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In the Night of Time

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  510 ratings  ·  90 reviews
From the author of Sepharad comes an internationally best-selling novel set against the tumultuous events that led to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

October 1936. Spanish architect Ignacio Abel arrives at Penn Station, the final stop on his journey from war-torn Madrid, where he has left behind his wife and children, abandoning them to uncertainty. Crossing the frag
Hardcover, 641 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2009)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  510 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terminada la novela y, a pesar de su extensión, quedo con ganas de más.

Y no es porque sus páginas atesoren grandes hazañas (el único Azaña no sale muy grande) o a grandes personajes, al contrario. Todo suena muy conocido, muchas veces leído: el artista malogrado y rencoroso, la familia devota, la americana culta, judía y romántica, el bruto falangista, el sencillo obrero socialista, el fanático comunista o el sabio emigrado y maltratado por la vida.

Pero, paradójicamente, esta falta de novedad,
Maria Roxana
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greu de găsit cuvintele pentru a descrie această scriitură...O capodoperă de respirație epică.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book doesnt deserve a star, it deserve to be presented as an example - this is the way NOT to write.
I wouldnt know where to start. Lets just say, i read carefully for about 40% of the book, then just clicked the pages, read the dialogues (you have the dialogue, 5 pages of nothing or stuff which was already mentioned before 3 times, then again the continuation of the dialogue for 5 lines, then 6 pages of nothing).
- slow tempo. Bad love story. even Danielle Steel or Jackie Collins would come
Roger Brunyate
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
A Solid Novel About a Tottering Time

I have read enough of this massive novel by Antonio Muñoz Molina to speak with some confidence about its quality, but not enough for my review to be considered in any way definitive. Most of its 640 pages are filled with solid blocks of description and memory, with very little action and next to no dialogue. Everything that Muñoz Molina writes has the ring of truth, narrated with meticulous observation. But the texture is simply too dense and the movement too
Washington Post
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The logic is obvious, hardly fresh ground for a story. Since time immemorial — from Homer to Hemingway — writers have conjured forbidden love in faraway fields of war. What distinguishes “In the Night of Time” — what makes it eye-openingly new — is its meticulous reconstruction of Spain in 1936, its attention to detail, its fusion of history and imagination, its tension between love’s surrender and war’s stiff resolve. Let me put it this way: Antonio Muñoz Molina’s novel is one of the most eloqu ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Antonio Munoz Molina's In the Night of Time is the story of a love affair between a successful, married, middle-aged Spanish architect and a young, beautiful, intelligent American woman. The affair is intense, passionate and destructive. It is an astonishingly gripping tale with a nervous intensity that propels the two characters into situations they did not expect. The book is exceedingly well written, obvious even in translation, and intricately plotted. Molina is a stylist par excellence. He ...more
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"A love story set against the background of the Spanish Civil War" describes this novel, but does not begin to do it justice. It's about memory, time, exile, obsession and betrayal; it is so beautifully written (and translated) as to be, at times, breathtaking. The author's control of the narrative and his deep feeling for his characters are remarkable: the protagonist is weak and selfish at times, yet I never lost sympathy for him (I lost patience at times, but never sympathy), even though his ...more
Carmen Daza Márquez
Lo que diferencia una novela buena de una novela genial, es que las novelas geniales, las que hacen época, son un mundo en sí mismas. Obras como "La Regenta", "Cien años de soledad", "La casa verde" esconden entre sus páginas un mundo propio, único, basado o no en la realidad que da igual: abrir sus páginas es parar el reloj de tu vida para sumergirte en la vida de Ana Orozco, Aureliano Buendía o el sargento Lituma, quienes a partir de entonces son seres con una identidad tan real como las perso ...more
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If anyone is revising 1001 Books You Must Read, In the Night of Time must surely be included in the new edition. It is such a masterpiece, it belongs in any canon, along with the great works of Tolstoy, Austen, Proust, Eliot and James Joyce.

The blurb says that it’s like War and Peace, and at first I thought no, it’s more like Proust. The way that the sinuous sentences trigger memories from sensation; the way that Moline’s characters’ thoughts meander through ideas and memory and emotion, reveali
May 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Antonio Muñoz Molina es uno de los pocos autores a los que sigo fielmente, he leído casi todas sus novelas, y cuando elaboré algunos materiales para el curso L204 de la OU, elegí pasajes de Sefarad para hablar de los textos descriptivos. Incluso me gusta su estilo tan parsimonioso, basado en las variaciones y repiticiones, al modo de Philip Roth, el autor al que tanto admira.
Aquí Muñoz Molina nos presenta su "novela de la guerra civil española", contándonos cómo la vivió la "tercera España", aqu
Michael Berman
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
One of the most amazing novels I've ever read. I don't have it in me (nor do I think that I really have the skills) to write a review that does justice to the book; I feel that anything I say will sound flat and cliched. That said, this is a story of love, loss and betrayal set as the Spanish Civil War is reaching a crescendo. The story travels back and forth over a period of several months, much of it told internally. We follow Ignacio Abel, architect, father, socialist, refugee, as he reflects ...more
Amy Henry
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I will repeat here what I wrote in an earlier update: "In the Night of Time" is simply one of the most brilliant novels I have ever read. Dense, rich, and beautifully written, it is a wealth of history (the Spanish Civil War) and even more significant, one of the most complex portraits of human nature I've encountered. (And I was an English major who read all the "greats.") Time and again, Molina stunned me with an observation of a character's behavior or habits of thought that I recognized inst ...more
Paul Fulcher
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
"He knows now that personal identity is too fragile a tower to stand on its own without witnesses to certify it or glances to acknowledge it. The memories of what matters to him most are as distant as if they belonged to another man. The face in the passport is almost a stranger's; the one he is used to seeing now in the mirror, Judith Biely [his lover] or his children would not recognise. In Madrid he saw the faces of people he thought he knew well transformed overnight into the faces of execut ...more
This is a provisional review as I have finished the Spanish language edition and this is a novel that frankly is more sophisticated than my Spanish abilities, so i really need to read the English translation later in the year when it will be published for a full picture and assessment

What I can say though is the following - extraordinary narrative power but the content did not fully satisfy me as it veers way too much into the over-intellectualizing of romantic angst and the book spends tons of
Bueno. .Bueno

Podría decir que es la mejor novela que he leído en mi vida pero no la recomendaría a nadie. ¿Por qué esa extraña contradición?

difícil cuestión es. (Entrando en modo Yoda)

Porque no creo jamás haberleido una novela que reflera tanto mi pensamiento. Sobre todo mi pensamiento pesimista pero sincero interior como lo que he leído en esta.
Claro que eso no significaría que tuviera que ser buena novela. Podría ocurrir que una novela rosa a alguien le parezca que revela sus más intimos pens
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
As his weary eyes scanned the Garamond font ink-stamped characters on the crisp white pages, Ben Frey emitted a barely audible puff of air signifying ennui, exhaustion, and a nagging sense that perhaps he had invested far too much time allotted to his short dreary existence on this planet toward plodding through a lugubrious, verbose, overstuffed volume of metaphysical manifestations of angst and lost love set in the brink of the Spanish Civil War and written by an unmistakably Spanish author wi ...more
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the 4 or 5 books I've read that completely immerses the reader in another time and place. Like you arrive at your subway stop, look up, and think oh I'm not in 1930s Spain, I'm here. But for a brief period, you were there. It's also one of those rare books that make you ache when you finish, because you know it will be years before you find another one this good.

The book moves around in time and place highly effectively, in a way that is magical when done right. You move from the
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What an astonishing book. The structure, the prose style, and especially the setting and characters are created with impeccable skill. I am completely swept up, and now I've paused at a suspenseful moment on page 625 with only a few more pages until the end, in order not to have to part with it quite yet. Molina's novel unfolds like an origami ball, with many different entry points, moving forward and back over time, repeating scenes with new layers revealed, growing ever closer to the central m ...more
Molina has written a masterpiece novel of span civil war time leading from the dictatorships, and into wwii and the new span dictatorship of good ol’ franco. This story starts out with span architect in nyc, meeting his lover, but he lets us know matter of factly that he is also married. So from the beginner the reader is wrong footed with moral questions, then on it goes with 600+ pages of moral ambiguity, sketchy narrators and motivations. Super loooong paragraphs (some pages and pages, review ...more
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een boek met een bijna Bijbelse naam van ook Bijbelse afmetingen. Maar boeiend tot aan het eind. Het is het verhaal van een liefdesgeschiedenis tegen het decor van de - beginnende - Spaanse Burgeroorlog. De ongewone benadering van het verhaal, de hoofdpersonen herinneren zich de gebeurtenissen op het tijdstip, dat alles bijna voorbij is, werkt heel goed, maar vergt wel de nodige oplettendheid, omdat het verhaal regelmatig in de tijd verspringt.
Wat mij vooral opviel in dit boek is het feit, dat
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: españoles, novela
Acercamiento intimista a la tragedia de la Guerra Civil.
Como en ocasiones anteriores, la excesiva verbosidad y la falta de moderación del autor ahoga una buena historia, haciendo que la lectura se convierta en un esfuerzo, en lugar de enganchar al lector: párrafos interminables, estructura enrevesada con constantes saltos en la línea temporal...
Podría haber sido una gran novela. En otra ocasión será.
Ignasi Balsells
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Antonio Muñoz Molina tiene un talento descomunal para explicar historias sencillas que revelan realidades muy complejas y escenarios históricos completos.

Para mi este es un libro de amor , pasión y culpa. Y un libro que habla de la absurdidad de toda guerra, de todo extremismo. Una buena manera de repasar los años en que España se desgarró.

May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Edith Grossman is the translator of Antonio Munoz Molina’s “In The Night Of Time” and it’s not often that you have the cover spruiking the translator in similar sized font to the author. For this work she would have needed the patience of a saint, this is one serious tome of a novel, besides running to 641 pages it is large in shape, the paragraphs run for pages on end and therefore each page is wall to wall text. So if you’re not into a long slow challenge then this is not a novel for you.

Our s
I picked this book up on recommendation that it was a good companion to Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. This is a 641 page whopper. It did contain some good, nuanced information on the experience of Madrid before and during the Spanish Civil War. If that is what you are reading the book for you will have to be very patient because it is only included from 1/3 to 1/2 the way through forward. The majority of the novel is the story of a married architect, Ignacio Abel, and his obsession with a young ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A monumental Spanish Civil War novel that depicts the complex experiences of a man only tangentially involved but interweaves the personal and political to stunning effect. The lead character spends almost the entire novel reflecting on his desertion of his wife and family while on a train journey that could not be further from the conflict - in upstate New York - but he isn't a bad man.

Resolute in its determination to avoid painting things in black and white, the author refuses to justify repu
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un chef d'oeuvre. La guerre d'Espagne vécu de l'intérieur, décrite dans une histoire à peine romancée, le plongement dans la solitude et l'ère du temps avec ses lenteurs (appuyées par les répétitions des pensées de personnage) et ses précipitations.

A lire pour tous ceux qui s'intéressent un temps soit peu à l'Espagne et cette période noire des années 36
Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
I'm loving the familiar setting of Madrid, the feeling that I could walk around with the book open and follow Ignacio Abel and Judith Biely on their illicit escapades; I also recognize a lot of the characters in myself or the people I know, and not only the nice parts. It does get a bit long sometimes, but it's worth every minute.
Kevin Murray
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The novel has many advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional history books in providing a picture of historical events. In this book, both are on display. It begins in, of all places, Grand Central Station, where it introduces an exhausted man in the latter stages of his flight from the ravages of the Spanish Civil War. It then moves back and forth in time and in place until it climaxes in the guest house of a leafy private college campus along the Hudson River.

The journey is a long
Ronald Wise
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, what a powerful work of historical fiction and romance, seemingly told by someone of great knowledge and understanding! This story starts and ends with the two-day journey of a man, Ignacio Abel, who is traveling by train from New York City to a rural college at which he will become a guest professor. But Ignacio Abel is in bad shape, dangerously close to being completely broken, as told by a narrator who confusingly introduces himself into the story to personally describe Ignacio’s conditio ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Antonio Muñoz Molina is a Spanish writer and, since 8 June 1995, a full member of the Royal Spanish Academy. He currently resides in New York City, United States. In 2004-2005 he served as the director of the Instituto Cervantes of New York.
He was born in the town of Úbeda in Jaén province.
He studied art history at the University of Granada and journalism in Madrid. He began writing in the 1980s a