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Nada

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  3,275 ratings  ·  200 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
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 12th 2008 by Modern Library (first published 1944)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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Julie
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
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K.D. Absolutely
Jul 21, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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Emir Never
Nov 28, 2014 Emir Never added it
Recommended to Emir Never by: Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
“Un papel viejo se me pegó a las rodillas. Miré aquel aire grueso, a plastado contra la tierra, que empezaba a hacer revolar el polvo y las hojas, en una macabre danzas de cosas muertas. Sentí dolor de soledad, más unsoportable, por repetido…“

My dear friend, I know I am supposed to write a review of this novel Nada by Carmen Laforet, but grant me some patience, because although Ms. Laforet’s work deserves nothing but praise and admiration, I suppose I have to go about things through roundabout r
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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
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Laura
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.
Oliver Twist & Shout
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
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Jay
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
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
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Ted Mooney
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
Bruce
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
Zadaver
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
Vane
English:

Andrea goes to Barcelona with the desire to study literature at university. There, she lives with some relatives: Her grandmother, aunts and uncles, her baby cousin, the maid and 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 Wuthering Heights, but do not resemble in anything, only in the following:

The depressing and dark atmosphere:

Calle Aribau, Ba
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Andrei
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.
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
Mark
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
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Irs
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
Kerry
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
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モンキー・D・ルフィ
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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Julia Boechat Machado
Em Nada, a jovem Andrea chega à Barcelona para estudar Letras, logo após o fim da Guerra Civil. Já foi notado que o livro não possui muitas referências à Guerra, mas a casa de sua família é marcada pelas suas conseqüências. Os membros de sua família são pessoas famintas, violentas, meio enlouquecidas, sujas, pessoas que despertam um misto de fascinação e repulsa. A Barcelona que ela conhece com eles tem as mesmas características, e é uma cidade oprimente, a Barcelona em que senhoritas não podem ...more
Gurldoggie
A sad and beautiful coming-of-age novel from 1945 in which a girl, orphaned by the Spanish Civil War, travels from the country to live with her relatives in Barcelona. The luxurious house she remembers from her childhood has been reduced to a dark and dusty prison populated by her odd and unpredictable family, physically and psychologically devastated by the war. It would read like a gothic horror story if the details weren't so beautifully observed and historically accurate. "Cities, my child, ...more
Featherbooks
Laforet's novel of post-Civil War Spain is as fresh and as compelling as it was when it won the Premio Nadal in 1944. Her main character, 18-year-old Andrea, exemplifies the romance, optimism and utter despair of being a teenager, starting off in college, housed with a half-crazed, impoverished family on the Calle de Aribau. Analogies to the economic and desperation in Spain after the war are inevitable, but the story rings with the truth of "having not" amongst classmates who have plenty and th ...more
Valerie
Esta novela, aunque no sea de la talla de los clásicos, me pareció magistral. Carmen Laforet pudo transponer el ambientr asfixiante y decadente de la España de posguerra en esta novela tan llana, tan dulce y a la vez tan compleja, si se mira bien a sus personajes.

Me encanta esta novela porque no es pretenciosa, aunque tampoco posee un estilo o una prosa tan extraordinaria. De hecho, creo que su mayor acierto yace en el trato que le dio al ambiente de la época y a los personajes a los cuales no d
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Bob
Mar 16, 2014 Bob rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heather Pehnec
Recommended to Bob by: Tiffany Duck
Shelves: family
Written when the author was in her early twenties, Nada is a coming-of-age story set in Barcelona just after the Civil War. Though it uses most of the stereotypical features of the genre (an orphan in an unfamiliar setting, action reflecting the seasons over the course of a single year, dark family secrets, a mysteriously precocious friend,) they are handled with such artful simplicity that the book is a complete delight. It is often compared to Wuthering Heights, but it most reminded me of Gab ...more
Ariadna73
¡Cuánta hambre sufre esta protagonista! Días y días sin comer, sin probar bocado y teniendo que estudiar y llevar una vida normal. Pero cuando le llegaba la mesada, en lugar de comprar comida, compraba regalos para sus amigos. Es un retrato de lo que nos sucede ahora: cuánta necesidad tenemos de tantas cosas (hambre), pero cuando tenemos tiempo, lo invertimos en tratar de gustarle a los demás.
Deodand
I just couldn't get into this one. I think I'm missing the necessary context to understand the plot, as there is quite a lot left unsaid that a more experienced writer would have blended into the story. I find the characters are quite homogeneous and the protagonist is transparent. So I'm setting it aside.
Laura
Jun 01, 2014 Laura added it
Shelves: 2014
i'm not sure whether i loved this or feel indifferent abt it, so i'll hold off on a rating.. but it's definitely a book that leaves a lot unsaid but just makes you think abt sO MUCH?? reading this felt like someone was telling me a secret, quiet and simple but enticing, lmao so i wanted to know what was going to happen next, but it's definitely different from page turners you usually think of.. i loved andrea tho, i felt like i related sooo much to her and i just wanted her to have a healthy saf ...more
Júlia
"Me gustan las gentes que ven la vida con ojos distintos que los demás, que consideran las cosas de otro modo que la mayoría… Quizá me ocurra esto porque he vivido siempre con seres demasiado normales y satisfechos de ellos mismos… Estoy segura de que mi padre y mis hermanos tienen la certeza de su utilidad indiscutible en este mundo, que saben en todo momento lo que quieren hacer, lo que les parece mal y lo que les parece bien… y que han sufrido muy poca angustia ante ningún hecho […] Me gusta ...more
Joanne
Just could not get into this book, after 70 pages in, I just did not care enough to continue. This book has been credited as one of the best books of the 20th century, but this one unfortunately was not for me.
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Aiossa's 12/13 Se...: zachai ocana 1/24 1 6 Jan 24, 2013 01:45PM  
  • El cuarto de atrás
  • Los pazos de Ulloa
  • Tiempo de silencio
  • Marks of Identity
  • Primera memoria
  • La Regenta
  • La colmena
  • El árbol de la ciencia
  • El camino
  • The Time of the Doves
  • Réquiem por un campesino español
  • Misericordia
  • Pepita Jiménez
  • Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino
  • Historia de la vida del Buscón
  • Últimas tardes con Teresa
  • Luces de bohemia: Esperpento
  • El Jarama
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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.
More about Carmen Laforet...
La mujer nueva La insolación La isla y los demonios Al volver la esquina La Llamada

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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 congoje fue para mí lo único real en aquellos momentos.” 20 likes
“¿Quién puede entender los mil hilos que unen las almas de los hombres y el alcance de sus palabras?” 10 likes
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