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

The Maias

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  15,114 ratings  ·  442 reviews
Carlos is the grandson of Afonso da Maia, the last surviving member of one of Lisbon’s wealthiest and most illustrious families. Carlos is good, handsome, clever, eager to contribute something to society, and yet he appears, as he himself puts it, 'to be one of those weak hearts, soft and flaccid, incapable of preserving any true emotion'. Then, one day, walking along Lisb ...more
Paperback, 714 pages
Published March 14th 2007 by Dedalus (first published 1888)
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 Maias, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Maias

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,114 ratings  ·  442 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Francisco
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is hard to believe that I've lived this long without reading this classic of Portuguese literature. I don't understand. How can a so called semi-educated person like me go through almost a whole life time not knowing of this book's existence? There are some great reviews of this book here in Goodreads that I would urge you to read to find out what the book is about. What I want to do here is simply say that this book should be read the way Don Quixote or Madame Bovary or War and Peace or any ...more
David
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book! I can honestly say that I enjoyed it cover to cover. I can see why this is a classic in Portuguese literature. Sadly I had never heard of the book nor the author until my GR Portuguese friends’ recommended it. Muito obrigado!

Eça de Queirós has been compared to the Portuguese version of Gustave Flaubert. On many levels I can see why. His book tells tells the story of three generations of Lisbon family, and paints a vivid image of the wealthier side of the city around 1875. Like in Fl
...more
Luís C.
The action of Os Maias happens in Lisbon, in the second half of the 19th century. Tell us the story of three generations of the Maia family. The action begins in the autumn of 1875, at which time Afonso da Maia, noble and wealthy owner, settled in Ramalhete. His only child Pedro da Maia, of weak character, resulting from an extremely religious and protectionist education, marries, against the will of the father, with the negress Maria Monforte, of whom she has two children. A boy and a girl. But ...more
Phillip Kay
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
José Maria de Eça de Queiroz (1845-1900) is considered Portugal's greatest novelist, and The Maias (1888) his greatest novel. Other books by de Queiroz are The Sins of Father Amaro (1876) and The Illustrious House of Ramires.

In a long book (over 600 pages) no detail is forgotten, and a convincing picture of mid 19th century Lisbon is built up. The characters all ring true: I felt I knew them well. The dozens of central characters are all alive, real people with faults, somehow lovable - Eça de
...more
Nick
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "The Maias", Eca de Quieros takes on that familiar European theme, the decline of the Great Family, which is, for example, rendered with great seriousness by Thomas Mann in "Buddenbrooks" and withering scorn by Joseph Roth in "The Radetzky March." Eca de Quieros preceded both Mann and Roth, but like them he sees in that familial disintegration a microcosm of a diseased society, and his vision is even more jaundiced than Roth's. "The Maias" suffers from several of the unpleasant habits of nine ...more
Czarny Pies
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Anthony Trollope or George Eliot
Shelves: portuguese-lit
The Maias is recognized as a great masterpiece of late nineteenth century Portugal. It describes the political, philosophical, and moral debates prevalent in the aristocracy and bourgeoisie of Portugal in the era in a way very similar to that in which George Eliot examines the same debates in late nineteenth century England in Middlemarch. I give George Eliot five stars because I am familiar enough with nineteenth century England that I feel competent to evaluate Ms. Eliot's judgement in these a ...more
Harry Rutherford
May 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Maias, by Eça de Queiroz/de Queirós, is a proper doorstop of a C19th novel, over 700 pages long. It’s late C19th, though, 1888. I was trying to think of apt comparisons, and none of them seemed exactly right, but it’s much more George Eliot or Tolstoy than Dickens. Or even early C20th novelists like Forster or Proust. Though the Proust comparison is not so much to do with style as subject matter: the romantic entanglements of wealthy, mildly bohemian society types.

Among the themes running th
...more
Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and


I've read the book so many years ago; I think I was in 10th grade, but I reckon he was one the best scribblers of Portuguese. Of that writ quality I've found no more, until today. None like him. The idea of incest was difficult to grapple with, at that time.


The Proust of Portugal
by James Guida
in: http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/05/...

(view spoiler)
...more
Luciana
This was the second time I read this book, and it felt just as good as in the first time. Yes, it's slow paced. Yes, it's about the upper classes, and I truly don't understand why this is sometimes a complaint. Eça de Queirós, as it is to be expected from the author who introduced Realism in Portugal, is extremely critical of the society he writes about. In his books, if anything looks too perfect to be true, well, it probably is. Nothing is sacred: romantism, religion, position, money, politics ...more
Catia Rodrigues
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I absolutely loved this book. I have read it before when I was 17 and taking my first steps into Portuguese literature, as this was one of those recommended/mandatory readings.
I have decided to reread some specific parts to draw some inspiration from Eça's amazing description skills but I just couldn't help myself. This book is brilliantly written! And despite his length and its reputation of being 'boring' or 'too descriptive' (which I highly dispute), I got so caught up in the story (again!) t
...more
Neida
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-general
It was long, long ago that I had to read this book, when I was a teenager. It is a pity that I didn't get to discover it when I was old enough to appreciate it. An absolutely delicious and shocking story that I did not appreciate at 16, just because it was compulsory reading for me in high school in Portugal in the mid 70s. A few years later I did get it!! I'm sure there are plenty of translations. It's the Anna Karenina of Portuguese literature. Read it. It is damn good!!! I re-read it when I h ...more
Cat
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the best books of Portuguese literature. And a very funny one, too.
Ruben
DNF at 38%
Lost interest.
Mariana
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes social criticism in particular, and a great, wit-filled story in general.
Welcome to Portuguese 19th century society! Sit back and enjoy a throughly well written, critical, satirical, humoristic and surprisingly actual view of its virtues and flaws, its characters and habits, its morals and ideas - all by the hand (or should I say pen?) of the most extraordinary of Portuguese novelists and Realistic writers.

The Maias tells the story of a family - from Afonso da Maia (the great patriarch) to his son Pedro (who loves greatly and tragically) to Pedro's son, Carlos da Mai
...more
Joaquim Silva
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If not for the portuguese lessons' program, I would probably not read this book, at least in the near future, and what a great loss it would be. Although many colleagues and friends, and even my elder sister, told me that "Os Maias" is not an interesting book, specially the beginning, I completely disagree.
Reading throughout the book, I was amazed a lot of times by Eça's writing and how well he described late 19th century's Portugal society with all it's problems and qualities from his point of
...more
Katherine
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a friend keeps recommending jose saramago to me. i don't think i'm smart enough for saramago but saramago calls this dude portugal's greatest novelist - so i think it's a worthy replacement for saramago.

the nyt review makes this novel sound like something of a socially conscious bodice-ripper, which appeals to me.

UPDATE: i didn't find this book to be terrible socially conscious, but it was conscious (and critical) of Polite Society. there is a definite kinship between wharton's most scathing com
...more
Bronwen
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weighing in at 628 pages, this is a book that begins to hurt one’s pinky when tries to prop it up in bed. But one does not let this stop her.

Published in 1888, The Maias is a sweeping multi-generation stretching saga not unlike that of the Forsytes, but in Portugal. Young men in fine boots discuss art over roast game birds. A woman with pale plump arms wear an ear of corn in her hair at the theater (I’d like to see someone pull that off). A tragic secret seems too obvious to be true, and you are
...more
Rob Stainton
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
This is obviously a grand work of 19th Century literature. I get the comparisons with Tolstoy and Dickens. But the book is three times as long as it should be: it wasn't until p. 182 that something interesting happened. That makes it very sssssllllloooowwww.

War and Peace is long. Great Expectations is long. But both are gripping. This wasn't.

Had I a life expectancy of, say, 1000 years, I'd have time to read this and the hundreds of other equally worthy but more interesting books. With only abou
...more
Bruna
I must admit that I felt intimidated by this book at first. In part because of its chunkiness but also because it is a mandatory read in school. I felt a bit forced to read this and at first that kind of put me off. But, I gained some courage and dived. And oh my god, I loved it. Yes it is a big book and sometimes it was quite boring due to its extremely detailed writting but it was definately worth it to fight trough those parts. Incredibly well written and, even though it adresses a heavy topi ...more
my name is corey irl
this is apparently required reading for portugess students. which prolly says a lot abt "the portuguese experience" on account of it being a big ass 19cent epic where none of the characters do anything except sleep with each others wives and complain about how shitty it is to be portuguese. also theres the funny scene where the widower pretends he doesnt know the fat spanish prostitute hes seeing an then this other dude imparts the secret to successfully dating spanish babes (its to beat the shi ...more
Laura
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...a little bit boring so far? but worth finding out what the portuguese version of the 19th century novel is like....


ok, i totally take it back! not boring at all. i think at first, i found it hard to reconcile the two prevailing tones in which the book is written: Votairian irony and a kind of light romanticism. it turns out to be really beautiful and affecting in the end. it really scratched my 19th century novel itch.
Maria Carmo
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
An emblematic romance by Eça, it shows how society's rules and the secrecy that veiled most "affairs" in the time of "Victorian" morals may end up in a shocking discovery...
Marvelously written, a picture of society and culture, a study into the psychology of a certain time frame...

Maria Carmo.
Jackson Cyril
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest novels of the 19th century, to be sure, but also one of the dullest. Queiros reminds me of the late George Eliot, a great attention to detail, keen powers of observation and superb psychological insight.
Inês
it took me 9 months to read this book... but i FINALLY did it !!
Gui
May 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Please stab me in the eyes
Cláudia
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well I mean I was forced to read it and I got spoiled on the first class we discussed this but anyway
Julie Rylie
Eça de Queirós is a genious and he knows how to use sarcasm in an inteligent and witty way to criticize society.
Inês
Sep 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
ALELUIA (I finished this a week ago, but the relief is still working its effects on me)
Kobe Bryant
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those old timey books about rich guys having affairs and going to places like a race track or some villa
Catarina
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to reevaluate this book. It felt a bit unfair to give it only 4 stars, when I've loved it so much. 5 stars it is!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
GBE_2019: Impossível não adorar! 1 7 Mar 04, 2019 11:31AM  
2017 Reading Chal...: Exquisite Cheese Pastries That Crumble Into Nothing 1 18 Jun 07, 2015 07:54PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • As Pupilas do Senhor Reitor
  • Mensagem - Poemas Esotéricos
  • A Queda dum Anjo
  • The Lusiads
  • Eurico, O Presbítero
  • A Menina do Mar
  • Aparição
  • Equator
  • Baltasar and Blimunda
  • Sonetos
  • Auto da Barca do Inferno
  • Contos Da Montanha
  • Rosa, Minha Irmã Rosa
  • A Filha do Capitão
  • Esteiros
  • Aventuras de João Sem Medo: Panfleto Mágico em Forma de Romance
See similar books…
788 followers
José Maria Eça de Queirós was a novelist committed to social reform who introduced Naturalism and Realism to Portugal. He is often considered to be the greatest Portuguese novelist, certainly the leading 19th-century Portuguese novelist whose fame was international. The son of a prominent magistrate, Eça de Queiroz spent his early years with relatives and was sent to boarding school at the age of ...more
“- Falhamos a vida, menino!
- Creio que sim... Mas todo o mundo mais ou menos a falha. Isto é, falha-se sempre na realidade aquela vida que se planeou com a imaginação. Diz-se: «vou ser assim, porque a beleza está em ser assim». E nunca se é assim, é-se invariavelmente assado, como dizia o pobre marquês. Ás vezes melhor, mas sempre diferente.”
109 likes
“É extraordinário! Neste abençoado país todos os políticos têm «imenso talento». A oposição confessa sempre que os ministros, que ela cobre de injúrias, tem, à parte os disparates que fazem, um «talento de primeira ordem»! Por outro lado a maioria admite que a oposição, a quem ela contantemente recrimina pelos disparates que fez, está cheia de «robustíssimos talentos»! De resto todo o mundo concorda que o país é uma choldra. E resulta portanto este facto supracómico: um país governado «com imenso talento», que é de todos na Europa, segundo o consenso unânime, o mais estùpidamente governado! Eu proponho isto, a ver: que, como os talentos sempre falham, se experimentem uma vez os imbecis!” 61 likes
More quotes…