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Learning to Lose

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3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  553 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
It is Sylvia’s sixteenth birthday, and her life as an adult is about to begin—not with the party she had been planning, but with a car accident and a broken leg. Behind the wheel is a talented young soccer player, just arrived from Buenos Aires and set for stardom on and off the field. As their destinies collide and a young romance is set in motion, across town, Sylvia’s f ...more
Paperback, 579 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Other Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 985)
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Ana
Aug 09, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Isto é desejo?
O desejo funciona como o vento. Sem esforço aparente.
Se encontrar as velas espraiadas arrastar-nos-á a uma velocidade vertiginosa.
Se as portas e as portadas estiverem fechadas, baterá durante algum tempo em busca de gretas ou de ranhuras que lhe permitam infiltrar-se.
O desejo associado a um objeto de desejo condena-nos a ele. Mas existe outra forma de desejo, abstrata, desconcertante, que nos envolve como um estado de alma. Anuncia que estamos prontos para o desejo e, depois de de
...more
daniblues
Jun 16, 2013 daniblues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to daniblues by: Raúl Alonso, Oriol Gálvez
Una lectura deliciosa, resultado de una notable combinación de sensibilidad y cotidianidad. Es de esos libros con los que me dan ganas de salir, hacerme con todos los ejemplares que pueda y regalárselo a todo aquel al que le tenga el más mínimo atisbo de aprecio.

A pesar de que sus dos primeros intentos construidos sobre la comedia, que humildemente yo considero fallidos, siempre he defendido que Trueba tiene la capacidad y el talento para regalarnos una Gran Obra. Al menos una. Nos la debe. Pued
...more
Ivan
Sep 16, 2013 Ivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saber Perder
David Trueba

“El deseo trabaja como el viento. Sin esfuerzo aparente.”

¿Qué pudiera unir las historias de un joven futbolista en ascenso, un retirado maestro de piano, una chica con 16 años recién cumplidos y un hombre de mediana edad en medio de una crisis laboral y un crimen? El autor de esta novela pareciera proponernos tres instancias: el deseo, el amor y el encuentro de uno mismo.

Saber perder es una novela llena de altibajos, tantos como la vida misma, que no deja de sorprender c
...more
Jasmine
Jul 14, 2010 Jasmine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spanish
This book is GENIUS. It NEEDS to live on TABLE!!!

I don't really know how to review this book, I feel like I may love it far too much to actually say anything coherent about it.

I made a comment earlier about how this book was for me what twilight was for Karen. Although likely better written but being in translation makes that comparison a bit tougher than I would like. What I meant was Karen talked about twilight being what it was like to be a 16 year old girl. I never really was that girl, I m
...more
Ogs
Dec 18, 2014 Ogs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¡¡¡Cinco estrellas como cinco soles!!!
Me duele separarme de él, de la vida real que transpira en cada página.
Me gustaron todos los personajes aunque me he pasado toda la lectura pensando en que los capítulos de Ariel no deberían existir como entidad propia. Es el personaje que más difícil me ha puesto el empatizar con él. Es extraño el cuadrado que forma: Sylvia, Lorenzo, Leandro y Ariel. Los tres primeros son tres generaciones de la misma familia y quizás podíamos haber tenido simplemente tres
...more
Pablo
Sep 05, 2012 Pablo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maravillosamenete escrito con un primer párrafo colosal:

“El deseo trabaja como el viento. Sin esfuerzo aparente. Si encuentra las velas extendidas nos arrastrará a velocidad de vértigo. Si las puertas y contraventanas están cerradas, golpeará durante un rato en busca de las grietas o ranuras que le permita filtrarse. El deseo asociado a un objeto de deseo nos condena a él. Pero hay otra forma de deseo, abstracta, desconcertante, que nos envuelve como un estado de ánimo. Anuncia que estamos listo
...more
Nacho
Por primera vez Trueba abandona la comedia y sale del paso con nota. Comprende bien a sus personajes, los humaniza con defectos con los que no cuesta empatizar y sabe imprimir un ritmo bastante vivo al relato. Es recomendable y alimenta las esperanzas de que lo próximo que escriba el autor sea aún mejor.
Maya Rock
Mar 28, 2011 Maya Rock rated it it was amazing
I really did like this book. Here are some of my favorite lines.

Sometimes, when a teacher finishes an explanation and asks if anyone has any questions, Sylvia has a desire to raise her hand and say, yes, could you start all over again from the beginning? I mean from the very beginning, from birth because I don't understand a thing from any of these almost sixteen years I've been alive.

....but you know that taste is a form of memory, so you only appreciate what you know.

For years Leandro thought
...more
Liz
May 18, 2010 Liz rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
David Trueba is an intelligent, insightful writer. He brilliantly captures the lives of his characters, which include a sixteen year old girl, a twenty year old professional soccer player, a middle aged man, and his elderly father. His ability to capture the innermost thoughts and actions of such a diverse group of individuals in such detail and so honestly is remarkable. (Sylvia is one of the most mature, self-aware sixteen year olds I’ve encountered in fiction, but nonetheless is authentic and ...more
Rafa Moya
Aug 27, 2015 Rafa Moya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conocí a David Trueba por su última novela Blitz y estaba muy interesado en leer lo que parece su mejor novela. Saber Perder es una gran novela, emotiva, cercana. Me ha gustado mucho como la forma de utilizar los tiempos, en muchas ocasiones desarrolla una trama en presente para luego pasarse al pasado y esta estructura se repite varias veces.
Quizá utiliza mucho el tema del sexo para explicar demasiadas cosas. También me da la sensación de que hay demasiada narrativa de relleno. Creo que no es
...more
Bibi
Feb 20, 2013 Bibi rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all times. Trueba created characters with human flaws. Usually you'd question their actions and motives but they are written so well, that I was actually sad to let them go when it ended. An old man trying to come to term with his wife sickness, a teenage girl falling for an argentine football player, who feels disconnected from the city he lives in (Madrid), a father who committed a crime etc every story goes to the heart and in the end comes together. Trueba ...more
Steven Kay
Learning to Lose is the translated version of the Spanish Saber Perder. It is not a particularly uplifting read and at about a quarter of a million words (near to the length of Ulysses – about three times as long as your average modern novel) requires quite a lot of stamina. A case of never mind the quality feel the width – and presumably they try to justify the cost (7.99 for the Kindle book) by the length. A fat paper book might justify a higher price, because of higher print costs, but not a ...more
Emilio Hernández Martín
"Saber perder" es de esas novelas que llegan muy adentro, de las que te dejan la vista perdida cada vez que cierras el libro, de las que no tienen un final porque tratan sobre la vida con maravillosa sencillez. Es real, directa, entrañable, sin héroes, no cuenta una historia original ni especialmente atractiva pero está muy bien escrita y mantiene el interés constante hasta el final. Agridulce con momentos de buen humor pero con un tono general nostálgico y triste que se acentúa según avanza la ...more
Anita Pomerantz
Jan 31, 2016 Anita Pomerantz rated it really liked it
Learning to Lose focuses primarily on the relationship of a 16 year old girl with a professional soccer player, her father's relationship with a new love, and her grandfather's relationship with her grandmother. Sylvia, her father, and her grandfather all must confront loss in these relationships, and the book shows how loss can be handled in various circumstances.

This book gets kudos on several fronts - - its realistic portrayal of relationships, its incredible depiction of the male point of vi
...more
Mohammed
Dec 13, 2013 Mohammed rated it liked it
Learning to loose رواية اسبانيا لم اسمع عنها سوى عندما قرر جوارديولا ان يمنح لكل لاعب فى فريق برشلونة نسخة ومن الاخر ده اللى شدنى لمجرد انى بحب اعرف دماغ الناس.
اسرة مفككة بسبب زواج فاشل واب عاطل بسبب مشروع فاشل المفروض ينتج عنه ابنة سيلفيا ايضا فاشلة ولكن فى مرحلة التحول من طفل لفرد كامل يملك كل حقوقه وخياراته فى الحياة ممكن يحصل حاجات كثير بتكون واقفة على امكانيات الفرد بغض النظر عن الظروف المحيطة بيه.
فى الرواية مش المفروض تحكم على حد اذا كان الاب قاتل والام هربت من تحمل مسئولية المنزل بعد سنوا
...more
Mike
Feb 24, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
I was watching an interview with Keith Gessen (author of All the Sad Young Literary Men, also reviewed) the other day, and he was explaining his belief that “sad young literary men (and women)” are a legitimate group or sub-culture that deserves / should be considered and written about seriously. Before going into a brief lament about hipster culture, which he claims seeks false authenticity and denies their own identity through the use of irony, Gessen notes that many people wonder why they sho ...more
Claire Jennings
Mar 31, 2015 Claire Jennings rated it really liked it
Despite this being one of the strangest books I've read in a long time, I loved it. My favourite element was Sylvia, the 16 year old school girl, and the hot shot football player; a truly lovely love story. A lot of the reviews here are in Spanish so hard to read what else people are saying but the overall star rating makes me think that everyone loved it as much as I did. Well worth the picking it out from the charity shop shelf to give it a try.
María
¿Qué puedo decir? Este libro puede llegar a resultar un tanto perturbador y no se corta un pelo, creo que ha sido la franqueza lo que me ha gustado y el hecho de que la historia te resulta cercada y puedes meterte en ella. Reconozco que al final me he sentido muy triste. Os lo recomiendo.
RESEÑA
Imanol Epelde
Sep 13, 2014 Imanol Epelde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ikaragarria. Bizitza puska batzuen kontakizuna luze eta ondo emana. Egunerokotasuna ongi kontatua, detaile sinple eta adierazgarriekin. Jende arrunta da protagonista. Eta ez hain arrunta ere bada tartean. Madrilen.
Asko gustatu zait, Trueba. Batez ere, "Madrid, 1987" pelikula ikusi nuenetik. Artifiziorik gabeko pelikula. Sinplea. Gertukoa. Ederra. Gidoia ederrarekin: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1760980/

Saber perder. Galtzen jakitearen garrantziaz. Udan irakurri dut eta zalantzarik gabe, asko ask
...more
Adrián Paredes
Mar 30, 2015 Adrián Paredes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Otro de mis favoritos. No lo había podido conseguir en físico hasta que en enero al fin lo pude obtener.
Narrado desde la perspectiva de varios personajes. Nos deja una lección hermosa y realista sobre la vida, a pesar de la derrota siempre se puede salir adelante en cualquier circunstancia de la vida...
Martina Bergstrassenbahngipfel
very sympathic characters, even if they are up to no good you want to be their friend and keep reading about it. its a book that makes you understand the "loosers" and identify with this side of life, which makes for a better quality of life than the irealistic "winning" we are subjected to in many situations.. oh yes and the focus is a lot on sex, while exploring a lot of political and social themes of modern day life. Great book.
René
Mar 25, 2015 René rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara
Aug 26, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
My god I devoured this. I think it took me two days. Really well-written. I was surprised by how much I liked it.
Charlotte Tracy
Jan 06, 2016 Charlotte Tracy rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this book which is told from four characters' perspectives whose lives intertwine.
Esther van Nes
Er gebeurt niets. Tot de laatste 50 bladzijden, maar tegen die tijd was ik zo blij dat ik het boek bijna uit had dat ik me niet goed meer kon concentreren. Haastig heb ik het uitgelezen.

In het boek worden vier verhalen verteld welke bij elkaar komen. De verhalen van Leandro, Lorenzo, Sylvia en Ariel. Deze verhalen gaan over liefde, vriendschap, voetbal en vreemdgaan met prostituees en blijven oppervlakkig.

Ik heb me geërgerd aan de Nederlandse vertaling waarin fouten zaten en waarin de zinnen re
...more
Heather Noble
Jul 22, 2012 Heather Noble rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
I enjoyed this book but felt some scenes in the lives of the 4 main characters were just repeated for no particular purpose. I think it captured the atmosphere of domestic and more glamorous life styles in an evolving Spanish city and was exemplary in depicting lives and mistakes without judgement or prejudice.
The 16 year old who is the main focus of the book is incredibly mature and emotionally intelligent for her years but perhaps this is necessary for the author to communicate the ideas inher
...more
Rita
Dec 08, 2011 Rita rated it liked it
Takes place in contemporary Spain and the changes society there face. Interesting to
read a novel popular enough to make it into translation without being by a literary great. Although I am not a sports enthusiast one of the central characters is a soccer player and his year
in Spain as a soccer recruit from SA makes for interesting reading given how central
the sport is to Europe. The characters all seem almost casually true to life as they face their
own losses through one year of their lives.
Elsje
A grandfather, a father, a daughter and a football player are the main characters of this rather lengthy story about loss. Losing love, mainly. But also losing self-esteem. Although the story-line sounds interesting, and Trueba knows his way with words, the pace in which it is written, and the extreme amount of details made me lose interest. I finished reading the book because my IRL-reading group was talking about it. Not sure if I would have if it would have been just me reading it...
Chase
Feb 22, 2012 Chase rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beautifully written and translated from a Spanish author, this one tells of three generations of one family in Madrid as they all suffer from self-esteem issues and being beaten down by life. They each take risks in their personal lives that start out well, but inevitably backfire in the end. There are no big surprises here, but the journey of watching them "live and learn" is touching. The title is one of the most apt and insightful of anything I've read in awhile.
Raro de Concurso
Jun 04, 2012 Raro de Concurso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me es muy difícil contar algo sobre este libro, sin meterme en muchos detalles de la historia, así que intentaré salirme por la tangente.
Desde luego se ve un Trueba mucho más maduro y reflexivo, al menos comparado con sus anteriores libros. También algo más pesimista, de un pesimismo resignado y hasta bonito. También más observador, más consciente de la sociedad que le rodea. Y éso se refleja en un libro absorbente y rotundo. Para mi gusto, una pequeña obra maestra.
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David Rodríguez Trueba es un escritor, periodista, director de cine, guionista y actor español.
Es el hermano menor de una familia madrileña con ocho hijos, entre ellos el ganador del Óscar Fernando Trueba. Ingresó en el colegio a los siete años debido al afán de su madre por retenerlo. Desde pequeño adqurió el hábito de escribir con la máquina Lettera 35 que vendía su padre en su trabajo de venta
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“A veces, cuando algún profesor termina la explicación y pregunta si ha quedado alguna duda, Sylvia tiene ganas de levantar la mano y decir sí, ¿podría volver a empezar desde el principio?, pero desde el principio del principio, desde que nacemos, porque aún no he comprendido nada en estos casi dieciséis años de vida.” 6 likes
“Siente una especie de dolor en el pecho, intenso pero placentero. Es como si hubiera una herida, pero una herida leve, una marca en la piel que quieres acariciar, reconocer, disfrutarla por todo lo que significa para ti. Ahora que aún está, porque es posible que, pronto, desaparezca.” 4 likes
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