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3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,635 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
Carmen Laforet’s Nada ranks among the most important literary works of post-Civil War Spain. Loosely based on the author’s own life, it is the story of an orphaned young woman who leaves her small town to attend university in war-ravaged Barcelona.

Residing amid genteel poverty in a mysterious house on Calle de Aribau, young Andrea falls in with a wealthy band of schoolmate
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 12th 2008 by Modern Library (first published 1944)
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"Who can understand the thousand threads that join people's souls and the significance of their words? Not the girl I was then."- Carmen LaForet, Nada

Carmen LaForet isn't a writer I've ever come across but I figured if Mario Vargas Llosa wrote the foreword to this book she must be good. And I'd definitely recommend this book although I think it would have been better had I known more about the Spanish Civil War and Spain during the Franco period. Despite that, I enjoyed the book immensely. It
To me, this novel represents literary perfection. The writer presents her characters without judgment, unrolls a plot that is simple in the outline but incredibly nuanced in the detail, a story that is so utterly of its era and location yet timeless in its themes.

This novel is set in Barcelona in the early 1940's, but as Mario Vargas Llosa notes in his introduction, references to the Spanish Civil War are very few and vague. Yet the physical, intellectual and cultural destruction of the war are
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Carmen Laforet wrote with a quiet beauty. Not really poetic, just an understated elegance. Even the more dramatic or violent scenes have a quieter feeling than you'd expect. Quite impressive for a woman who was in her early twenties when she wrote this book.

The story is said to be somewhat autobiographical. Andrea, aged eighteen, goes to live with her grandmother, aunts, and uncles in Barcelona so she can attend the university. The family lives in greatly reduced circumstances after the Spanish
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 21, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Mus Read Before You Die (2008-2012)
Incandescent prose. Disquieting story. Polished writing style. Said to be one of the best novels in Spain and this was written by a 23-y/o Carmen Laforet (1912-2004) right after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Laforet is to Salinger as Nada is to The Catcher in the Rye and Andrea is to Holden Caulfield.

Nada in Spanish means "nothing" that I first thought was referring to food as in nothing to eat. The novel's setting was during the war when Barcelonians were jobless and most of the people, es
Luís Miguel
Mar 17, 2015 Luís Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disseram-me que iria gostar deste Nada. Confere. Gostei da capa, gostei da tradução, gostei do papel... enfim, é difícil não apreciar um livro quando se nota o esmero na sua edição. Sem querer fazer publicidade, agarro tudo o que posso desta editora e mesmo antes de o ter lido, já tinha vontade de ler o outro livro publicado da autora, A Ilha e Os Demónios.

Nada é a história de Andrea que chega, com 18 anos, a Barcelona para frequentar a Universidade, tomando residência na casa de familiares. Apr
Vane J.
3.5 out of 5 stars


Andrea goes to Barcelona with the desire to study literature at the university. There, she lives with some relatives: Her grandmother, aunts and uncles, her baby cousin, the maid and the dog. Basically, Andrea has two lives: One at home and one at college. In the first, she always feel depressed, while in the second, she can be herself.

Many people have compared this book to Wuthering Heights, but they do not resemble in anything, except in the following:

1. The depress
Oliver Twist & Shout
Mar 24, 2014 Oliver Twist & Shout rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espanyola
A veces parece como si a la literatura de posguerra se la hubiera que tratar como una niñita enfermita y sobrevalorar sus gestos. Ha sufrido mucho la pobre, venga, vamos a ayudarla con un poco de buena voluntad. Tanto en este caso como en el de "El Jarama", me parece que sobresale más la voluntad de incorporar nuevos aires a la novela española que no realmente haber logrado algo.

A esta obra, la etiqueta existencialista le queda demasiado grande. Lo único existencialista que podría encajar con es
A long awaited book, just arrived from Spain through BM.

This is the story of Andrea who moves from the countryside to Barcelona in order to perform her universities studies on literature.

After the Spanish Civil War and under Franco's regime, Andrea suffers a lot of turmoil emotions regarding her family and her close friends as well.

This a very touching novel by Carmem Laforet showing in Andrea's auto-biographical story how she made her journey towards adulthood.
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Frankly, I didn't like this very much and for most of the time felt like watching an old, grainy black-and-white silent film with a young girl trying with much difficulty to portray existential angst with facial expression and body language. But I think, as this was not the first time I had felt this way, that this must have been far better in its original Spanish. So I am rating it by what I believe it really is and not how it came to me as translated.

Not that I know Spanish. I know very little
Mariana Romo-Carmona
Este libro es uno de mis favoritos. Lo leeré de nuevo en el curso de Obras Maestras este semestre, que dictará Jaime Manrique en CCNY.

The first time I read Nada was around 1981-2, when I lived in Boston. The atmosphere seemed to fit, as I was often kind of lost in a city that seemed hostile, struggling, and went for long walks to think, feeling hungry and lonely. The book, that won the 1944 Eugenio Nadal prize, is set in Barcelona right after the Civil War, and its heroine is a young girl named
Claire McAlpine
Opening the first page and reading this book, it's unexpectedness, it's chronic revelation, our observation of what happens, what is said, what is left unsaid - is a little like the experience of the protagonist Andrea herself, when she arrives late at night having been delayed by three hours, alone, to stay with her grandmother and uncles while she will attend university. It was something she had looked forward to and yet those first grey images as she enters the building and sees them like an ...more
Nov 29, 2010 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature-spain
I first read Carmen Laforet’s Nada during my year in Spain in the early 1960s. Along with Ana Maria Matute, it was the first post war (=Spanish Civil War) literature I had added to my reading list that, up to that point, was weighted heavy on the Spanish classics. Over the years since that time, I have become increasingly aware of the vitality of Spanish literature during the presumed cultural depression of the Franco dictatorship (writers like Miguel Delibes, Camilo Jose Cela, Antonio Buero Val ...more
Nov 07, 2013 Irs rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
He estado a punto de abandonarlo, pero al final me he armado de valor y he seguido con él hasta que por fin lo he cerrado. Más que nada porque tenía cierto interés en ver si la historia mejoraba mínimamente hacia el final. No ha sido así. Si bien en cierto modo cierra lo que había comenzado en un principio, el final de Nada es tan insulso como el resto de la historia que guarda entre sus páginas. Quizá no fuese un buen momento para leerla, quizá fuese yo que no estaba preparada para comprender l ...more
Ted Mooney
Mar 04, 2009 Ted Mooney rated it it was amazing
This amazing novel about a young girl returning as an orphan to Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War is one of the classics of 20th century literature. LaForet, who was Catalan, was, of course, forbidden from writing it in anything but Spanish. She was 23 when she wrote it, and it won the first Premio Nadal in 1944, when it was published. This english translation includes a puzzled, admiring and amusing intro by Mario Vargas Llosa, who confesses he had never thought to read anything by a Spania ...more
Me encanta el exitencialismo, y leer este libro ha sido una agradable sorpresa. Andrea, una joven huérfana llega a la calle Aribau, a esa casa decadente, un recuerdo de lo que fue, con todos sus objetos apilados, y una familia que la espera. La abuelita me ha causado mucha lástima, en sus últimos años pasar por las penurias económicas y ver como sus hijos Juan y Román se llevan tan mal, como Juan maltrata a Gloria. Me encanta lo bien que transmite el narrador ese ambiente opresivo y triste, las ...more
Macarena V.
Apr 11, 2015 Macarena V. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Te atrapa, te atrapa y te siembra el hambre en las entrañas y la angustia en el pecho.
Mar 28, 2014 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hoping to enroll in university, Andrea, an eighteen-year-old orphan, travels from the provinces to Barcelona to the home of her maternal grandmother, a home that she remembers as having been opulent, privileged, and serene. But in these years just after the Spanish Civil War, Franco having come to power, much has changed, and Andrea finds the house decrepit, filthy, dark, and foreboding. Living there are her grandmother who has retreated into religious mysticism; her Aunt Augustias, a rigid and ...more
Oct 15, 2011 Zadaver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bcn, digital, clasicos
Gran libro, muy recomendable. Una muy buena historia contada con un gran estilo. Otra de esas novelas sobre el paso de la juventud a la edad adulta, pero en un entorno hostil y sofocante que, por momentos, traspasa el libro y genera en el lector la ansiedad que sufre la protagonista. Muy interesante el retrato de la Barcelona de la posguerra vista desde como afecta a las personas: como en parte la clase media se viene abajo (memorables las partes en las que Andrea pasa hambre, aunque en cierta m ...more
Okay, first of all, the narrator was pretty terrible. She over-enunciated every word, which (in addition to making her sound like as though English was not her first language -- which in itself isn't terrible, but I'd prefer an interesting (Spanish) accent) introduced all kinds of pauses where I don't think there should have been.

Secondly, I think the translation may have been poor -- but how can you tell something like that, right? But so much of the book is existential rambling, so it had bett
Paula M. Almansa
Jun 20, 2016 Paula M. Almansa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mi-estantería
Una verdadera obra de arte. RESEÑA COMPLETA: http://eldesvandelescritor.blogspot.c...
Jul 27, 2016 Dani. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Necesito hablar de muchas cosas.

La primera, que este libro merece la pena desde el minuto 0. Es decir, solo con la primera frase, te introduce en una crisálida perfecta que la autora ha hilado en un mundo perfectamente basado en la auténtica postguerra española.

Con una trama EXCELENTE, unos personajes tan bien creados que parecen sacados de una de las mejores enciclopedias de la postguerra, y con una Barcelona excepcional, preciosa, y con miles de rincones que Carmen Laforet nos descubre, se con
Apr 21, 2015 Lahierbaroja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personajes muy bien creados en una atmósfera opresiva en el marco de una familia que vive del pasado.

Todo muy condensado, es una novela muy interesante, con descripciones que no dejan nada al azar. Y todo en menos de 200 páginas.
Dec 01, 2014 Andrei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it from very beginning to the bottom of the last pages. An outstanding narration of the bitterness and how it can influence on human lives, especially on the ones that we care the most.
Jun 02, 2016 Lucía rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2. Me ha decepcionado bastante, ya que mucha gente me la había recomendado poniéndola por las nubes. Quizá me hubiera gustado más si no la hubiera empezado con tantas expectativas, pero la verdad es que la historia en sí me ha parecido bastante sosa. No he logrado conectar con ninguno de los personajes por mucho que lo he intentado, y con la que menos ha sido con Andrea, la protagonista. Quizá sea esta la causa principal que ha hecho que no disfrutara de la historia, ya que está narrada en prim ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Dominique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hermoso. 'Nada' es todo aquello que ella vive y observa y siente y piensa y no obstante es incapaz de poner en palabras. Todo eso que es gigante, eso es nada. Ella es como una esponja que absorbe todo y uno la acompaña y piensa con ella, recibe con ella. La descripción de los personajes me pareció alucinante, el siniestro juego familiar, las relaciones contradictorias, el drama. Lo que se repite, inconscientemente. Un enredo de situaciones, mitos y creencias que constituyen el ámbito familiar co ...more
Feb 06, 2015 Anuca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nada está ambientada en la posguerra española y nos acerca la historia de Andrea, una jovencita que viaja a Barcelona para iniciar sus estudios y que, puesto que tiene familia allí, decide regresar a la casa familiar. Pero... ay, ay, ay, esa casa y quienes en ella habitan ya no son lo que eran y lo que prometía ser un hogar y compañía cómodos acaba siendo, si me permitís la expresión, la casa de los horrores. Nada, nada es lo que el piso de la calle Aribau le ofrece a Andrea: ni sustento, ni car ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this dark, haunting, psychological novel. Some critics call it Spain's "Catcher in the Rye". It's set in a grim Barcelona during the desparate years immediately following the Spanish Civil War. I understand now why the Spanish sometimes called Barcelona "el Gris" for it's lackluster grayness. (This is before more recent gentrifications around the 1990 Olympics).

It's narrated by Andrea, a young university student who comes from the country to live with her poor and pitiful u
Aug 04, 2015 Sandy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
La obra te lleva por una Barcelona decadente después de la Guerra Civil, marca de forma muy bella y personal cada monumento, estatua y calle, sus personajes son muy elaborados y son principalmente quienes marcan la decadencia del país (amé el personaje de Román), en efecto, su prosa es muy clara, pero he de admitir que la narradora (Andrea) es un personaje que me irritó mucho y que hacía que dejara el libro de lado.
Sé que es un libro multipremiado y alabado, sin embargo le doy un 2.5
Empezar a leer "Nada" es como entrar en un túnel del que no alcanzas a ver el final. De la mano de Andrea, su narradora, nos sumergimos en la atmósfera asfixiante de la casa de la calle Aribau, esa casa poblada por seres desquiciados y profundamente desgraciados. La prosa a veces poética de la autora no consigue sacarnos de encima la sensación de horror y tristeza.
Me ha interesado mucho pero por otro lado, me daba una sensación que hacía que quisiera acabarlo cuanto antes y pasar a otra cosa.
Apr 03, 2013 liesolitte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow... ni sé cómo empezar esta review. Hace escasos quince minutos que he acabado el libro.

La verdad es que yo no traía referencia alguna del libro, ni había oído hablar de él, ni de la escritora. Lo encontré por casualidad en la estantería de mi casa y decidí leerlo. Se me hizo una lectura amena, interesante. Lo leí rápidamente, dentro de lo posible, y me encantó.

No sé si soy la única que amó a Román. Aunque saliera pocas veces, ese aura de misterio, alguien que es capaz de hechizar a todo un
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Aiossa's 12/13 Se...: zachai ocana 1/24 1 7 Jan 24, 2013 01:45PM  
  • Tiempo de silencio
  • El cuarto de atrás
  • Primera memoria
  • Los pazos de Ulloa
  • La Regenta
  • Marks of Identity
  • The Time of the Doves
  • La Colmena
  • Misericordia
  • Réquiem por un campesino español
  • El camino
  • El Jarama
  • El árbol de la ciencia
  • Últimas tardes con Teresa
  • Pepita Jiménez
  • Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino
  • El jinete polaco
  • Historia de la vida del Buscón
Carmen Laforet was a Spanish author who wrote in the period after the Spanish Civil War. An important European writer, her works contributed to the school of Existentialist Literature and her first novel Nada continued the Spanish Tremendismo literary style begun by Camilo José Cela with his novel, La familia de Pascual Duarte.
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“Me parece que de nada vale correr si siempre ha de irse por el mismo camino, cerrado, de nuestra personalidad. Unos seres nacen para vivir, otros para trabajar, y otros para mirar la vida. Yo tenia un pequeño y ruin papel de espectadora. Imposible salirme de él. Imposible libertarme. Una tremenda congoja fue para mí lo único real en aquellos momentos.” 33 likes
“¿Quién puede entender los mil hilos que unen las almas de los hombres y el alcance de sus palabras?” 12 likes
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