Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Seventh Gate” as Want to Read:
The Seventh Gate
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Seventh Gate (The Sephardic Cycle #4)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  412 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Set in 1930s Berlin, during the Nazis' rise to power, 'The Seventh Gate' brings together Sophie Riedesel, an intelligent, artistic, and sexually adventurous 14-year-old with Isaac Zarco and his friends, most of whom are Jews, ex-circus performers and underground activists.
Paperback, 577 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Constable & Robinson (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Seventh Gate, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Seventh Gate

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Donna
Oct 09, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
This is my first Richard Zimler novel. I loved the historical fiction part of this. It was set in the time leading up to WWII and told from the POV of one of the 'perfect' people. So I liked that it was different in that respect. It also featured some ex-circus people who were considered freaks of nature. They too added interest. The writing was also quite beautiful. I loved his descriptions. It was eloquent in places and quite lovely.

Now what I didn't like was pretty much only one thing...but
...more
Charles Weinblatt
Aug 14, 2014 Charles Weinblatt rated it really liked it
Having reviewed The Warsaw Anagrams for The New York Journal of Books, this reviewer was attracted to another novel by Richard Zimler, who seems to have mastered the art of a "murder mystery wrapped within the timeless anxiety and historical significance of the Holocaust.

The Seventh Gate begins in contemporary America. Our infirmed and elderly protagonist, Sophie, is in a hospital. She appears not far from death. Her devoted nephew visits regularly and takes care of all of her needs. He is deep
...more
FLAMES (Mariana Oliveira & Roberta Frontini)
(...) Quase sempre se fala nos judeus mas pouco se fala sobre as outras pessoas que também sofreram, como os alemães com alguma deficiência (física ou mental) ou os aderentes de outros partidos políticos. Muitas pessoas têm uma visão romanceada sobre a 2ª Guerra Mundial: Judeus mal tratados, alemães cristão todos felizes da vida. As coisas não se passaram desta forma taxativa e quem tem um verdadeiro conhecimento sobre esta época negra da História percebe que as coisas nunca se poderiam ter ...more
Maria
Apr 16, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Depois de ter lido A Sétima Porta, não podia ficar indiferente aos livros de Richard Zimler. A Sétima Porta foi o livro que se seguiu e consolidou o que já pensava do autor: um contador de histórias excelente.

A Sétima Porta será uma continuação de O Último Cabalista em Lisboa (que tenho em casa para ler), e conta a luta que um descendente de Berequias Zarco em descodificar os textos deixados pelo seu antepassado. Isaac Zarco, um homem bastante interessante e próximo da personagem principal, leva
...more
Alípio Vieira Firmino
"Chorar Nunca Foi Tão Bom", seria este o título do livro que um dia eu escrevesse, e em que a temática fosse o sentimento que as obras deste autor exercem sobre mim. Quando se lê um romance de Richard Zimler é garantido que vão chorar, ou no caso de não serem tão lamechas quanto eu, acredito que as vossas lágrimas se manifestem de uma outra forma qualquer (pele de galinha, aperto no coração, vontade de injuriar, sensação de impotência, vergonha da falta de humanidade...). Qualquer coisa que eu ...more
Liliana Pinto
Sep 11, 2014 Liliana Pinto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5, leituras-2014
Este é um livro incrível. Um livro que atravessa décadas até ao pior momento da nossa história. É um livro que é contado com tal realismo que parece que estamos lá, a presenciar e a sentir como as personagens.

Este é o primeiro livro que leio de Richard Zimler mas, penso que posso afirmar, que ele é um génio. Um génio na forma como conta a história, na forma como transmite os sentimentos das personagens e na forma como nos envolve. É um livro que não se consegue parar de ler e que é muito pequeno
...more
ClaudiaR
4,5*

Quando pensamos na 2ª guerra mundial, o que nos ocorre é o holocausto e o sofrimento que os nazis provocaram aos povos que se encontravam sob o seu domínio.
Este livro retrata outra visão da guerra, a dos alemães que não se enquadravam nos padrões de normalidade dos nazis e que por isso foram considerados seres descartáveis e sem direitos.
Só não dou 5* a este livro, porque considero que a relação entre os dois personagens principais da estória, nos termos em que ocorre, não faz sentido nem se
...more
Stan
Jan 07, 2013 Stan rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read from start to finish. 595 pages I didn't want to end. One of the most moving and human portrayals of people in the midst of WWII. Along with Warsaw Anagrams, this goes on my list of all-time favorites.
Natasha
Jun 29, 2013 Natasha rated it liked it
The book was okay but about halfway through, the relationship between the two main characters took an unexpected and disturbing turn. Tainted the rest of the book for me...
Amy
Jun 20, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Reading the Seventh Gate did not start out easily for me - it is not a romantic or even heroic tale of Germany from the early days of the rise of Hitler through the aftermath of World War II. I found many of the insertions of Jewish (Kabbalist) mythology and philosophy out of sync with the tone and feel of the rest of the book. I was actually pretty sure I didn't like this novel at all but I kept reading, mostly due to a compulsion to finish just about every book I start. Anyway, I am glad I did ...more
Giacomo
Aug 25, 2008 Giacomo rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: fiction, novels, american
People talking of Zimler as "an American Umberto Eco" clearly didn't read Eco (or Zimler).
This book is yet another depiction of life in 1930s Germany, with a tiny bit of Kabbalah tacked on to maintain the "Zimler" brand. The "whodunit" subplot is disjointed, popping up here and there to maintain the reader's attention, but after a while it's clear that the answer really doesn't matter... even to the "detective" in the story.
If you want mysticism, look elsewhere. If you want Weimar stories, loo
...more
Mam
Aug 14, 2014 Mam rated it liked it
I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I found the portrayal of 1930s Nazi Berlin chillingly compelling. The insidious ness of a culture that begins to exclude all but the 'perfect' is something with so many parallels in our own time and culture. I think I will remember much if that part. The unlikely (unholy?) relationship of the two main characters was off putting, to say the least. In some respects I would give it 5 stars; in others, maybe 1.
Kat Warren
I read more than half of this book expecting it to get better, to click, to do something. But alas, no. I note many here have loved this book. I'm pretty savvy but I don't find much here. It's tedious, in fact. I'm guessing that if one doesn't know much about the earlier days of Hitler's Germany, this might possibly be a bit more riveting. I gave up.
Raquel
Mar 10, 2015 Raquel rated it liked it
Adoro o Richard Zimler e a história passa-se no prelúdio da segunda guerra mundial, mas achei que a história não tinha grande verosimilhança em partes muito essenciais. E isso prejudicou o livro, no meu ponto de vista.
Fátima
Oct 27, 2014 Fátima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Que grande escritor! Ainda que o tema, o nazismo, seja para mim sempre perturbador, este senhor escreve tão bem que é sempre um enorme prazer voltar aos seus livros. Venham mais, Richard Zimler!
Roberta Frontini (Blogue FLAMES)
Mais um livro lido do meu autor favorito, no entanto, de todos os que eu li, não foi o que mais gostei. Expectativas elevadas? Talvez...
Pedro Marques
Sep 03, 2014 Pedro Marques rated it really liked it
O melhor Zimler depois de "O último cabalista de Lisboa."...
Maria
Aug 29, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I was introduced to this author very recently - this is my 2nd book by him - and i have ebjoyed it immensly.

This is a continuation from the 1st book of the series, which was The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon. This book follows the life and trials mostly of Sofie Riedsel, a german young girl and Isaac Zarco, a descendant of Berekiah Zarco, the protagonist of the previous book, in the Germany of the National Socialism rising. It starts roughly around 1932 and it spans through the years, concentrating o
...more
Sónia
Sep 22, 2016 Sónia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Vou-me repetir: O Zimler nunca desilude. Muito bom.
Rita De oliveira
Quando pensava na II Guerra Mundial (tema que sempre me interessou pela minha incompreensão para com ele), pensava essencialmente no «durante», nos horrores do Holocausto, nos campos de concentração, nas valas comuns, nas caras famintas e sem expressão dos que eram transportados para Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen e tantos outros campos «de trabalho». E pensava também essencialmente no povo judeu, implacavelmente perseguido.

Mas houve também um «antes» e um «depois», e muitas outras vítimas
...more
Filipa Marques
Jun 06, 2016 Filipa Marques rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O Richard Zimler é um hell of a writer!! Escreve lindamente e é tão inteligente!
A Sétima Porta tem uma narrativa bastante encantadora e as personagens são imensamente cativantes, chorei a sério com o Hansi, magoou-me o pai da Sophie e sabe Deus o que mais... Vale também a excelente transposição para o período da ascendência do nacionalismo na Alemanha! em que em Berlim, como em todo o lado, a História só se sabia à metade, não que se tenha aqui um banho de História, mas, enfim, o Zimler é fantá
...more
Fiona
Oct 05, 2008 Fiona rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in ww2 from a different or more human perspective
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
TonyAlmeida
Nov 28, 2008 TonyAlmeida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: IIWW fans, historical novel fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara
Jun 23, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard Zimler, americano naturalizado português e a viver no Porto, atingiu maior reconhecimento após a publicação do Romance "O Último Cabalista de Lisboa", que não li. Sei, no entanto, que a personagem central desse livro, Berequias Zarco, é um antepassado de uma das personagens chave d'"A Sétima Porta", Isaac Zarco. Berlim é o centro da acção, que principia em início dos anos 30 e que continuará durante a ascenção inexorável no Nacional-Socialismo alemão e os horrores da Guerra.
Neste livro n
...more
Yasi
Dec 15, 2015 Yasi rated it really liked it
Shelves: research, favorites
It is a bit of slow-starting book, but because I listened to the audiobook, I thoroughly enjoyed this slow pace. It is apparent throughout the book that the author has done considerable research, because it is very historically accurate, and more importantly, the author has used this historical accuracies to weave in a complicated, multi-threaded story which comes together quite neatly. It should be noted that the text is heavy on Jewish mysticism which only serves to add to the magical feel to ...more
Paula Veiga
Apr 08, 2014 Paula Veiga rated it it was amazing
Interesting from the start to the end. A different view/report on hoe Germans lived the 1930's and endured the rising of the Nazi regime. The characters are excellently depicted and the feelings of them all very strongly described. I enjoy the author's way of geographically showing us where things occur and for those who know the places this is even better! It is strong and violent but also very emotional. One of my fav authors; looking forward to read the next novel by him. Knowing him in the ...more
Greer Andjanetta
Jan 13, 2013 Greer Andjanetta rated it it was amazing
A dry, slow-starting book that I didn't expect to get very far in before giving up on it but which turned out to be an enjoyable story. Well-written it tells the story of a young German girl growing up in 1930's Berlin, her family life and her odd friends, most of whom are Jewish. The book jacket advertises it as a 'thriller' but the story is more chilling than thrilling. While we are all aware of the Germans' attitudes and actions towards their Jewish citizens, the detailed characters who ...more
Michael
It took me almost a month to read this book. I read some pages every day. I don't know if it took so long because I had other things I was doing or if it was hard to get into the book. The book is narrated by Sophie who is in her mid to late eighties and she relives her life from when she was about fourteen in 1930's Berlin. The main narrative takes place during the 1930's. Sophie is Aryan and she has a lot of friends who do not meet what the Nazi's call true bloods. The book does make you think ...more
Jo Murphy
Jul 20, 2013 Jo Murphy rated it it was amazing
Moving story of a girl, Sophie, growing up in Berlin in Nazi Germany. For me it is the details that build a picture of a society as it bends under Nazi rule. How it came to be that ordinary Germans went along with this massive crime. Eencapsulated, I think, in the deteriorating relationship with Sophie's father who turns in his Communist card for a Nazi one. I loved the description of their world as the 'Opposite-Compass', in a way to understand how topsy turvey it had all become. A fitting book ...more
Karen
Jun 23, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Sophie is a teenager in Germany in 1934. She argues with her parents, has her first boyfriend and enjoys the world around her. The sudden rise of the Nazis, the dangers to her Jewish friends and her fear for her handicapped brother form the center of this book. Her friend and lover Isaac, smuggles people out of Germany, tries to save books before the Nazis can destroy them and protects Sophie from her most dangerous instincts. This is an excellent book written from Sophie's perspective as ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
O que acharam do livro? 1 2 Apr 30, 2014 10:45AM  
Sequence of The Sephardic Cycle 2 10 Apr 12, 2012 02:55AM  
  • De Profundis, Valsa Lenta
  • Cão Como Nós
  • O Senhor Valéry (O Bairro, #1)
  • Crónica dos Bons Malandros
  • Until Death Do Us Part: My Struggle to Reclaim Colombia
  • Padeira de Aljubarrota
  • O Teu Rosto Será o Último
  • Loving Che
  • Os Pilares da Terra, Volume 2 of 2
  • Os Três Casamentos de Camilla S.
  • Equador
  • Histoire du Juif errant
  • As Três Vidas
  • O Rei, o Sábio e o Bobo
  • Viva O Povo Brasileiro
  • O que diz Molero
  • O Meu Irmão
  • Filipa de Lencastre
87209
Richard Zimler was born in Roslyn Heights, a suburb of New York City, in 1956. After earning a bachelor's degree in comparative religion from Duke University (1977) and a master's degree in journalism from Stanford University (1982), he worked for eight years as a journalist, mainly in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1990, he moved to Porto, Portugal, and he has taught journalism for the last ...more
More about Richard Zimler...

Other Books in the Series

The Sephardic Cycle (4 books)
  • The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon (The Sephardic Cycle, #1)
  • Hunting Midnight (The Sephardic Cycle, #2)
  • Guardian of the Dawn (The Sephardic Cycle, #3)

Share This Book