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El corazón helado

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,104 ratings  ·  181 reviews
El día de su muerte, Julio Carrión, poderoso hombre de negocios cuya fortuna se remonta a los años del franquismo, deja a sus hijos una sustanciosa herencia pero también muchos puntos oscuros de su pasado y de su experiencia en la Guerra Civil y en la División Azul. En su entierro, en febrero de 2005, su hijo Álvaro, el único que no ha querido dedicarse a los negocios fami ...more
Paperback, 933 pages
Published March 26th 2007 by TusQuets (first published 2007)
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,104 ratings  ·  181 reviews

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Paul Brannan
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
An epic story of love, lust, greed, terror and survival woven around the Spanish civil war and its aftermath. Grandes' plot explores the consequences for families on either side of the disastrous coup that saw the republic disintegrate in an orgy of killing and re-emerge as a Fascist regime. This is no dry history lesson, nor is it chicklit. The characters are carefully drawn and complex. Grandes captures brilliantly their fleeting thoughts, the dilemmas they face, and the consequences of their ...more
Cornelia Golna
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that requires a lot of effort on the part of the reader. It is almost three novels in one, maybe more. I think the author's aim was to write The Great Spanish Novel. She came close at times, but the novel is uneven and jumps from an exalted style in places to what I'd almost describe as chick-lit. She wanted to encompass everything, the Spanish civil war seen from both sides and the aftermath: the Franco period and the post-Franco era. There are many characters and it takes a whil ...more
Aug 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
May be it was a wrong translation but I could not get into the story even after more than 100 pages. There was a great potential in this story, important historical events and interesting characters but it did not work for me.
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in contemporary Spanish society; lovers of long novels
Shelves: fiction, kindle
Like The Wind from the East, this book took a long time to read, partly because it is long, and partly through lack of time to read. This added a layer of difficulty, because like The Wind From the East, the book jumps backwards and forwards in time and also between three generations of two families, from the 1920s to 2005. It's really difficult to keep track of who's who, especially as parents have a habit of calling their children after themselves -- so you have an Ignacio, a Julio, an Angelin ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
Hate to give it one star but after forcing my way through it...well, I didn't feel as sunny as Spain and the rain clearly does fall all the time on the plain.


How did anyone keep up with this?

The premise for the story is fantastico - past and present family saga with a cast of characters and some wrong-doing and parts of history we seldom read about. The parts in Madrid in the war are gripping.

But - there are so many characters and it hops and hops from one to another w
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The beauty about this novel for me was the insights into the psychology of post Franco Spain and the flashbacks to the civil war and the WW2 years. I do not know much about this country but having also read some of Orwell's work the book gave me greater insights into this chapter of European history. Because I have never stopped to think about the consequences of a split population down the Fascist /Communist lines and what this can do to families. Only once was I struck by a statement from a Sp ...more
Janet Panter
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a LONG book, which I only really started to enjoy reading about half way in. It may be that the paperback version has a family tree on the first page - if it hasn't, then it certainly should have. The ebook version did not. Also, no chapters to speak of and it took me a while to get used to the sudden changes in narrator and era mid-page. And of course the fact that in Spanish families first names get passed down from generation to generation adds to the general confusion. This is a powe ...more
Megalong Books
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kathie
A compelling family saga set in the Spanish Civil War and the present. Unputdownable.
- Kathie
Mercedes Manavella
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Great story, but too long
Jun 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a long read being 780 pages. That is what attracted me to it initially.
The premise of the story was good with historical facts about the country of Spain and
the political parties, communists and some about WWII. The story revolved around the intertwining of two different families over 3 generations with it being told in first person of grandson at the present time.
The thing that is always so disappointing to me is the sex and repeated use of the "f" word. It takes away from the story.
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh my ....
One of the best books I ever read... and I've read quite some...
It does take a bit to get into the story, as a foreign language reader, because it is very Spanish :-), very elaborate writing, not something we cold northern are used to. ( I am so going to be fined at the library...) But, if you can, you should totally read it in its original language and if not, please look for a copy in your language!
I'm definitely reading more of Almudena Grandes after this one. Went through differen
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mi libro preferido! Es muy lungo, pero no se debe dejar intimidar. Llena de intriga, misterio, guerra y (claro) amor. Es tambien muy complicado y a veces es dificil recordar quien es pariente de quien y como, pero todo esta claro al final. Lo recomiendo a todos.

My favorite book! It's really long, but you shouldn't let that intimidate you. It's full of intrigue, mystery, war, and (of course) love. It's also really complicated, and sometimes it's hard to remember who is related to who and how, but
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although very long, the pages turned easily and the characters in it were a part of my every day life. The destruction, grief, guilt, sorrow, fear, betrayal, exhilaration, happiness of all the characters involved were felt in a compassionate way through the words and history expressed by Grandes. An exceptional read that I would recommend for those who have time to delve into the lives of 2 families that are fatally connected!
Michelle Dahlke
My husband loved this book and convinced me to order it from the UK (no sellers in the US). I am having a very hard time following the back and forth of this one between past and present. I'm not sure if it's a translation issue or not since my husband read it in the original spanish and I'm reading the translated english version. I'm downgrading this to a 2 star but will soldier on and try to finish. Husband says it starts out very slow. I'm half way through and it's still painfully slow.
Bronagh Slevin
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Grandes uses the developing attraction between the two protagonists to draw you into the harsh realities of the Spanish civil war. It is hard to put down the unfolding narrative of families dividing or falling apart, betrayals and the ultimate deception involving the male protagonist's father which Grandes prepares you for with suggestive, repetitive phrases.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spain, fiction
Finally! I finished it. A good story, but terribly long-winded and convoluted. Perhaps that was the point. Perhaps it is easier to paper over the past than to delve into it and accept the consequences.
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It was one of the best books that I've read in the past few months. Moving, beautifully written. An amazing story that unfolds little by little, giving an insight on Spain's history of the past 50 years or so. I'm sad the book ended, but I'll carry it in my heart forever.
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
This is a thoroughly engaging book, well written and with a well thought out plot. It gives you a real glimpse of what the Spanish Civil War did to families and friends, and the effects on their lives, years later.
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic novel about past and current Spain pictures the many sides and facets of life, families and disaster during and after the Spanish Civil War, based on true historical facts. Painful must-read for people with Spanish roots.
Margot Kaye
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting mix of history, family drama, romance, and contemporary literature. I found the most unique feature of the book was the description of life in Spain and France during and following the Spanish civil war.
Nina Rossing
Detailed, complex, rich and intense - this book teaches you the painfully fine lines between loyalty, truth and treachery caused by the Spanish civil war, and its repercussions on the generations surviving it.
Sep 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Awful. Abandoned after a hundred of pages. Never ended this book.
Manda Graham
Dec 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
50% of the book read, I have really mixed feelings about this book, half of it was really interesting and half was load of mushy boarder line romantic tosh. I have officially given up.
Niek de Rooij
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Impressive storytelling. A whirlwind of Spanish trauma, human strength, weakness and character in a classic family drama. All brought to life masterfully.
Jimmy van der Hoeven
Oct 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kast, gave-up-on
stopped at page 127. long-winded.
Dees Davidse
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! The first Grandes I read, but not the last!
Erik Schwartz
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally! Great book, emotional...
Nov 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
this is one of those life-changing books... if you can handle 900+ pages! it was so freaking good
Emma Afra
a must read for it's exquisite prose and fascinating, detailed storyline.
Chris Chapman
Oct 17, 2015 marked it as to-read
recommended by olga martin ortega - spanish civil war and vergangenheitsbewaltigung
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She studied Geography and History at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is married to the poet Luis García Montero. In 1989 she won the La Sonrisa Vertical prize with her erotic novel Las edades de Lulú, which has been translated into several languages. Bigas Luna made a movie based on this book, as did Gerardo Herrero with Malena es un nombre de tango and Juan Vicente Córdoba with El leng ...more
“Estoy cansada de no saber dónde morirme. Ésa es la mayor tristeza del emigrado. ¿Qué tenemos nosotros que ver con los cementerios de los países donde vivimos? [...] ¿No comprendéis? Nosotros somos aquellos que miraron sus pensamientos uno por uno durante treinta años. Durante treinta años suspiramos por nuestro paraíso perdido, un paraíso nuestro, único, especial.” 4 likes
“Como es verdad que, al final de la segunda guerra mundial, los aliados volvieron a traicionar de una manera vergonzosa, por segunda y definitiva vez, a la democracia española en general y, en particular, a las decenas de miles de antifascistas españoles que habían combatido contra los nazis —sobre todo, pero no exclusivamente, en el sur de Francia— y que se encontraron con que su lucha, y su sacrificio, sólo habían servido para afianzar a Francisco Franco en el poder.” 4 likes
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