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The House of the Spirits

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  112,010 ratings  ·  3,837 reviews
In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherwor ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published 1982)
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Jena Hemsworth I think it depends more on the maturity of the person and the cultural background. I had to read this for my A level Spanish exam. So, given the fact…moreI think it depends more on the maturity of the person and the cultural background. I had to read this for my A level Spanish exam. So, given the fact that Cambridge sets out the reading list I would think it appropriate for a teenager. However, I wouldn't recommend it to someone younger than 16, due to some scenes that are rather violent or inappropriate.(less)
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Best Books Ever
257th out of 39,404 books — 146,798 voters
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe House of the Spirits by Isabel AllendeLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
Favorite Magical Realism Novels
3rd out of 828 books — 3,744 voters

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez comparisons aside, it's hard to review this book without references to the magical realism and the narrative styles of Latin America.

I truly believe that anyone not familiar with the above mentioned, would likely be a bit thrown, even put off by these influences. Still, this is a brilliantly written story, epic in its truest sense. Covering four generations of women (with a man as the common thread between them), it races through the simplicity of the old world into the c

Esteban, Trueba,
how does your childhood grow?
With fear and guilt and such hard work
and a love that leaves you low.
In thoughts of grief and thoughts of rage,
and a slump of of broken land,
you will rape your heart out, Esteban,
set life to your demand.

Clara, Clara, clairvoyant,
how does your marriage keep?
With magic silent and so near,
to where your children sleep.
When tragedy has struck your home,
and the bull is in the shop,
reality will find you there,
your disengagement stop.

Humans, humans, high
Emily May
When I was a kid, me and my brother used to spend most weekends at our grandparents house. And most of those weekends we would watch one of the same two movies on the good ol' VCR: Steel Magnolias and The House of the Spirits. No one seems to know the latter movie when I mention it, but it starred a bunch of impressive names: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Antonio Banderas and Winona Ryder. My memory might be painting a better picture than the truth, but me and my brother LOVED the mov ...more
Huda Yahya

جولة لا تُنسى في بيت الأرواح
هذه رواية تنطق بقداسة الأنثى
تمجد السحر الأنثوي البراق
تحكي تاريخ الدولة الأنثى
أو الأنثى الدولة
أرض الجنيات والساحرات وعرائس البحر

هذه رواية السنوات البحرية المحفوظة في ذاكرة وراثية لا تضيع أبدا
بل تنزلق بلطف عبر الأجيال النسوية الرحبة الصدور والطيبة كعجينة تراب من رحم الأرض خصبة وشغوفة

والشغف يكاد يصرخ متخطيا حدود العقل فيما سطرت إيزابيل بتاريخ عرق عائلتها النصف مخبولة والمعجونة بالسحر
أو فلنقل
تاريخ إنساني سطرته الأرواح الشفافة

وهي من ذلك ا
2.5 stars, actually. (Still waiting for Goodreads to give me that half-star option.) Let's be honest, Isabel Allende is chick lit that you're not embarrassed to read on the Metro. It's got just enough faux-Garcia-Marquez, magical-realism-lite charm to fool people into thinking it's moderately intellectual. I don't have a big problem with that (as long as people realize what's going on) because Allende is a fine storyteller. This novel, her first and most famous, is a fairly traditional family sa ...more
haha, so my sophomore honors english teacher decided he wanted to read a book with us for the first time, so he asked our department head to recommend a book. we all died, because mr. wells could not deal with talking about sex, and mr. hackling knew this, and he assigned this book. i mean, a couple of pages in, there's all this graphic rape in the fields going on! and then there's the creepy ass count . . .

i really loved the book though. it's layered, it's complex, it's beautiful. the imagery
Lamski Kikita
Allende's first and best work of art. The story of three generations of Trueba women that tells the history of a nation.

During the first 10 pages I was thinking to myself that there is way too much similarity on so many levels to One Hundred Years of Solitude, but why not, since it's the bible of Latin American magical realism?

In addition to Clara, the second Del Valle daughter who forsaw the future, communicated with spirits, and moved objects without touching them, and Blanca, her daughter w
The House of the Spirits has a lot of aspects I normally wouldn't even consider reading about, and I only started reading this book because it is a famous classic that's been recommended to me several times before. I usually don't like historical fiction set in a modern period, and I am very skeptical towards the concept of a 'family saga', which is the major theme here. Nevertheless, rating this anything lower than five stars would be a great injustice to one of the absolute best books ever wri ...more
Chiara Pagliochini
« Ogni tanto ho la sensazione che questo l’ho già vissuto e che ho già scritto queste stesse parole, ma capisco che non sono io, bensì un’altra donna, che aveva preso appunti sui quaderni affinché io me ne servissi. Scrivo, lei ha scritto, che la memoria è fragile e il corso di una vita è molto breve e tutto avviene così in fretta, che non riusciamo a vedere il rapporto tra gli eventi, non possiamo misurare le conseguenze delle azioni, crediamo nella finzione del tempo, nel presente, nel passato ...more
May 10, 2008 Nian rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
I really wish I could say this is an amazing book, worthy of so much thoughtful praises, etc., but that would just be a lie. Given how much I enjoy good writing—and this book definitely has it all, like a beautifully crafted essay that speaks with prominent characters and conflicts between generations of families—it’s kind of weird for me to say this book is just okay. I mean, the only thing I like from this entire book is the language: the metaphors, descriptions, the lines that sound so poetic ...more
Feb 05, 2008 Garrett rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Garrett by: Cassie
Wow, what a remarkable novel. All over the book's jacket and in online reviews you'll find comparisons to Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude--rightfully so, I think. Both novels span decades and generations of families and are written in the magical realism style.
I can't say that I loved 100 Years of Solitude, but The House of the Spirits is certainly the best book I've read this year, my favorite book I've read this year.
I loved each character, particularly the women whose lives are the subject of
I have a really hard time getting into magic realism, I'm more of a realism-realism kind of gal myself, so I was surprised when I started semi getting into this. Although, characteristically, I got more into the less magic/more realistic parts of the novel. I think this book wants to be some type of a feminist novel, but it falls short in so many ways. Now, I am not the type of feminist who goes out looking for feminist novels (big Roth fan here, actually) but I do have a problem with anything t ...more
This book gave me insomnia when I was reading it, I was so unsettled and fascinated by it. The setting is beautiful and dramatic and the atmosphere is magical. The politics are horrible, typical Latin American stuff, and Allende should know, as a close relative of the murdered socialist Chilean president, Salvador Allende.
It's an incredible family saga, a powerful history of characters plagued by their own, I guess, characters. You hate some and you admire some, still, they are all interesting
Hemdan Ahmed
" ليس ثمة أفضل من رواية لجعل الناس يفهمون أن الواقع مصنوع بطريقة رديئة ، و أنه غير كاف لإشباع الرغبات و الشهوات و الأحلان الانسانية "
ماريو فارغاس يوسا #

و بما اننا أُُمة أصابها العمى و فقدنا القدرة تماما على التمييز فربما قراءة الروايات التي تتحدث عن واقع مماثل و شبيه بواقعنا تجعلنا ندرك حجم البؤس و الشقاء الذي نحيا فيه ، و خاصة انه ليس لدينا من الأدباء و الكُتاب ما يُعبر عن هذا الواقع ،
كلامي هنا خاص بتأريخ الإنقلاب العسكري في شيلي 1973 و التي خلدت ذكرى أحداثه و ابطاله هنا في هذه الرواية ايزابيل
I've not read much in the area of magical realism (except for my aborted attempt to read Borges' Ficciones). This was a much more successful reading experience I believe because it was grounded in an historical time/experience that interests me: the coming to power of the Socialist government of Salvador Allende and it's eventual overthrow by coup.

My experience of the book seems to have been opposite some others from what I have seen in some reviews. While I found the first half to be OK with so
Robert Beveridge
Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits (Knopf, 1985)

The House of the Spirits has set a new record at Goat Central. I have been trying to read this book for three years. Three solid years (well, just shy. Another two weeks and I would have made the anniversary). Why did I keep trying? Because when I'm actually reading it, it's not half bad. But every time I put it down, there is nothing, not a single thing, about it that makes me want to pick it up again. So I'll end up going six to eight month
3.5! Me gusto bastante, pero no es mi favorito de Allende. Reí y llore con este libro.
Mi ricordo pensai, quando lessi questo romanzo:"è nata una grande scrittrice!"...e purtroppo mi dovetti ricredere.
Premessa strana questa per arrivare a dire che tra i dieci romanzi che mi porterei sulla Luna, il giorno che dovesse capitarmi di andare, metterei anche lui a pieno titolo, che i romanzi che rimangono nel cuore non sono molti.
Ricordo anche un bellissimo film tratto da questo romanzo.
mai ahmd

من عشق مئة عام من العزلة ربما سيستاء من هذه الرواية لليندي
وهل يمكن أن نحب الروايتين معا !
عني لم استطع حقيقة فالأصل يبقى دائما له ذلك البريق الذي حمل الدهشة تلو الأخرى
الليندي لم تتأثر فقط ولكن الرواية نسخة مقلدة لرواية العظيم ماركيز العمل الذي فاز على إثره بنوبل وترجم إلى لغات عديدة وتوج به بطلا روائيا
لو ذهبت إلى عزلة ماركيز لوجدت قرية ماكوندو الخيالية بينما في أرواح الليندي تحولت للماريات الثلاث .. ماركيز كتب على مدار ستة أجيال أو ثمانية لا أتذكر بينما كتبت الليندي على مدار أربعة أجيال أغلب ش
The family saga of a South American family that starts with the rags to riches man, Esteban Trueba (a kind of villain throughout the book, actually), who is an old man taking a look at his life, and part of the narration is taken from his journals. In the beginning, Esteban falls in love with one of the beautiful, green-haired del Valle daughters, Rosa.

"Rosa had no other wooers. Her mother explained it to me this way: she said that no one felt strong enough to spend his life protecting her from
!!! ملحمه
هذه الروايه ملحمه القرن العشرين
هناك الكثيرون شبهوها بمئه عام من العزله
!لا أعرف لماذا
فالروايه تتبع أسلوب مدرسه الواقعيه السحريه
التي أنتشرت وأشتهرت بها أمريكا اللاتينه لا أكثر
ولأن القارئ العربي أكثره قد قرأ لماركيز
فقد ظنوا بها التقليد
لا علينا فلنعود
!!! ملحمه
هذه الروايه ملحمه القرن العشرين
عبقريه الليندي أكتسبتها من الظروف الصعبه
التي مرت بها بحياتها
والذي يقرأ سيرتها الذاتيه سيجدها مشابهه
جدا ً لروايتها وقصصها فلا عجب
فالكاتب يروي نفسه كثيرا ً وهو مرآه نفسه
هذه الروايه كتبتها الليندي بالم
Comincia così: Barrabás arrivò in famiglia per via mare...

Quattro, cinque, dieci stellette.
La casa degli spiriti è uno di quei libri che ti scavano dentro solchi come aratri, che ti ustionano come il calore delle abbronzate terre sudamericane, che ti fucilano con le armi delle loro rivoluzioni, che ti accolgono tra le gambe come le loro donne passionali. E’ quel libro per cui, per quante parole possa scrivere, resteranno comunque insufficienti e inadeguate

Nivea, Clara, Blanca, Alba: un mosaico d
I read this novel in Spanish, La casa de los espiritus.

This is the first of many novels written by the prolific Chilean author Isabel Allende, and it has often been judged to be among her finest. Assigned by many to the literary genre of magical realism, it does remind one in some ways to the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa, but it also differs from them in important ways. Autobiographically based, the novel is more reminiscent of this genre in its first half than at the e
Mike (the Paladin)
This is an excellently written book and had I gone strictly by quality of writing and story I might have gone to all the way to five stars. However it's not really the type of story I look for and really enjoy so had I one with personal likes all the way it would probably have been a a four.

Let me first explain. I'm not typically a reader of what would be called the "coming of age" tale or the "family saga". This is both as we follow the story of the del Valle family through a success
one of the best I have read to Isabel Allende....
i like the spiritual sides in Clara character.....
beauty and sensitivity of Rosa...
and Jaime loneliness......
Allie Whiteley
Brilliant family saga. Well written with great characters and an interesting (if occasionally upsetting) plot line. I found it mesmerising.
I don't really get magical realism. I think my brain just doesn't function in the necessary way to really appreciate them, or I could be prejudiced against them from the utter loathing and disgust that I felt while reading Beloved, which in my opinion is one of the worst books ever. Get all your hissing and booing out of your system now, I'll wait. :)

There. Feel better? Good.

I would probably have never picked up this book on my own, but a friend chose it as her book in a chain-swap, so I read i
Mashael Alamri

بكرسيّ طائر واتصالات في عالم الأرواح بقية كلارا الحبيبة بالقرب من ترويبا الشيخ الذي تحول تاجه للبياض و قامته للهرم والحزن متكور داخله بعد فقد من أحبها بفعل صفعة , الحنين المنتقل بالأوراق بين الزوجين و الحب الذي يلقي بالفتيات في مواجهة المصائب بقلب قوي و عاطفة جارفة تتبادل القبل على خلفية خوف وفي وسط الثورة , الحياة بجانب من نحب تستحق المجازفة بما تبقى من أعمارنا . من قال أن الحب يضيع وأن هناك شيء يسمى : " فات الأوان" في قاموس العشاق؟ . في الجزء الثالث بعد: "ابنة الحظ"و"صورة عتيقة" تكتب بها إزا
"Barrabas came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate caligraphy. She was already in the habit of writing down important matters, and afterward, when she was mute, she also recorded trivialities, never suspecting that fifty years later I would use her notebooks to reclaim the past and overcome terrors of my own."

I could be a literary snot and make unfair One Hundred Years of Solitude comparisons, but I'm not going to because holy crap this book was amazing. Magical, creepy, violent,
Yo creo que un buen libro es el que te hace sentir muchas emociones, al igual que cuando sentimos cosas que nunca vivimos, pero están tan bien usadas las palabras que es como si las hubiéramos vivido en carne propia. Y este definitivamente es uno de esos buenos libros.

La historia de estas tres generaciones de mujeres es tan interesante, tan llena de sufrimiento y dolor, y a la vez de una felicidad enorme. Sufren de variados abusos y penas, pero son tan fuertes que los terminan sobrepasando a su
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MHS AP English IV 2 10 Jun 10, 2015 09:59PM  
Brain Soup Goes G...: Warning: Spoilers! 6 22 Jun 01, 2015 12:04PM  
Brain Soup Goes G...: Thoughts on Translation 3 23 May 28, 2015 10:11AM  
Brain Soup Goes G...: General Discussion (No Spoilers!) 2 20 May 28, 2015 09:44AM  
A Million More Pages: The House of Spirits: Apr 13 4 7 Apr 19, 2015 01:03PM  
Eclectic Readers: The House of the Spirits 4 13 Apr 03, 2015 08:17AM  
En Español, Please!: La Casa de los Espíritus - (Febrero 2015) 6 23 Feb 24, 2015 05:35AM  
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Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean-American novelist. Allende, who writes in the "magic realism" tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America. She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at s ...more
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“You can't find someone who doesn't want to be found.” 232 likes
“This is to assuage our conscience, darling" she would explain to Blanca. "But it doesn't help the poor. They don't need charity; they need justice.” 105 likes
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