وهو يرقص عليها الفلامنكو ‏ كالمخبول واستضافت بلا كلل جلسات تحضير الأرواح وهي ترقص بنفسها هذه المرة وتهتز بلا توقف ‏ :D بالاضافة إلى كونها طاولة طعام مستعملة من قبل العائلة دوما! ‏*‏ ‏*‏ عندما أصيبت كلارا بالخرس حاولت النانا أو المربية بقلب أم أن تردها عن خرسها فعمدت إلى ‏إثارة رعبها وفزعها لمدد طويلة وللمفارقة ماتت النانا في زلزال ليس تحت الأنقاض ،،، ولكن من الرعب!‏ ‏*‏ ‏* *‏ من الغريب أن إيزابيل لم تذكر اسم سلفادور ألليندي أو بابلو نيرودا صراحة في الرواية وكان نيرودا في الرواية رمزا حلو ومرا لتشيلي التي تنزف ‏ : : : أطلّ إنسانٌ على الدنيا وسط كثيرين ممن اجتازوا المخاض خاض غمار الحياة، وسط فيض من البشر ممن ضربوا مثله في شعابها ليس ذلك وحده بالتاريخ التليد مثلما الأرض ذاتها قلب تشيلي حيث ترخي الكروم ضفائرها الخضراء وتقتات الأعناب من النور يولد النبيذ، من أقدام الناس :::::::::::: ملحوظة أخيرة :::::::::::: لا تقرأ ترجمة دار الجندي الترجمة فيها سم قاتل الترجمة فيها سم قاتل وإن اشتريت ترجمة صالح علماني فأتمنى أن تبدأ في تصويرها هذه الترجمة المنتظرة تستحق ونستحق أن تتاح لنا جميعا

  3. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez comparisons aside, it's hard to review this book without references to the magical realism and the narrative styles of Latin America. I truly believe that anyone not familiar with the above mentioned, would likely be a bit thrown, even put off by these influences. Still, this is a brilliantly written story, epic in its truest sense. Covering four generations of women (with a man as the common thread between them), it races through the simplicity of the old world into the c Gabriel Garcia Marquez comparisons aside, it's hard to review this book without references to the magical realism and the narrative styles of Latin America. I truly believe that anyone not familiar with the above mentioned, would likely be a bit thrown, even put off by these influences. Still, this is a brilliantly written story, epic in its truest sense. Covering four generations of women (with a man as the common thread between them), it races through the simplicity of the old world into the complexity of an increasingly global existance and the insistance that this country enter into the morphing global economy and political stage. The true classics know how to do one particular thing very well: They are able to capture the reader with the emotive ties to the characters in a microcosm while placing them in a grander milestone setting, historically. Many stories have attempted this balance and fall short in one aspect or another. Either the personal attachment is emphasized at the expense of the historical detail, or the historical events are diluted to platform the characters. In this case, both are developed successfully because we are introduced and weaned on to the family first and then become involved in their plight as gradually as they do. Political upheaval grew into their lives the way it grew into the narration. It's also important to mention that by definition, this won't be a political struggle that most of the captalist population will be familiar with. Some background knowledge of the history of Chile does come in handy, especially when references are thrown in enigmatically. "The Poet" is mentioned sporadically at first, then his existance becomes poignant for a moment. The reference to Neruda, his real life exile, his political position... all of these are only subtly mentioned throughout the plot, and he is never referred to by name. So it's interesting that Allende refers to censorship by censoring herself. Clearly a conscious decision on her part, to seperate this historical novel from being a direct documentation of the history of Chile. The same holds true for the events leading up to and after the military coup and the Pinochet situation. This story shows us what it "might" have looked like behind the scenes. What the papers were not reporting. What the news programing was cleaning up on orders of the heads of state. This is what this story is about. In Latin America, these kinds of events are innumerable. They are part of the history, but they can not be told for the very censorship that this story speaks of. So they are told in novels and are thinly veiled as magical and exaggerated so as to hide behind such protection. But they are real, and to this day, there is a weekly procession in one of the plazas in Santiago, Chile, of people who "lost" family members to the military government. 40 years later, there are still hundreds who have not been accounted for. With this story, Allende hooks us, reels us in, and binds us to these characters. They are funny, ecentric, tempermental, ideal, strong, weak and so much more. Their dimensionality begs us to invest in them, emotionally, so that when their lives become shaken by their setting, we are as invested in how they will deal with the challenge.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    When I was a kid, me and my brother used to spend most weekends at our grandparents house. And most of those weekends we would watch one of the same two movies on the good ol' VCR: Steel Magnolias and The House of the Spirits. No one seems to know the latter movie when I mention it, but it starred a bunch of impressive names: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Antonio Banderas and Winona Ryder. My memory might be painting a better picture than the truth, but me and my brother LOVED the mov When I was a kid, me and my brother used to spend most weekends at our grandparents house. And most of those weekends we would watch one of the same two movies on the good ol' VCR: Steel Magnolias and The House of the Spirits. No one seems to know the latter movie when I mention it, but it starred a bunch of impressive names: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Antonio Banderas and Winona Ryder. My memory might be painting a better picture than the truth, but me and my brother LOVED the movie. So it really kinda amazes me that it took so long for me to get my hands on the book and finally read it. It's everything I can't help but love. A rich family saga filled with drama, hardship, love, violence and a touch of magical realism. The characters that once fascinated me in the movie have reemerged in a far more complex and fleshed out depiction. It is such an interesting story, spanning multiple generations and looking at the intricate relationships between the characters whilst the background features the post-colonial political struggles of Chile. I love the beautiful and wild South American setting. I love the subtly woven aspects of magical realism. I love (and sometimes hate) the characters. I am fascinated by even the politics of the novel and the huge disparities between the women who campaigned for gender equality and those who believed a husband ruled over his wife. This book has everything: family, politics, love, magic... I always enjoy it when a novel can bring in many different elements that we love and get the balance right. My favourite character has always been Ferula (played by Glenn Close in the movie). I find her the most tragic character and the one most buried beneath layers of complexity, even though she isn't ever really the novel's main focus: She was one of those people who are born for the greatness of a single love, for exaggerated hatred, for apocalyptic vengeance, and for the most sublime forms of heroism, but she was unable to shape her fate to the dimensions of her amorous vocation, so it was lived out as something flat and grey that was trapped between her mother's sickroom walls, wretched tenements, and the tortured confessions with which this large, opulent, hot-blooded woman - made for maternity, abundance, action, and ardor - was consuming herself. Ferula is my favourite, but she is one in a sea of very different and interesting individuals. There is, of course, Esteban Trueba. He is violent, selfish and earns very little sympathy from me over the course of the novel; that's not to say he isn't of interest, because he certainly is. And there's his wife - Clara - a woman prone to bouts of clairvoyance that have dictated the direction of her life; a direction she has accepted without complaint. Then there's Blanca, Esteban and Clara's daughter, who falls in love with Pedro Tercero against her father's wishes and constantly defies him by pursuing the relationship. Despite the pretty cover, this book isn't without its graphic descriptions of violence and some rape scenes. It isn't a nice book, but I suppose many of the best books aren't "nice". It is, however, a wonderful portrait of a family, spread over several generations, and it is as moving and beautiful as I'd hoped. Blog | Leafmarks | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Ansbro

    "If this world is going to be a better place for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it will be women who make it so." -Isabel Allende. Phewee! The House of the Spirits is a tumultuous epic which chronicles four generations of two extraordinary families. The eponymous house is large: it boasts three courtyards and a Chiléan version of the Addams Family. Imagine too, if you will, Barrabás, the somewhat unnatural domesticated dog/horse, who was ill-advisedly fed olive oil until he covered the "If this world is going to be a better place for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it will be women who make it so." -Isabel Allende. Phewee! The House of the Spirits is a tumultuous epic which chronicles four generations of two extraordinary families. The eponymous house is large: it boasts three courtyards and a Chiléan version of the Addams Family. Imagine too, if you will, Barrabás, the somewhat unnatural domesticated dog/horse, who was ill-advisedly fed olive oil until he covered the house from top to bottom with diarrhoea. Blurrgh! Following in the giant footsteps of Gabriel García Márquez, Allende lets rip with her own brand of el realismo mágico. Strong female roles abound in this captivating story, from Rosa (who has the maritime grace of a mermaid), to Clara (the soothsayer, whose apocalyptic visions include exploding horses and cows that are hurled into the sea), and Tránsito Soto (the entrepreneurial prostitute who symbolises success in the face of adversity). A mainstay of magical realism is that characters are expected to be beautifully realised, and Allende doesn't disappoint. Not for one bit. Her lead goes to reluctant altruist, Esteban Trueba, whose expectations of grandeur befit his pedigree, but not his habitude. Trueba, wishing to mine for gold, takes control of a lawless chunk of godforsaken land. Despite improving the social conditions of the peasants under his patronage, he becomes the most hated and feared scumbag in the entire region. When done with kicking hens, throwing tantrums and raping village girls, he expects his subordinates to show him some gratitude. Seriously, what a complete arse! Dichotomies abound: good and evil, triumph and tragedy, and the unjustified pomposity of Trueba sets him up for a hubristic turn of events. I LOVED this novel. I am a latecomer to Allende and, with this one story, she has propelled herself onto my top tier of writers. That said, the magical start to the story gradually capitulates to a more realismo style and does become something of a slog at times. Despite this, the craftsmanship of her writing never diminishes. The sex is fleshy and sweaty and the book is simply awash with anarchists, prostitutes and tables that move just by the power of thought. ¡Ay, caramba! There's even a bazooka-wielding president! As if that could ever happen! *stifles a snigger* The House of the Spirits is stormy, dramatic and beautifully-written. I even missed it when I was away from it! A self-indulgent afterthought... So skilful was Allende's writing that she turns Trueba's Latino machismo on its head. Most surprisingly, you might even end up feeling sorry for the misogynistic bastard. Those of you old enough to remember the excellent cop drama NYPD Blue might have experienced the same volte-face in respect of Detective Andy Sipowicz, the corrupt, racist, homophobic, alcoholic sleazeball who slowly begins to question the values he was raised with, and thereafter begins to win our hearts and minds. In my view, an unbelievably gifted piece of TV character writing that is rarely bettered!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    4.5/5 Esteban, Trueba, how does your childhood grow? With fear and guilt and such hard work and a love that leaves you low. In thoughts of grief and thoughts of rage, and a slump of of broken land, you will rape your heart out, Esteban, set life to your demand. Clara, Clara, clairvoyant, how does your marriage keep? With magic silent and so near, to where your children sleep. When tragedy has struck your home, and the bull is in the shop, reality will find you there, your disengagement stop. Humans, humans, high 4.5/5 Esteban, Trueba, how does your childhood grow? With fear and guilt and such hard work and a love that leaves you low. In thoughts of grief and thoughts of rage, and a slump of of broken land, you will rape your heart out, Esteban, set life to your demand. Clara, Clara, clairvoyant, how does your marriage keep? With magic silent and so near, to where your children sleep. When tragedy has struck your home, and the bull is in the shop, reality will find you there, your disengagement stop. Humans, humans, high and low, what does your life move toward? To riches spun in paradise, And poor ones marching forward. When man must strain for food and work, and women for their life, the wealth grows lazy in its keep, and tensions run in strife. Politics, politics, what are your true names? The search for living fair and true, the beasts of power games. When fear drives sides to action, and both believe in might, lands will burn in suffering; no one escapes the light. Esteban, Trueba, you've lived a life of pride, planted seeds of cruel revenge, and harvested in stride. You are old now, Esteban, what has your life earned? A ghost, a house, a granddaughter; all are scorched and burned. Esteban, Trueba, how does your country grow? With driving out the communists, or dictators and woe? When tragedy has snuffed your pride, and your path is lost in fear, you'll find your guidance, Esteban; redemption gathers here. Reader, reader, reading here, what is this story read? A tale of individuals, Small strainings birthed for dead? It is one and it is all, growing evermore, family framed society; history at its core. Reader, reader, what is life, how does one tell it true? With torture, fear, and oftentimes, death of all you knew. And yet life keeps, and yet life goes, and strength is found in you, men of hope, women strong, love and laughter too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    I have never in my life read a book where SO MUCH HAPPENS. AY. Generation after generation of DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, AMIRITE? I seriously don't know how to rate this book. Personally it wasn't a favourite, I found myself overwhelmed and bombarded with so much tragedy and injustice and found no love in any of the characters, but I really appreciated so much of what happened and really enjoyed learning more about magical realism. Here's my video review of this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awofw I have never in my life read a book where SO MUCH HAPPENS. AY. Generation after generation of DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, AMIRITE? I seriously don't know how to rate this book. Personally it wasn't a favourite, I found myself overwhelmed and bombarded with so much tragedy and injustice and found no love in any of the characters, but I really appreciated so much of what happened and really enjoyed learning more about magical realism. Here's my video review of this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awofw...

  8. 4 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    Wow! If you look up 'epic family dramas, sweeping sagas' you are sure to find the The House of the Spirits at the top of the list. It's hard to capture what this book covers as it covers so much. The story of the three generations of the Trueba family. How their lives have changed over many, many years. Their loves, grief, joy, family, politics, greed, desires, and more. I felt that there was so much heartbreak and tragedy in this story. But I kept thinking about this one....even when I was not Wow! If you look up 'epic family dramas, sweeping sagas' you are sure to find the The House of the Spirits at the top of the list. It's hard to capture what this book covers as it covers so much. The story of the three generations of the Trueba family. How their lives have changed over many, many years. Their loves, grief, joy, family, politics, greed, desires, and more. I felt that there was so much heartbreak and tragedy in this story. But I kept thinking about this one....even when I was not reading it. It is beautiful. I wish that I could go back and start it all over again. Esteban Trueba.....hmmm, he is a monster (I think). Though does he ultimately redeem himself? Clara....a wonderful character, who I wanted to hear more about and her talents. The book touches on magical realism and it was done perfectly, weaved into the lives of each of the Trueba family members. The love between Blanca and Pedro Tercero García....epic. Throw in a government political coup. Oh I want to hear more and more about these wonderful characters. I listened to this one via audio. There were two narrators - one male, one female. It took me a bit of time to get into the flow of the narration on this one. But once I did, I was captivated. However, I did not care for the male narration as much, from the point of view of Esteban Trueba. To me, I had a picture in my mind of Esteban and how he would speak. And this voice narration was just not him. Esteban was rugged, violent, jealous,.....and the narration was timid and quiet and too laid back. Just a nit-pick on my end. I just found it too jarring when the narration would switch, taking me out of my dream-like trance that I was in listening to this magical book. A beautiful book that I hope to revisit one day again and savor the details of the wonderful story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Issa Deerbany

    رواية رائعة لعائلة على مدى ثلاثة اجيال وتصرفات وأعمال أفراد العائلة حسب تغير الظروف والتقدم الثقافي والاجتماعي في البلاد. لم تذكر إيزابيل الليندي اسم البلد او المدينة التي تدور فيها الأحداث ولكن هي تشيلي في أمريكا الجنوبية التي حدث بها الزلزال الذي دمر البلاد وحدث بها انقلاب عسكري وحشي. تبدأ الرواية في زمن الإقطاع وبقايا الاستعمار حيث المالك والفلاحين الذين يقيمون بأرضه ويعملون عنده بالسخرة فقط للقمة العيش والحب بين ابنته واحد الفلاحين لديه . ثم بداية الديمقراطية التي كان يسيطر عليها الأغنياء ولفتر رواية رائعة لعائلة على مدى ثلاثة اجيال وتصرفات وأعمال أفراد العائلة حسب تغير الظروف والتقدم الثقافي والاجتماعي في البلاد. لم تذكر إيزابيل الليندي اسم البلد او المدينة التي تدور فيها الأحداث ولكن هي تشيلي في أمريكا الجنوبية التي حدث بها الزلزال الذي دمر البلاد وحدث بها انقلاب عسكري وحشي. تبدأ الرواية في زمن الإقطاع وبقايا الاستعمار حيث المالك والفلاحين الذين يقيمون بأرضه ويعملون عنده بالسخرة فقط للقمة العيش والحب بين ابنته واحد الفلاحين لديه . ثم بداية الديمقراطية التي كان يسيطر عليها الأغنياء ولفترة طويلة سادت بها على الحكم مع بداية المد الاشتراكي والشيوعي وبداية تحرر الشعب من العبودية. ومرورا بالزلزال والاحداث وتلمصائب التي حلت في البلاد. وأخيرا انتصار الاشتراكيين بعد الانتخابات وتآمر الأغنياء على هذه الانتخابات واللجوء الى الجيش لعمل الانقلاب وكالعادة عندما يسيطر العسكر فلن تسمع صوتا اخر . والتعذيب والمقاومة كل هذا بأسلوب شيق يجعلك اتباع الأحداث بتشوق لذيذ. عندما بدأت قراءة الرواية لم أكن اعلم انها الجزء الأخير من ثلاثيته الرائعة كما أفادني بعض الأصدقاء مما شوقني الى قراءة الأجزاء الاخرى وبشوق كبير. من اروع الروايات وأصبحت إيزابيل الليندي من المفضلات لدي.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    276. La casa de los espíritus = The House of The Spirits, Isabel Allende The House of the Spirits (Spanish: La casa de los espíritus, 1982) is the debut novel of Isabel Allende. The novel was rejected by several Spanish-language publishers before being published in Buenos Aires in 1982. It became an instant best seller, was critically acclaimed, and catapulted Allende to literary stardom. The novel was named Best Novel of the Year in Chile in 1982, and Allende received the country's Panorama Lite 276. La casa de los espíritus = The House of The Spirits, Isabel Allende The House of the Spirits (Spanish: La casa de los espíritus, 1982) is the debut novel of Isabel Allende. The novel was rejected by several Spanish-language publishers before being published in Buenos Aires in 1982. It became an instant best seller, was critically acclaimed, and catapulted Allende to literary stardom. The novel was named Best Novel of the Year in Chile in 1982, and Allende received the country's Panorama Literario award. The House of the Spirits has been translated into over 37 languages. The story details the life of the Trueba family, spanning four generations, and tracing the post-colonial social and political upheavals of Chile – though the country's name, and the names of figures closely paralleling historical ones, such as "the President" or "the Poet", are never explicitly given. The story is told mainly from the perspective of two protagonists (Esteban and Alba) and incorporates elements of magical realism. عنوانها: خانه ارواح؛ خانه اشباح؛ نویسنده: ایزابل آلنده؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و چهارم ماه آگوست سال 2009 میلادی عنوان: خانه ارواح؛ نویسنده: ایزابل آلنده؛ مترجم: حشمت کامرانی؛ تهران، نشر قطره، 1368، در 656 ص؛ شابک: 9643410218؛ چاپ دوم 1377؛ چاپ سوم 1379؛ چاپ ششم: 1385؛ شابک: 9789643410216؛ چاپ هفتم 1395، در 580 ص؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان اسپانیایی آمریکای لاتین - سده 20 م؛ عنوان: خانه اشباح؛ نویسنده: ایزابل آلنده؛ مترجم: عبدالرحمن صدریه؛ تهران، نشر فردوس، 1377؛ در 515 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، دادار، شابک: ایکس - 964729414؛ نقل از متن: آن شب فکر میکردم که دیگر هیچ نیرویی برای دوباره عاشق شدن ندارم، و هرگز لب به خنده نخواهم گشود و دنبال هیچ سودایی نخواهم رفت اما «هرگز» خیلی زیاد است. این را در زندگی طولانیم بارها آموخته ام. پایان نقل از متن کتاب. ا. شربیانی

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This took me some time to read as I wanted to savour it for as long as possible and not have it end. This is my first Allende novel which depicts an epic story of a Latin American family that spans 3 generations. Weaved throughout are hints of mysticism, history, political unrest, cultural richness along with vivid descriptions of a cast of characters in which some evoke ethereal auras and others violent furies. Allende’s masterful style of writing is lavish with foreshadowing and thematic contra This took me some time to read as I wanted to savour it for as long as possible and not have it end. This is my first Allende novel which depicts an epic story of a Latin American family that spans 3 generations. Weaved throughout are hints of mysticism, history, political unrest, cultural richness along with vivid descriptions of a cast of characters in which some evoke ethereal auras and others violent furies. Allende’s masterful style of writing is lavish with foreshadowing and thematic contrasts and brings as much satisfaction as a warm toasty fire on a cold winter day. 5 ★

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sherif Metwaly

    تبدأ في قراءة الرواية في فترة عصيبة، متخذًا قرارك مسبقًا بأنك ستقرأ لأجل المتعة ولا شيء سواها، فلا تركيز على نقاط أو تسجيل لملحوظات أثناء القراءة كي تستعين بها عند كتابة مراجعة. تبدأ رحلتك مع الرواية مرتبكًا، متعثرًا أكثر من مرة، وتكاد تشعر أن الصفحات لا تمرّ بين يديك، تشكك في اختيارك لتوقيت قراءتها، تفكر في تأجيلها لوقت آخر، وبمجرد بدء التفكير في ذلك تبدأ الرواية في اجتياحك بالكامل، تتغلغل داخل تلافيف مخك، وتلمس أعمق أعماق قلبك، تجذبك، بإيقاعها الهادئ تأسرك، بشخصياتها البديعة تفتنك، وعند النهاي تبدأ في قراءة الرواية في فترة عصيبة، متخذًا قرارك مسبقًا بأنك ستقرأ لأجل المتعة ولا شيء سواها، فلا تركيز على نقاط أو تسجيل لملحوظات أثناء القراءة كي تستعين بها عند كتابة مراجعة. تبدأ رحلتك مع الرواية مرتبكًا، متعثرًا أكثر من مرة، وتكاد تشعر أن الصفحات لا تمرّ بين يديك، تشكك في اختيارك لتوقيت قراءتها، تفكر في تأجيلها لوقت آخر، وبمجرد بدء التفكير في ذلك تبدأ الرواية في اجتياحك بالكامل، تتغلغل داخل تلافيف مخك، وتلمس أعمق أعماق قلبك، تجذبك، بإيقاعها الهادئ تأسرك، بشخصياتها البديعة تفتنك، وعند النهاية تصب عليك خلاصة الجمال والإبداع، فتلجمك، وتفقدك القدرة على النطق لساعات، تفكر في الاستسلام وعدم الحديث عن تجربتك لأنك لن تتمكن من الوصف، ثم تجد بداخلك طاقة تدفعك للحديث لأجل الحديث فقط، لأجل الحكاية، لأجل الرحلة. مرحبًا بك في عوالم إيزابيل الليندي، هذا ما يفعله قلمها، وهذا ما تخلفه وراءها من أثر. تحكي إيزابيل كما لم يحكِ أحد، تغزل خيوط رحلتها بمهارة فتبهرك بنسيجٍ روائيّ بديع، تمهّد للأحداث ببطء كطباخ يطهو طعامه بمزاجٍ خالص كي يمنحه نكهته الخاصة، تعطي أبطالها من روحها فتجسدهم بشرًا من لحم ودم، تتلاعب بالزمان كما تشاء، تجلب نتفًا من المستقبل في الحاضر، وتسافر من الماضي إلى المستقبل ثم تعود إلى الحاضر في نفس الصفحة وربما في نفس الفقرة، تتلاعب بالنص كشهرزاد ألف ليلة وليلة. لم أقرأ في حياتي عملًا به من دسامة الأحداث وعمق الشخصيات كما قرأت في أعمال إيزابيل، كم المتاهات التي تدور فيها بين صفحتي البداية والنهاية لكل عمل من أعمالها يجعلك تصفق منبهرًا فور انتهاء كل لقاء من اندهاشك لهذه القدرة الغريبة على اقتيادها لزمام القارئ لكل هذه المسافات دون أن يتوه أو أن يمل أو يشعر للحظة بسخافة ما يقرأ. تجعل من قضيتها قضيتك وقضية كل البشر، فالحب له نفس السحر، والأوطان بها نفس القهر، والشعوب تعاني نفس الذل، لذلك تجد في كل مرة داخل حكايتها جزءًا تعرفه عن نفسك، عن وطنك، أو جزءًا جديدًا يصدمك تجاههما. الحديث عن شخصيات وحكايات إيزابيل عامةً وهذه الرواية خاصةً يشعر القارئ بمدى ضحالة قدرته على السرد والوصف، فينتهي به الحال لا شعوريًا إلى الرغبة في أن يراسل كل من يعرفهم كي يروا بأعينهم ما رأى من جمال، ويمتعوا عقولهم بما استمتع من إبداع، ولكن هذا صعب المنال. هذه السيدة لا تٌملّ صحبتها، ولا أتمنى لقلمها أن يتوقف يومًا. هل يوجد سبيل آخر للثرثرة؟..لا هل اكتفيتُ من الحديث؟.. لا هل ستنجح هذه الكلمات المبعثرة في جذب أحدهم لاكتشاف عوالم إيزابيل الفاتنة؟ لا أظن.. !إذًا فلتصمت يا رجل. تمت.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    2.5 stars, actually. (Still waiting for Goodreads to give me that half-star option.) Let's be honest, Isabel Allende is chick lit that you're not embarrassed to read on the Metro. It's got just enough faux-Garcia-Marquez, magical-realism-lite charm to fool people into thinking it's moderately intellectual. I don't have a big problem with that (as long as people realize what's going on) because Allende is a fine storyteller. This novel, her first and most famous, is a fairly traditional family sa 2.5 stars, actually. (Still waiting for Goodreads to give me that half-star option.) Let's be honest, Isabel Allende is chick lit that you're not embarrassed to read on the Metro. It's got just enough faux-Garcia-Marquez, magical-realism-lite charm to fool people into thinking it's moderately intellectual. I don't have a big problem with that (as long as people realize what's going on) because Allende is a fine storyteller. This novel, her first and most famous, is a fairly traditional family saga following three generations of an upper-class Chilean family from the early 20th century to the Pinochet era. The writing is lovely throughout, with vivid descriptions particularly of places and characters' physical surroundings. The book's weak spot, however, is characterization. For a genre that depends so much on having the reader care deeply about the characters, Allende does a pretty poor job accomplishing that. I think her main problem is that she hadn't quite yet mastered the "show, don't tell" rule of writing. Instead of revealing Esteban Trueba's stubbornness and pride through his actions, she'd just tell us, "Esteban Trueba was stubborn and proud." It was mostly unconvincing and made many of the characters seem flat and two-dimensional, and you never really got that important sense of who they were as people. Other problems: Allende has always been an author who writes about strong women, but the women in this book, not so much. I mean, when one male character beats his wife until her teeth fall out, her response (depicted as brave by the narrator) is to not talk to him for a couple years. Silence is the author's idea of female empowerment and resistance - huh? Anyway, on top of that, the only sections of first-person narration in the novel are from the point of view of the patriarch. So, yeah, problematic on that level. And just a nitpick, but she way overuses foreshadowing. Dramatically hinting at what's going to happen a few chapters on is effective once or twice, but not over and over. Well, I realize it sounds like I hated the book, but as a story it was pretty enjoyable. At least the first half. The second half, which tracks Chilean politics and real-life events through Salvador Allende's election and Pinochet's military coup, is uninteresting and unsurprising to anyone who knows anything about 20th century Chilean history. But the first half, which is more of a romantic love story, is pretty good. I'm keeping this at 3 stars for the soft spot I have for Allende's later books, which tell stories that are (I think) more unique and compelling. P.S. Sorry for the long review, but I spent a full month reading this book in Spanish so I feel like I've got to get my money's worth, so to speak.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    I did not finish this book. I didn't think it was one of the worst books for me but it was simply not destined to entertain me. There was some potential in it. But it was disjointed. I tried further than I should've, because it's a rec, and I've already got 3 likes from it, but when a book is spurned in favor of David Copperfield, that tells the whole story. Another thing that made me try harder than usual is the cover. It's so wonderful. But the book, not for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carmo

    Há quem diga que é o parente mais próximo de Cem Anos de Solidão. O parentesco confirmou-se, A Casa dos Espíritos é um livro inesquecível. Falar da história do livro e da família Trueba, é falar da história do Chile. Do conservadorismo dos governos, dos movimentos revolucionários do proletariado, da ditadura, da tortura e da morte de milhares às garras do regime. No entanto, embora seja evidente para o leitor, não há identificação de carrascos ou de heróis. Assim como Neruda é mencionado simplesm Há quem diga que é o parente mais próximo de Cem Anos de Solidão. O parentesco confirmou-se, A Casa dos Espíritos é um livro inesquecível. Falar da história do livro e da família Trueba, é falar da história do Chile. Do conservadorismo dos governos, dos movimentos revolucionários do proletariado, da ditadura, da tortura e da morte de milhares às garras do regime. No entanto, embora seja evidente para o leitor, não há identificação de carrascos ou de heróis. Assim como Neruda é mencionado simplesmente como o Poeta, Pinochet é o Ditador e Salvador Allende o Presidente deposto. Na incógnita das personagens desenha-se a história de um país e de um povo. A magia de Isabel Allende é misturar tão bem a realidade com o folclore e misticismo sul-americanos sem nunca nos parecer cair em exagero. As personagens são a ponte entre os dois mundos, mas tão credíveis nos seus contornos reais e fantásticos que reforçam e unem os dois universos. À semelhança de Cem Anos de Solidão, também aqui se sente a presença constante do universo feminino. Num espaço de machismo e brutalidade masculina, o domínio dos homens é por vezes ilusório, são as mulheres o símbolo da resistência, são elas que congeminam e concretizam as grandes ideias, que amam desmesuradamente, que sofrem e sacrificam-se pelos seus homens, e tecem uma teia labiríntica de entreajuda que corrige as falhas do poder masculino. Não foi a primeira leitura que fiz de Isabel Allende, mas foi a mais arrebatadora. A que mais me fez sentir a presença das personagens como gente de carne e osso; gente que me fez rir e chorar, sofrer com uns e enfurecer-me com outros, enquanto todos vão deambulando por entre espíritos e sussurros de fantasmas, numa existência de inevitável fatalidade.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Perry

    Passions, Politics, Psychics in Three Generations of Chilean Family Isabel Allende's stunning saga, The House of the Spirits, spans three generations of the Chilean Trueba family ending a few years after the Sept. 11, 1973 government overthrow led by General Pinochet, the awful right-wing dictator who, with the U.S. govt's support, seized the chance opened upon fears that Marxists would take over Chile. Ms. Allende', who to my mind should soon be Chile's 3d Nobel Laureate in Literature, wrote the Passions, Politics, Psychics in Three Generations of Chilean Family Isabel Allende's stunning saga, The House of the Spirits, spans three generations of the Chilean Trueba family ending a few years after the Sept. 11, 1973 government overthrow led by General Pinochet, the awful right-wing dictator who, with the U.S. govt's support, seized the chance opened upon fears that Marxists would take over Chile. Ms. Allende', who to my mind 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), who was 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. Salvador Allende, 30th President of Chile, 1970-1973 Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Chilean dictator. 1973-1998 Incidentally, Chile's last Nobel Laureate (1971) was the famous poet Pablo Neruda, who died from poisoning 2 weeks after the coup, as some believe, upon Pinochet's orders due to Neruda's support of Marxist politicians. Isabel Allende's fictional Neruda counterpart likewise 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 the death, which foreshadowed several more years of a ruthless, murderous military regime. Chilean Nobel Laureate Poet Pablo Neruda 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. Highly recommended. PS: The film version received bad reviews, likely because the novel's scope is too broad to satisfactorily cover in a 2 or 3 hour film. I wouldn't be surprised though, if Netflix or AmazonPrime picks up the rights to make this into a mini-series like Narcos , House of Cards or The Man in the High Castle. If it doesn't happen, it should. The novel is so fertile not to captivate an audience in another video format, what, with the convergence of South American mysticism, the time (the early 70s), the passion of 2 love affairs and the politics (communists v. a right-wing military takeover/dictatorship).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    100 Years of Solitude except not boring, is what Isabel Allende's 1982 landmark of magical realism is. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's epic, it follows several cyclic generations of a family through the history of a country. But it has an immediacy that 100 Years, with its frustrating mist, lacks; the story is better. It's a better book; it's the best book in the magical realism genre I've read. South American literature is different from the rest - no, seriously, it is, I know that's a huge genera 100 Years of Solitude except not boring, is what Isabel Allende's 1982 landmark of magical realism is. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's epic, it follows several cyclic generations of a family through the history of a country. But it has an immediacy that 100 Years, with its frustrating mist, lacks; the story is better. It's a better book; it's the best book in the magical realism genre I've read. South American literature is different from the rest - no, seriously, it is, I know that's a huge generalization and some South American books are just like other books, but when you read the big towering classics from South America they feel different, and the difference is magic. (Also violence, but that's a trait all colonized literature shares.) We talk about magical realism a lot; that's a patronizing term meaning that it's just like real literature except with magic. It's patronizing to fantasy books, not to South Americans, although to be fair most fantasy is pretty lame. The defining magical realism book is Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude (Colombia, 1967), which is - did I mention this? - boring. The magic starts way farther back than that, though, in a metafictional world of dark wizards that's even more compelling for me. This is the world of the mighty Borges (Argentina, 1940s or so), Julio Cortazar (Argentina, 1960s), dazzling Clarice Lispector (Brazil, 1960s), and the grandfather of it all is sly Machado De Assis (Brazil, late 1800s), who once wrote a chapter called "Let us proceed to the chapter." Then Roberto Bolano's 2666 blew everything up, but that's a different story. In the meantime we have House of the Spirits (Chile, 1982), which is the best magical realist novel ever written, and believe me because I've read, like...four or so of them. The story follows three generations of women in the Trueba family: clairvoyant Clara, who marries anger-afflicted Esteban Trueba; their daughter Blanca, who carries on a secret affair with Pedro Terces Garcia, the son of Trueba's foreman; their daughter Alba, another mystic of sorts. They have a tendency to create fantastic creatures, out of cloth or clay or anything. Other characters include Clara and Esteban's twins Jaime the socialist doctor and Nicolas the guru; Trueba's bastard by rape Esteban Garcia; Pablo Neruda, himself; and one of the best dogs in literature, Barrabas. There are even more, but you will have no trouble keeping everyone straight, because Allende is a fantastic writer. Along the way Allende tells the story of Chile and its fight for socialism. All the characters are affected by the turmoil; each is forced to pick a side. This heats up around the three quarter mark, and if you thought the book was engaging before, which you did, you'll be riveted for the last part. It's tough going - I've already mentioned rape and there's no shortage of it, along with some child molestation and some torture. (And, if you're curious, even a hot consensual adult sex scene or three.) Again, the other ongoing theme of South American novels is violence, which is always present and gets increasingly horrifying as we go. The house itself is not the Trueba ranch in the country, Tres Marias, but their house in town that Trueba builds and then is knocked down by an earthquake and then is rebuilt again, and each time is slowly transformed by the Trueba women into a labyrinth, for various reasons - Clara responds to spirits, Alba is hiding political refugees, but it is always described as a labyrinth, which I imagine is a nod to Borges. And like a labyrinth, the entire intricate structure fits together perfectly in ways you couldn't have imagined. There are twists and turns and sometimes you find yourself in a passage you swear you've been in before, and sometimes you think all is lost, and suddenly you're out, bewildered but exhilarated. What kind of architect dreamed this thing up? What just happened? Who knows, but it was magic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    BrokenTune

    "Nana had the idea that a good fright might make the child speak, and spent nine years inventing all sorts of desperate strategies for frightening Clara, the end result of which was to immunize the girl forever against terror and surprise. Soon Clara was afraid of nothing. She was unmoved by the sudden appearance of the most livid and undernourished monsters in her room, or by the knock of devils and vampires at her bedroom window. Nana dressed up as a headless pirate, as the executioner of the "Nana had the idea that a good fright might make the child speak, and spent nine years inventing all sorts of desperate strategies for frightening Clara, the end result of which was to immunize the girl forever against terror and surprise. Soon Clara was afraid of nothing. She was unmoved by the sudden appearance of the most livid and undernourished monsters in her room, or by the knock of devils and vampires at her bedroom window. Nana dressed up as a headless pirate, as the executioner of the Tower of London, as a werewolf or a horned devil, depending on her inspiration of the moment and on the ideas she got while flipping through the pages of certain horror magazines, which she bought for this purpose and from which, although she was unable to read, she copied the illustrations. She had acquired the habit of gliding silently through the hallways and jumping at the child in the dark, howling through the doorways, and hiding live animals between her sheet, but none of this elicited so much as a peep from the little girl." It's just so damn hard to surprise a clairvoyant. This was my second reading of The House of the Spirits and, if anything, I enjoyed the magical elements of the book much more on this visit. A re-visit. A re-visit, spending this last week with the Trueba family, who in turn are re-visited by their past, which Allende spins into the narrative with such ease that reading the story of the different generations made me wonder at every turn of the page what happens next, and what happens to this or that character. Throw in the unspecified political and historical context of the story and I was hooked. Again, I think the second read was more engaging for me than the first in this respect, too. I guess, when I read the book for the first time, I was looking for clear-cut references and didn't appreciate the intention of the book as much, but some of the beauty and sadness of the book lies in the possibility that it may have been the story of many families, not just that of the Truebas.

  19. 5 out of 5

    stephanie

    haha, so my sophomore honors english teacher decided he wanted to read a book with us for the first time, so he asked our department head to recommend a book. we all died, because mr. wells could not deal with talking about sex, and mr. hackling knew this, and he assigned this book. i mean, a couple of pages in, there's all this graphic rape in the fields going on! and then there's the creepy ass count . . . i really loved the book though. it's layered, it's complex, it's beautiful. the imagery haha, so my sophomore honors english teacher decided he wanted to read a book with us for the first time, so he asked our department head to recommend a book. we all died, because mr. wells could not deal with talking about sex, and mr. hackling knew this, and he assigned this book. i mean, a couple of pages in, there's all this graphic rape in the fields going on! and then there's the creepy ass count . . . i really loved the book though. it's layered, it's complex, it's beautiful. the imagery is some of the best i've read in forever, i adored blanca. clara was inspired, and alba is - it's the story of three generations of strong women, in a world where women aren't supposed to be strong. the movie is rather lame in comparison, but has an excellent cast. and there are redeeming moments for the characters. plus one of the best opening lines i've ever read. totally stuck with me, and i think it should rank up there with "call me ishmael".

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chiara

    Clara aveva dieci anni quando decise che non valeva la pena di parlare e si chiuse nel mutismo. Bello, bello, bellissimo, bellissimissimo. La casa degli spiriti è uno di quei libri che non avrei mai voluto finire di leggere, uno di quelli che non riuscirò mai a togliere dai cassetti della memoria, uno dei pochi di cui mi ricordo infiniti dettagli a distanza di anni dalla lettura. All'inizio sono rimasta stregata da Clara, ma poi è arrivata Blanca... poi era il turno di Alba. E poi, infine, mi sono Clara aveva dieci anni quando decise che non valeva la pena di parlare e si chiuse nel mutismo. Bello, bello, bellissimo, bellissimissimo. La casa degli spiriti è uno di quei libri che non avrei mai voluto finire di leggere, uno di quelli che non riuscirò mai a togliere dai cassetti della memoria, uno dei pochi di cui mi ricordo infiniti dettagli a distanza di anni dalla lettura. All'inizio sono rimasta stregata da Clara, ma poi è arrivata Blanca... poi era il turno di Alba. E poi, infine, mi sono trovata a meditare sul fascino tenebroso di Esteban Trueba, uno dei personaggi letterari più riusciti che mi vengono in mente. Quello della Allende è un romanzo familiare che come struttura riecheggia, più visibilmente per alcuni aspetti, come il realismo magico, meno per altri, a Cent'anni di solitudine di Gabriel Garcia Marquez, che ho letto poco tempo fa. Potrà sembrare strano, ma mi è piaciuto molto di più La casa degli spiriti, sostanzialmente per il maggiore sviluppo psicologico dei personaggi, la componente assolutamente fantastica del ramo femminile della famiglia, la maggiore drammaticità raccontata attraverso la lotta tra rivoluzionari, militari e golpisti, e infine per lui... sempre lui, Esteban Trueba; uno di quegli uomini che se incontrassi per strada, mi verrebbe una voglia matta di picchiare, tanto riesce a essere odioso. E tuttavia il crescendo di astio che si accumula durante le pagine per la sua persona, accompagnato alla dolcezza del rapporto con la nipote, crea qualcosa di unico, di prezioso ed autentico, che rende il romanzo di esordio della Allende meraviglioso.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nikoleta

    Αν και είναι το πρώτο δικό της βιβλίο που διαβάζω, στον κόσμο του βιβλίου και όχι μόνο, η Αλιέντε δεν χρειάζεται συστάσεις. Ήταν καιρός λοιπόν να την γνωρίσω κ εγώ και νομίζω ότι αυτή η έναρξη που έκανα ήταν ότι καλύτερο θα μπορούσα να επιλέξω. Δεν θα πω πολλά. Το βιβλίο αυτό είναι πλέον πασίγνωστο. 3 γενιές μιας οικογένειας. Μαζί τους βιώνουμε το τέλος μιας ολόκληρης εποχής και τις επιπτώσεις του. Δεν χρειάζεται να αναφέρω την ιστορία, διότι η γνώμη μου είναι απλώς να το διαβάσετε. Αυτό που μου Αν και είναι το πρώτο δικό της βιβλίο που διαβάζω, στον κόσμο του βιβλίου και όχι μόνο, η Αλιέντε δεν χρειάζεται συστάσεις. Ήταν καιρός λοιπόν να την γνωρίσω κ εγώ και νομίζω ότι αυτή η έναρξη που έκανα ήταν ότι καλύτερο θα μπορούσα να επιλέξω. Δεν θα πω πολλά. Το βιβλίο αυτό είναι πλέον πασίγνωστο. 3 γενιές μιας οικογένειας. Μαζί τους βιώνουμε το τέλος μιας ολόκληρης εποχής και τις επιπτώσεις του. Δεν χρειάζεται να αναφέρω την ιστορία, διότι η γνώμη μου είναι απλώς να το διαβάσετε. Αυτό που μου έκανε την μεγαλύτερη εντύπωση είναι ότι τα γεγονότα του βιβλίου αρκετές φορές είτε σκληρά είτε βάναυσα είτε τραγικά περιγράφονται με αυτή την ήρεμη, ρομαντική αποδοχή που πραγματικά μόνο σε λατινόφωνους συγγραφείς την έχω συναντήσει. Ότι και να συνέβαινε στην πλοκή το βίωνα με μια ευχάριστη μακαριότητα… πραγματικά αυτό το βιβλίο είναι σαν τα ναρκωτικά… πως αλλιώς να το θέσω; Επίσης τι να πω για την γλώσσα; Ο λόγος της είναι υπέροχος. Κάποιες ατάκες ήταν σκέτη ποίηση… Παρόλο που λίγο πιο πάνω ανέφερα ότι δεν θα σχολιάσω πολλά (ναι καλά), κάτι άλλο που πρέπει να πω είναι το πάντρεμα του μαγικού στοιχείου με τον ρεαλισμό στο βιβλίο…πραγματικά δεν ξέρω, δεν νομίζω ότι θα κατέτασσα Το σπίτι των πνευμάτων στον μαγικό ρεαλισμό. Θα μου πεις και που θα το κατέτασσες; Έλα μου ντε… Το μαγικό στοιχείο έρχεται και δένει απίστευτα ομαλά με τον ρεαλισμό (σε μερικά σημεία σχεδόν νατουραλισμό, ειδικά προς το τέλος.) Η αφήγηση είναι ρεαλιστικότατη, δεν έχει αυτό το ονειρικό που συναντάμε στον λατινικό μαγικό ρεαλισμό. Τέλος πάντων, όλο αυτό μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ. Εξαιρετικό βιβλίο, παρά τον όγκο του και τις διάφορες εναλλαγές των ηρώων. Δεν βαρέθηκα και δεν κουράστηκα. 4.5/5

  22. 4 out of 5

    Antonio

    El pasado y el futuro eran parte de la misma cosa y la realidad del presente era un caleidoscopio de espejos desordenados, donde todo podía ocurrir La casa de los espíritus es la historia de varias generaciones de una familia, donde el pasado, el futuro y el presente se entrelazan, a veces volviéndose indistinguibles, es similar en muchos aspectos a “Cien años de soledad” aunque en mi pensar no es una copia, y tiene méritos por contar una historia diferente, aunque utilice el mismo recurso de R El pasado y el futuro eran parte de la misma cosa y la realidad del presente era un caleidoscopio de espejos desordenados, donde todo podía ocurrir La casa de los espíritus es la historia de varias generaciones de una familia, donde el pasado, el futuro y el presente se entrelazan, a veces volviéndose indistinguibles, es similar en muchos aspectos a “Cien años de soledad” aunque en mi pensar no es una copia, y tiene méritos por contar una historia diferente, aunque utilice el mismo recurso de Realismo mágico, me gustaron muchas cosas de libro, como sus personajes, cada uno con sus locuras particulares… —En casi todas las familias hay algún tonto o un loco, hijita —aseguró Clara mientras se afanaba en su tejido, porque en todos esos años no había aprendido a tejer sin mirar—. A veces no se ven, porque los esconden, como si fuera una vergüenza. Los encierran en los cuartos más apartados, para que no los vean las visitas. Pero en realidad no hay de qué avergonzarse, ellos también son obra de Dios. —Pero en nuestra familia no hay ninguno, abuela —replicó Alba. —No. Aquí la locura se repartió entre todos y no sobró nada para tener nuestro propio loco de remate. Sin dejar de parecer muy reales y humanos, especialmente me encanto el personaje de Estaban Trueba por una razón muy personal, me recuerda mucho a mi abuelo, sobre todo por sus ataques de rabia, pero también porque a pesar de tener una personalidad iracunda, a su manera, ama a su familia. Las mujeres de este libro son el centro de todo, cada una en su tiempo, a su manera, con sus sueños, sus amores, y su personalidad, desde Nivea , pasando por Clara , siguiendo con Blanca , y culminando con Alba . A lo largo de todo el libro tenemos otro aspecto muy importante, lo sobrenatural, la fantasía medio mágica medio realista, que es algo clásica de los cuentos de los abuelos, que a pesar de ser adultos muchas veces quisieras creer, así tenemos, objetos cotidianos que se mueven, predicciones, espíritus y otros hechos inexplicables que le dan sazón a toda buena historia. Debo decir que la segunda parte del libro se vuelve algo intensa con la política, la situación que atraviesa el país es muy similar a la de mi país Venezuela, elogio a la autora por el realismo de lo que narra, sin embargo nunca le perdonare a Allende hacer a la derecha culpable de todo mal y a la izquierda santa libre de todo pecado, a mi parecer eso es fanatismo, aun así la situación política hace a la trama en cierto sentido más interesante, y como pasa en la realidad, demuestra que puede dividir en bandos, a familias, parejas y países, y como el poder corrompe y es tan peligroso en manos de extremistas. En fin, con todo, la novela es excelente, y una vez leída, te deja con ganas de contar las memorias de tu propia familia… quien sabe… tal vez algún día yo lo haga. Escribo, ella escribió, que la memoria es frágil y el transcurso de una vida es muy breve y sucede todo tan deprisa, que no alcanzamos a ver la relación entre los acontecimientos, no podemos medir la consecuencia de los actos, creemos en la ficción del tiempo, en el presente, el pasado y el futuro, pero puede ser también que todo ocurre simultáneamente, como decían las tres hermanas Mora, que eran capaces de ver en el espacio los espíritus de todas las épocas. Por eso mi abuela Clara escribía en sus cuadernos, para ver las cosas en su dimensión real y para burlar a la mala memoria.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lamski Kikita

    Allende's first and best work of art. The story of three generations of Trueba women that tells the history of a nation. During the first 10 pages I was thinking to myself that there is way too much similarity on so many levels to One Hundred Years of Solitude, but why not, since it's the bible of Latin American magical realism? In addition to Clara, the second Del Valle daughter who forsaw the future, communicated with spirits, and moved objects without touching them, and Blanca, her daughter w Allende's first and best work of art. The story of three generations of Trueba women that tells the history of a nation. During the first 10 pages I was thinking to myself that there is way too much similarity on so many levels to One Hundred Years of Solitude, but why not, since it's the bible of Latin American magical realism? In addition to Clara, the second Del Valle daughter who forsaw the future, communicated with spirits, and moved objects without touching them, and Blanca, her daughter who was castaway because of her forbidden love story with a communist peasant, and Alba, Blanca's daughter who had the green hair of her great aunt Rosa, the story of the book also revolves around Senator Esteban Trueba, the hardline right-wing, anti-communist, angry yet heartbroken oligarch; the Latin Patriarch of the Trueba family, and the man who built the big house on the corner. Allende almost seems rather sympathetic to the man who supressed his workers, raped all the peasant girls he could get his hands on, denied his illigitimate children, knocked the teeth out of his wife's mouth, beat his daughter and alienated her, almost killing her lover and forcing her to marry a French count with strange sexual fetishes, and contibuted greatly to the fall of a democratic government. What's the reason for this sympathetic attitude? maybe because it's Isabelle's own grandfather? Probably. What I loved most about The House of the Spirits is that it bore witness to the most important part of Chilean history: the Pinochet era. The narration of events that lead to the rising popularity of leftist parties that lead to the election of "the President" who is Salvador Allende- related to the author- the role the oligarchy played in giving the military a new-found power which resulted in the assasination of Allende, the fall of democracy in a country that was unfamiliar to coups and non-democratic processes, and the instillation of a tyrannical right-wing dictatorship that killed off its political enemies, tortured political prisoners, assasinated whoever was suspect of Marxism, and ruined the history of a nation, headed by Pinochet. The best way to follow this book is by reading her memoires: My Invented Country, and getting a Pablo Neruda - referred to as The Poet in the book- poetry collection.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I really wish I could say this is an amazing book, worthy of so much thoughtful praises, etc., but that would just be a lie. Given how much I enjoy good writing—and this book definitely has it all, like a beautifully crafted essay that speaks with prominent characters and conflicts between generations of families—it’s kind of weird for me to say this book is just okay. I mean, the only thing I like from this entire book is the language: the metaphors, descriptions, the lines that sound so poetic I really wish I could say this is an amazing book, worthy of so much thoughtful praises, etc., but that would just be a lie. Given how much I enjoy good writing—and this book definitely has it all, like a beautifully crafted essay that speaks with prominent characters and conflicts between generations of families—it’s kind of weird for me to say this book is just okay. I mean, the only thing I like from this entire book is the language: the metaphors, descriptions, the lines that sound so poetic and true, and the impressive vocabulary. Everything else? Not so much. Storyline. Absolutely hate how the story shifts like a timeline of generations. It makes sense that it would cover the entire family from grandfather to granddaughter since it’s a family story, but I hate how little time we get to spend with each character before s/he is whisked off to some other place, and only to return whenever the author feels like it. (That how it looks like to me.) Each chapter is almost devoted to just one or two characters, and I find it really tiring, especially when it’s all about relationships and love that I haven’t really figured out why it exists. It’s written at a speed that makes the character’s love story seem kind of random. It’s like what I say about the protagonist falling in love with her best friend: when readers start the story, they’re just given the fact that they’ve been through a lot and have been best friends forever, so of course they fall in love. But readers don’t get to see that process, and it’s frustrating to see the point they’re making when the viewers are just like, “Yeah, okay, if you say so.” So the protagonists don’t fall in love with their best friends in this book, but they might as well have. Take Pedro Tercero and Blanca, for instance. Love at first sight. Whoop-de-do. First of all, clichéd. Second of all, no development. Love at first sight is pretty explanatory itself, but how the heck did they grow to love each other so much? One minute, they’re children, the next paragraph; they’re teens trying to express themselves. I hate that we just have to take the basic “Oh, they fell in love the first time they curled up against each other” from the author without really questioning how it happened or why it’s developed into some life-and-death scenario later. I can’t handle reading a relationship that doesn’t express itself in a deeper stand and instead, just tells you, yes, they love each other, yes, they are willing to do for each other, yes, they are having wild and passionate sex. So what if they do all of that? It’s the chemistry and direct message that I will interpret that matters. Of course, if it was just one couple, I could handle. But the sad thing is that the same goes for Clara and Esteban. Maybe it’s the time period, but the author likes to play with the love at first sight story. That’s how Esteban fell for Clara. And Clara was only in it because of her vision, which makes me more frustrated. If you can see the future, why not change it? For a character that seems pretty strong—yet identified as fragile and beautiful, of all the freaking adjectives to describe women!—she lacks what I hope for in a protagonist. Isabel Allende tries to make her manner seem so unorganized and magical realism that she comes off rather cold and unconvincing. And the fact that she hardly talks, not just her character and her mute phases but the dialogue in the book itself (really, the only one who actually says things throughout the book in conversation form would be Esteban and Transito. I felt they talked more than husband and wife. Ironic much?). Seeing as how they’ve spent years and years together, you’d think I, as a reader, could see something present in their relationship, some sort of depth or attraction, but nope, nothing. I mean, I saw a spark in his relationship with a prostitute rather than Clara, which is just wrong. And, the only one who’s real in here is Esteban, but too bad I find him and his actions revolting. If I were to rate him on a personality scale, it’d be negative, negative 1. In this case, two negatives don’t make a positive, people. Still continuing with the storyline, I find the political stuff just plain boring. I hate how we’re required to read books that not only talk about religion (like Christianity, which is really getting boring by now. How many more discussion topics about this can I handle before I start to scream?) but also politics. I don’t mind if the authors throw it in here and there, but to put all her characters involved with government conflict? It makes the story so predictable (because it is. You don’t politics never end well) and you know we will all spend a day or two talking about the different sides they’re taking and what a big theme it is. I’m just like, yeah, okay, whatever. I don’t want to end up having to look up the political references that the book mentioned to understand it all, and I don’t want a book that puts so much pressure on generations of families just because they don’t agree with each other. It’s bad enough that people are so passionate about that stuff, when others would very much like to just leave it at whatever’s best for the country, and still find something annoying in a work of fiction. With this topic, it threatens the characters and changes their personalities. Instead of being natural people, they get portrayed as good citizens who want to fight for what they believe in. We all know most people wouldn’t do that. Take the Holocaust, for instance. How much people stood up for Jews then? If I’m reading about a character that has journeyed into this political standing/situation, then I have nothing to complain about. But nope, not the case. It’s also not about the storyline, but how messed up the characters and the people are. It drives me crazy how the author, out of the blue, tells you what can be expected somewhere down the road. I want to be amazed, shocked, and not told what’s going to happen. (One example would be when Amanda’s picking up Miguel from school and says something about dying for him. Then, the author jumps in with, little did she know that she would have to one day. Random!) And it also makes me nuts whenever characters appear and disappear. Like Transito. She appears early on in the book and vanishes until Esteban’s lust kicks in. And finally, she helps him. Or the Moira Sisters—I can’t even remember the significance they had, just that they were like Clara the Clairvoyant. Oh, just the tiniest thing can frustrate me about this book. I haven’t found one single character that I like. They’re all pigs/rapists, or poor fragile women who can’t stand up for themselves, with the exception of Alba. She realizes in the end that she can’t give up, but the whole pregnancy and don’t know who the father is makes me grimace. I hate how every generation is about sadness, and how everything bad that can happen, happens to the Trueba/Del Valle family. But that’s story-telling for you, just not realistic. On a final note, even though it couldn’t have been more than a few weeks, it seemed like I’d been reading this book for months, and those months just dragged on and on, especially since I had the old issue of the book where the pages were yellow and smelled like moth balls and some other unidentifiable thing. The rating: I would have given it 1 star, but the writing was good, so I decided to be nice.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    The House of the Spirits has a lot of aspects I normally wouldn't even consider reading about, and I only started reading this book because it is a famous classic that's been recommended to me several times before. I usually don't like historical fiction set in a modern period, and I am very skeptical towards the concept of a 'family saga', which is the major theme here. Nevertheless, rating this anything lower than five stars would be a great injustice to one of the absolute best books ever wri The House of the Spirits has a lot of aspects I normally wouldn't even consider reading about, and I only started reading this book because it is a famous classic that's been recommended to me several times before. I usually don't like historical fiction set in a modern period, and I am very skeptical towards the concept of a 'family saga', which is the major theme here. Nevertheless, rating this anything lower than five stars would be a great injustice to one of the absolute best books ever written. The book tells the story of two families in Chile in the middle of the twentieth century. The del Valle family, whose patriarch Severo is a politician for the Liberal party, and most importantly the Trueba family. Esteban Trueba marries the daughter of Severo del Valle, and the story of The House of the Spirits is the story of those two and their descendants, playing out over seventy years. This book manages to weave together the threads of the Trueba family and the modern history of Chile, and in a remarkable way captures the very identity and culture of the Chilean nation within the space of four hundred pages. Esteban Trueba is in my eyes one of the most fascinating (and in many ways the most despicable) characters in fictional literature, ever. He's a self-made man, going from labouring long days in the mines of the north to becoming a wealthy landowner with tremendous economic and political power. The reader can follow Esteban as his political views become increasingly conservative for each passing year, and he starts on a personal crusade against communists, atheists and everyone else he considers to be a threat to the state of things. Esteban gradually turns into a bitter old man who has few friends, who despises the world and is despised by it in return, whose relations with his wife and children become colder and colder, and whose only solace is a rebellious, radical granddaughter who loves him as much as he loves her. The House of the Spirits is an excellent novel. The writing is flawless, the characters are interesting and realistic, the story is absolutely captivating and the ending is simply beautiful (and the best part of the entire book). It is not until you reach the end and look back on the journey you've been a part of that you realise just how amazing it has been. This is one of those books everyone should read, and one I would recommend to all the book lovers out there!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chiara Pagliochini

    « Ogni tanto ho la sensazione che questo l’ho già vissuto e che ho già scritto queste stesse parole, ma capisco che non sono io, bensì un’altra donna, che aveva preso appunti sui quaderni affinché io me ne servissi. Scrivo, lei ha scritto, che la memoria è fragile e il corso di una vita è molto breve e tutto avviene così in fretta, che non riusciamo a vedere il rapporto tra gli eventi, non possiamo misurare le conseguenze delle azioni, crediamo nella finzione del tempo, nel presente, nel passato « Ogni tanto ho la sensazione che questo l’ho già vissuto e che ho già scritto queste stesse parole, ma capisco che non sono io, bensì un’altra donna, che aveva preso appunti sui quaderni affinché io me ne servissi. Scrivo, lei ha scritto, che la memoria è fragile e il corso di una vita è molto breve e tutto avviene così in fretta, che non riusciamo a vedere il rapporto tra gli eventi, non possiamo misurare le conseguenze delle azioni, crediamo nella finzione del tempo, nel presente, nel passato, nel futuro, ma può anche darsi che tutto succeda simultaneamente, come dicevano le tre sorelle Mora, che erano capaci di vedere nello spazio gli spiriti di ogni epoca. » Ho raccolto questo romanzo con un – pur lieve – pregiudizio. È un pregiudizio che mi accompagna ogniqualvolta incontro uno scrittore donna e non perché (lungi da me pensarlo) ritengo che le donne siano limitate e settoriali. Il vero problema è che molti scrittori donna sono considerati tali. E il pregiudizio scatta con la domanda: «potrò consigliare questo romanzo a un lettore maschio senza a)essere accusata di leggere roba sentimentale; b) sentire commenti sgradevoli sulla parzialità della scrittura femminile vs l’universalità della scrittura maschile?». Ecco, è questo che a volte mi frena, che a volte mi frega. È questo che trasforma ogni mia recensione di scrittori donna in tremende apologie. “La casa degli spiriti”, per fortuna, si difende da solo, bello dritto (e bello contorto) contro le accuse. È un romanzo che trovo difficile non farsi piacere, talmente vi si intrecciano storie e temi per tutti i palati. Clara non è di vostro gradimento? Ecco servita Blanca. Neanche Blanca va bene? Alba allora. E Rosa e Nivea e Esteban e Miguel e Pedro Terzo e Jaime e lo zio Marcos… ci sarà un personaggio, anche uno solo, capace di far breccia nel vostro cuore. Ci sarà una sfumatura di sentimento che trovate congeniale. Una scena. Un rintocco. Talmente vasto è l’intrico della grande casa dell’angolo, talmente ricco il tessuto della narrazione che è impossibile non affezionarsi. E ci si affeziona a tutti, anche ai peggiori, perché di tutti si conoscono i segreti lati di brutalità e di tenerezza. Niente è nascosto, specialmente il peggio. Se cercate una scrittura fiocchi-e-confetti, questo libro non fa per voi. Quelli che cercano soltanto storie d’amore se ne tengano alla larga. C’è molto – tutto – di più. C’è sporco, sudore, merda, tortura, putrefazione, corruzione, violenza, morte. E ci sono amori, amicizie, riconoscenza, perdono, comprensione. L’alto e il basso dell’esistenza vi si trovano in parti uguali, tessuti insieme e mescolati l’uno all’altro in una scrittura viscerale. Viscerale: non c’è altro aggettivo. Una scrittura che mette a nudo la pancia della vita in tutto il suo fascino e la sua ripugnanza. Ed è questo che lo rende un romanzo completo, un romanzo di cui non si potrebbe cambiare una virgola e che si può consigliare a tutti sapendo di far bella figura. La massima intuizione dell’opera è, a mio avviso, il fitto intreccio di fiction e storia. All’inizio non ci si bada più di tanto: si seguono le vicende di una famiglia e questo sembra tutto. Ma, mano a mano che si dispiegano le generazioni, il tempo della storia si dispiega con loro. Un tempo tragico per un paese che ha vissuto una tragedia, il Cile, mai nominato ma sempre presente, sempre protagonista. E non nominati ma così presenti sono anche il suo Presidente, Salvador Allende, e il suo Poeta, Pablo Neruda. Pagine vere, commoventi sono dedicate alla morte dei due; pagine di una brutalità agghiacciante al golpe militare. E questo è un contributo alla memoria per il quale non si può che ringraziare Isabel. Ci sono molti passaggi che varrebbe la pena citare. Ne ho scelti alcuni, certamente insufficienti: « Con un colpo di spugna, i militari cambiarono la storia universale, cancellando gli episodi, le ideologie e i personaggi che il regime disapprovava. Risistemarono le carte geografiche, perché non c’era alcun motivo per mettere il Nord sopra, così lontano dalla benemerita patria, se si poteva metterlo in basso… La censura, che dapprima aveva controllato solo i mezzi di comunicazione, si estese in fretta ai testi scolastici, alle parole delle canzoni, ai soggetti dei film e alle conversazioni private. C’erano parole proibite per bando militare, come la parola “compagno”, e altre che non si dicevano per precauzione, anche se nessun bando le aveva eliminate dal dizionario, come libertà, giustizia, sindacato. » « Era una di quelle donne stoiche e pratiche del nostro paese, che con qualunque uomo che passa nella loro vita hanno un figlio e inoltre accolgono in casa i bambini che gli altri abbandonano, i parenti più poveri e chiunque abbia bisogno di una madre, una sorella, una zia… Mi sembrò uguale a tante altre che avevo conosciuto nelle mense popolari, nell’ospedale di mio zio Jaime, al Vicariato dove andavano a indagare i loro scomparsi, all’obitorio, dove andavano a cercare i loro morti. Le dissi che aveva corso un bel rischio ad aiutarmi e lei sorrise. Allora capii che il colonnello García e altri come lui hanno i giorni contati, perché non hanno potuto distruggere lo spirito di quelle donne. » C’è molto altro, molto di più da dire. Specialmente su queste donne cilene, quelle che hanno un nome e quelle che non ce l’hanno. Isabel Allende racconta l’essere donna – e in questo senso sì, è parziale, parziale perché parla un linguaggio di sangue che nessun uomo può capire – in tutte le sue declinazioni. Nascita, pubertà, sviluppo, maturità, vecchiaia. Le nostre complicazioni, il nostro orgoglio, le nostre fragilità e le nostre forze sono in queste pagine. Lo chiamano “realismo magico”. E so che il lato magico non consiste in questo… ma se intrappolare un mondo in un romanzo non è magia, cos’altro lo è?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    One of the problems with a family saga is that people inevitably have to get old and die and sometimes when the best character goes the story loses its focus. I enjoyed a lot of this book but felt that when one main character left the scene she was not really replaced by any of the others and my interest waned. I read on to the end but did not really become involved in the final chapters at all. Still a good book and I can understand why it is a favorite for many people.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gauss74

    Sangue, amore e politica. E così sono finalmente riuscito a leggere anche io un romanzo di Isabel Allende, dopo esserne stato tentato sin dall'adolescenza. Nonostante l'insegnante di lettere di allora me lo avesse più volte consigliato, "La casa degli spiriti" ha dovuto aspettare di essere trovato in una bancarella per libri usati ad un euro per poter raggiungere la libreria: complessivamente ne è valsa la pena. Come pare quasi inevitabile per la letteratura sudamericana di quegli anni, anche l'es Sangue, amore e politica. E così sono finalmente riuscito a leggere anche io un romanzo di Isabel Allende, dopo esserne stato tentato sin dall'adolescenza. Nonostante l'insegnante di lettere di allora me lo avesse più volte consigliato, "La casa degli spiriti" ha dovuto aspettare di essere trovato in una bancarella per libri usati ad un euro per poter raggiungere la libreria: complessivamente ne è valsa la pena. Come pare quasi inevitabile per la letteratura sudamericana di quegli anni, anche l'esordio letterario della grande scrittrice cilena si inserisce nel filone di quel realismo magico che ebbe in jorge Amado, in Gabriel garci Marquez, in Manuel Scorza alcuni dei suoi elementi di spicco. Anche questa infatti è la cronaca esaltante ma sofferta della storia di una famiglia (la famiglia Trueba) generazione dopo generazione, attraverso i turbolenti episodi che hanno insanguinato il Cile della seconda metà del novecento, dall'avvento di Salvador Allende (cugino del padre dell'autrice) fino al colpo di stato militare di Pinochet, che non viene mai nominato (peraltro in tutto il libro mancano riferimenti storici e geografici al Cile, anche se il parallelismo è facilissimo da cogliere). Se quindi molta della letteratura sudamericana di quegli anni è fatta di storia, amore e magia, l'opera della Allende si distacca dalle altre soprattutto per l'accento forzatamente marcato sulla storia; e devo dire che le pagine dedicate alle immancabili passioni travolgenti e sanguinose sono proprio quelle che meno mi hanno convinto. Anche se l'elemento magico non manca, siamo molto lontani dalle atmosfere oniriche di Cent'anni di solitudine, per esempio. Parlare della politica in America del sud durante quegli anni significa parlare del comunismo: tutte le iniziative importanti sia progressiste che conservatrici vengono sempre considerate in funzione comunista ed anticomunista. L'avvento del governo socialista di Salvador Allende e la feroce repressione della dittatura militare hanno in realtà questo significato. Mentre Isabel ne parla si capisce che questo è ciò che veramente vuole raccontare, e le pagine che restituiscono una efficace e disincantata cronaca degli eventi sono quelle che secondo me danno senso al libro. Il comunismo non potrà mai avere successo in Sudamerica, perchè è del tutto privo di magia. La lettura data da un esponete del partito conservatore al vecchio latifondista Esteban Trueba è apparentemente ingenua ma in realtà è lucidissima. Un mondo così ostile alla piatta materialità difficilmente si potrebbe trovare, ed il marxismo ha avuto la colpa filosofica di aver ridotto le necessità dell'uomo a necessità puramente materiali dimenticando lo spirito, la "magia". Questa è una delle ragioni principali del suo fallimento secondo l'autrice: gli uomini non sono affatto macchine di carne. Ciò è profondamente vero e non solo per l'appassionata umanità di quelle terre ma per tutti. Reta l'obiezione che il governo di Salvador Allende non fu un governo comunista in senso stretto, anche se l'atmosfera della guerra fredda ha portato il mondo dell'ovest a considerarlo come tale. "la casa degli spiriti" racconta con chiarezza le ragioni del suo fallimento e delle catastrofiche conseguenze. Nessun governo, per quanto competente e democraticamente eletto, può far divergere troppo le esigenze della politica da quella dell'elite economica e sociale: non sono ammesse rivoluzioni. Questo non solo perchè il potere economico è in grado di boicottare il progetto politico portando il paese al disastro (fino al limite del colpo di stato militare), ma anche perchè spesso le competenze necessarie per governare un paese con lungimiranza non sono abbastanza sviluppate nei ceti mediobassi, costretti dalla miseria e dal bisogno ad una schiacciante cortezza di vedute. Su tutto si stende come un filo conduttore la sofferta ed appassionata storia della ricca e benestante famiglia Trueba, attraversata e travolta tuttavia dal vento dei nuovi ideali non solo politici ma anche spirituali 8l'amore libero, la nuova indipendenza delle donne sono temi cari a tutto il mondo degli anni settanta). Non ho mai avuto un buon rapporto con il realismo magico, anche se non fatico a riconoscerne il valore. L'ambientazione è poco definita e temporalmente troppo estesa; spesso le opere sono troppo lunghe e scandite da ritmi monocordi e senza sbalzi di tono: è come se nello sforzo di essere "Realistici", questi romanzi si riempiano di una eccessiva dose di "normalità", anche quando si parla di carne e di sangue. "la casa degli spiriti" non fa eccezione, lo ho trovato molto faticoso da leggere, ma lo ho trovato comunque un libro preoccupante e prezioso insieme. Perchè le amare considerazioni che l'ascesa ed il crollo del regime di Salvador Allende fanno nascere possono essere applicate con fin troppa facilità all' Europa di oggi, i nuovi movimenti populistici stanno facendo gli stessi errori del socialismo di allora. Perchè non ha senso arrabbiarsi se un governo salva una banca: semplicemente non può fare altro. Mettersi di traverso con troppa foga all'elite economico -finanziaria equivale a sobillare chi punta una pistola contro di noi. Allo stesso modo, è una pericolosa menzogna dichiarare che la competenza è inutile, anzi trasformare l'ignoranza in un valore! Isabel Allende con la sua vita e con le sue pagine ci racconta che condurre una nazione intera non solo è un mestiere, ma anche un mestiere molto difficile, che richiede decenni di preparazione e di formazione anche dura e faticosa. Riuscire a condurre una politica assennata e realistica senza perdere la magia della giustizia, dell'ideale ma anche dei valori spirituali è la pericolosa sfida che ogni popolo deve vincere, se non vuole soccombere alle periodiche crisi, ora come allora.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luís C.

    The House of the Spirits, a book we were advised one college professor by telling us simply: "It's a fun book." This advice I followed - While "few" years later - proves to be notified. Now that is my turn, I'll try to be more explicit than has been the teacher - That I thank! The House of the Spirits is a novel that has it all. It is a family saga with the right amount of love and tragedy, which mingles the upheavals experienced by the Chilean company in the second half of the twentieth century. T The House of the Spirits, a book we were advised one college professor by telling us simply: "It's a fun book." This advice I followed - While "few" years later - proves to be notified. Now that is my turn, I'll try to be more explicit than has been the teacher - That I thank! The House of the Spirits is a novel that has it all. It is a family saga with the right amount of love and tragedy, which mingles the upheavals experienced by the Chilean company in the second half of the twentieth century. This is mostly the story of cursed and tragic fates. It is primarily the fate of Esteban Trueba, only character that the author made to speak in the first person. The self-made Chilean man of the twentieth century. A totally detestable character: pushy, cruel, misogynist, contemptuous and very paternalistic landowner with the peasants who work the lands he hard-earned. And as the years pass, it becomes a bitter and cantankerous man hated by members of his own family he tyrannized by its inflexibility. One may wonder why Isabel Allende decided that it would be this character precisely that would address the reader. Well, perhaps precisely because it is the character who is the victim of his fate because he could not understand the signs. While still young and penniless, politics took him the woman he loved, and he could not take it into account. But also probably because it embodies the face of Chile that made the people rose up and wanted a change. Isabel Allende offers us with this tale one very sentimental novel - in several respects. This novel has been - in my humble opinion - therapy for her, the niece of the assassinated leader. She conveys her love for her country and its people, and its worth having left in a pleasant language to read (even if the reviewers have not always done a good job!). The sentences are simple and striking, the story is made of little dialogue and lots of descriptions where intermingle stories of memories and fictional events.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nada EL Shabrawi

    عظيمة, و كفى!

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