View Poll Results: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende : Final Verdict

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  • * Waste of time. Wouldn't recommend.

    1 50.00%
  • ** Didn't like it much.

    0 0%
  • *** Average

    1 50.00%
  • **** It is a good book.

    0 0%
  • ***** Liked it very much. Would strongly recommend it.

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Thread: April '14 / Magic Realism Reading: The House of the Spirits by Allende

  1. #1
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    April '14 / Magic Realism Reading: The House of the Spirits by Allende

    In April, we will be reading The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende.

    Please share your thoughts and comments in this thead.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  2. #2
    tea-timing book queen bouquin's Avatar
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    Talk with Ms Allende -
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/sp...ew/page2.shtml




    _________________
    Currently reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
    "He lives most gaily who knows best how to deceive himself. Ha-ha!"
    - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
    (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

  3. #3
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    May I join the discussion, please? One of my book groups has recently read this - I didn't finish it so retained the copy which I can keep until the end of the month.

    I have enjoyed what I have read so far which was why I kept the book - I'll be interested to read what other LitNetters make of it. (My book group was luke-warm towards it.)

  4. #4
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Hi, Kasie! So nice to see you!

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this. I am still waiting for my copy to arrive.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  5. #5
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    Thanks, Scher - I know I have not posted for some time - I haven't really been away, just 'lurking'!

    This is one of those books I have long been nervous about tackling. It has such a reputation, a prime example of Magic Realism, a significant modern work etc, it rather frightened me off, plus the only previous MR book I had read, The Magic Toyshop, really puzzled me. But I must say that once I had started it, I enjoyed it and found it easy to read. My Book Group didn't really take to it, the MR confused them, I think, and they preferred to be sidetracked into issues that I felt were of minor significance. However, I was enjoying it enough to hold on to the copy for another month so that I could finish it properly (I skip read to the end so that I could join in the discussion at the meeting). I am looking forward to hearing what LitNetters make of it,

  6. #6
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    Sorry - this got posted twice somehow.

  7. #7
    Beyond the world aliengirl's Avatar
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    My copy of the novel has arrived and I've just began. A few pages in and I'm already hooked. Will be back to share more.
    I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~ William Blake

    Captivity is consciousness,
    So's liberty. ~ Emily Dickinson

  8. #8
    tea-timing book queen bouquin's Avatar
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    Where are you at now with your reading?





    _______________________________________
    Currently reading: Independent People (Halldor Laxness)
    "He lives most gaily who knows best how to deceive himself. Ha-ha!"
    - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
    (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

  9. #9
    Internal nebulae TheFifthElement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasie View Post
    This is one of those books I have long been nervous about tackling. It has such a reputation, a prime example of Magic Realism, a significant modern work etc, it rather frightened me off, plus the only previous MR book I had read, The Magic Toyshop, really puzzled me. But I must say that once I had started it, I enjoyed it and found it easy to read.
    I really don't understand why The Magic Toyshop is linked with magical realism. Except for the title, there is nothing 'magical' about it, rather it's a classic bildungsroman, coming of age story (and a very good one, one of my favourites). Very puzzling.

    I enjoy Isabel Allende's work, though haven't read The House of the Spirits. She gave a excellent talk at TED about feminism which is worth a watch. She is a very personable lady (and a great writer).
    Want to know what I think about books? Check out https://biisbooks.wordpress.com/

  10. #10
    tea-timing book queen bouquin's Avatar
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    The House of the Spirits is my first Allende.
    "He lives most gaily who knows best how to deceive himself. Ha-ha!"
    - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
    (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

  11. #11
    Beyond the world aliengirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouquin View Post
    Where are you at now with your reading?
    I'm more than half-way through. I feel as if I am reading Marquez. Clairvoyance, curses, woman of angelic beauty, illegitimate sons; everything is there. Allende is a master story teller just like Marquez. For me the only caveat is that there are passages of first person narrative by Esteban Trueba. It interrupts the flow of the story.
    I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~ William Blake

    Captivity is consciousness,
    So's liberty. ~ Emily Dickinson

  12. #12
    tea-timing book queen bouquin's Avatar
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    Have also just read One Hundred Years of Solitude. Some similarities I found:

    clairvoyance & asthma = Clara >< Aureliano

    prostitutes = Transito >< Pilar Ternera

    mysterious disappearance = Uncle Marcos >< Jose Arcadio

    false teeth = Clara >< Melquiades

    twin brothers = Jaime & Nicolas >< 2 Segundos

    beautiful daughters = Rosa >< Remedios

    hot air balloon/ flying bedsheets = Marcos >< Remedios

    mutism = Clara >< Meme

    patriarchs & matriarchs

    family of several générations living Under one roof

    Willy-nilly extension work on the ancestral home



    Pretty sure there are more. Wondering if Ms Allende got inspiration from One Hundred Years of Solitude.
    "He lives most gaily who knows best how to deceive himself. Ha-ha!"
    - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
    (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

  13. #13
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    I got a late start on reading this one because I wanted to finish Less Than Zero first and than I have been a bit under the weather so I haven't advanced that far yet, but sense I nominated and voted for this one I wanted to pop in and say I am reading it and will be discussing it.

    Thus far I am enjoying it. I am in general a fan of Magic Realism because I like those touches of the surreal and absurd. I also like the way Magic Realism also can have a bit of randomness to it. I love the way these totally bizarre things happen out of no where with no rational explanation and without needing one.

    I found the comparisons to One Hundred Years of Solitude to be interesting.

    Also I have to say that right now I am loving Clara, thus far she is my favorite character.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  14. #14
    tea-timing book queen bouquin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasie View Post
    May I join the discussion, please? One of my book groups has recently read this - I didn't finish it so retained the copy which I can keep until the end of the month.

    I have enjoyed what I have read so far which was why I kept the book - I'll be interested to read what other LitNetters make of it. (My book group was luke-warm towards it.)



    Why was your book group lukewarm towards The House of the Spirits?
    "He lives most gaily who knows best how to deceive himself. Ha-ha!"
    - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
    (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

  15. #15
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    I have read only about a quarter so far but I have to join those who cannot deny certain similarities between Marquez's and Allende's works. Despite enjoying the story, I feel I am reading an imitation almost.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


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