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Enigma Otiliei

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  13,745 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Tânărul Felix Sima vine de la Iaşi la tutorele său, Costache Giurgiuveanu, la Bucureşti, ca să înceapă cursurile Universităţii de Medicină. Aici o întâlneşte pe fiica acestuia, Otilia.

Enigma Otiliei este, pe scurt, un roman puternic, impecabil construit, un roman auctorial cu un narator care ştie tot şi comentează cu mare volubilitate toate actele eroilor şi toate situaţii
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 2000 by Editura Cartex (first published 1938)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,745 ratings  ·  169 reviews

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Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who have to take the Baccalaureate
Recommended to Mina by: Make that a "forceful suggestion"
Shelves: love, realism, teen, family, social
--The paragraph is a rant--

Romanians are so good at making books I, at least, love to hate. I hear Americans complaining about having to read Beowulf. That one may be written in old english, a little boring in style, but man, I'd read it several times over, the Scarlet Letter and then add a full Shakespeare for good measure rather than go through this one more time and whatever's in next for me: Adela, Moromeţii, Cel mai iubit dintre pamanteni... Oh, woe to me, to quote a sweet Greek lady
--End o
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I started reading this book with a deep breath. I was very sceptical and I expected this book to be way more boring. Călinescu turned out to be a lot more different than all the other Romanian authors who are, to be honest, boring, mostly because almost every one of them considered the village an interesting place to develop an action and mostly could not develop the so-called interesting action. George Călinescu took a big step, he took a chance with moving the whole action in the cap ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be one of the better school reads I had to read in quite some time although, I certainly did have a lot of issues with this. Yes, this book was written ages ago and yes it's a male author but that doesn't make the issues I've had okay. While I can understand that, it doesn't mean I have to agree with it, hence my rating.
I enjoyed reading about rich people instead of the old drunk romanian villagers, for a change. I liked the whole conflict surrounding the legacy of Costache Giur
Ella Dincă
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story, the historical colour, the characters, and I even was influenced to create similar charaters in my short story writing exercises.
Asphodel Parker
Okay, so I couldn't decide if I should give it 2 stars or leave it at 3, but I decided the book was somehow more that "it was ok", but less than "i liked it", so my real rating would be 2.5 stars [mostly because it felt like I would never finish it].
I don't really know what to say about the book, because it doesn't have a plot. It's just Felix's life since he arrives in Bucureşti after his father's death until the moment Costache Giurgiuveanu, his tutor, dies. We can see the difference, though
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pheww, that was something! not gonna lie, i really liked it! it definitely had its moments when I was like "can we just get to the interesting part already", but overall, it's a solid novel. (also, the last 4 pages, I literally was the 😮 emoji ) ...more
Robert Dylan
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
3.5 stars
Ella Link
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some have said that the author used Balzac's way of describing interior's of houses, and that for this reason, the book should be dismissed. I disagree with this view, and will say that Romanian literature was quite behind western one. It was because Romania was conquered by numerous other countries, and fighting off intruders doesn't really give you time to be creative. When we finally started rising from the darkness, and started writing, of course we sought out the best of the Western culture ...more
Vlad Rotaru
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book around the age of 15 and i read it now again. I discovered so much more than I thought I would, and all these discoveries gave a new meaning to the book. There's more to the main characters that meet the eye of a 15 year old boy and I really enjoyed the experience of imagining a Bucharest before the first world war. What turned me off was the rushed ending of the novel and the lack of personality of Felix, a boy who doesn't talk much, and when he does, he feels a bit underdevelo ...more
Diana Gligor
Besides the detailed descriptions and other significant techniques used by the author, this book has a great value by its entire message. After you finish it, you just start to think which is the real mistery of Otilia. When a girls tells a boy that she loves him, she offers herself to him and then leaves him for another, it is a real mistery to a man. The real mistery is of any woman and her meaningless actions in the man's eyes. ...more
Ovidiu Sky
This novel it's about a boy called Felix that fells in love with a girl named Otilia. Even if between them it's a strong relation of friendship and affection, Otilia will break his heart in the end.
Excellent story, excellent written.
If I had 1 $ for everytime a woman was made fun of, insulted, or just being treated awful in this book I would have enough money to collect every copy of this book, burn them all and then scatter the ashes all over the planet
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At the time I read this back in high school it seemed long and a bit boring. Could not understand why things just didn't turn to a happier end. For some reason I always thought of this book to be very similar to Great Expectations by Dickens. ...more
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty boring book...
Sarah Ciortuz
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
omg the ending was like boom wow explosion i never expected that! i felt like crying screaming pulling out my hair i hate writers for those perfectly terrible at the same time amazing endings!
Yigru Zeltil
Well, I only prefer this to Concert din muzică de Bach... Ion is a book of an entirely different breed.
Another mandatory school read...
20 chapters, almost 5oo hundred pages due on Monday...
At first, it was really hard to read through "Enigma Otiliei", but as the pace picked up, reading it became much more bearable. What I personally found to be off-putting were the very long descriptions. As one of my classmates said, "George Călinescu is capable of writing 2 or more pages about some crumbs that fell on the floor”. This statement is funny but true. Maybe a bit too harsh.
What I did like about t
Dragos Lefter
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another one of my fav books, Felix is an amazing main character and I related very much to him.
Otilia imo is a big slut but if I were Felix or Pascalopol, I'd also fall in love with her because she s a slut with such a positive vibe and all.
All the secondary characters are also well written.
Kinda long for some people I'd say, but for me that's a plus bcs u get to explore in depth every inch of the plot that there is and that s a plus, unlike some other 200 pages books which tend to have so much
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Romanian lit class assignments aren't that bad unless you forget about them until the night before. I actually didn't do it with this one.

Calinescu be my daddy.
Alexandra Oanță
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A novel of social morals that points along with the uncertain individual condition and the new times that shape social consciousness.
Mihaela Chiriac
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strong book, not included for nothing in the curriculum for high school reading
Valeria Josan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.5 stars

By far one of the best school books I've had to read. The world it describes is full of complex details and it has a bit of everything whether it be romance, family disputes or dark humour. It showcases greed in its many forms (the family obssesed with the rich uncle's fortune, the student greedy for both love and succes, the unmarried woman crazy about finding a husband) and I thought the author became more and more distant towards the end of the book, the bitter conclusion bei
Mihu Wu
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is almost perfect. I kinda hate the end.
Erik Legion
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rose on aish
I think this is one of the books I liked more than the other Romanian books from school :))
Jena Hemsworth
Daaaaaaaamn! Otilia was a huge bitch. Fuck it.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took me a year to read this one,boring but still a good one.
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George Călinescu (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈd͡ʒe̯ord͡ʒe kəliˈnesku]) was a Romanian literary critic, historian, novelist, academician and journalist, and a writer of classicist and humanist tendencies.

He is currently considered one of the most important Romanian literary critics of all time, alongside Titu Maiorescu and Eugen Lovinescu, and is one of the outstanding figures of Romanian literature

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“Ce-ai zice dacă am cădea deodată în cer? Nu ne-am mai opri.” 20 likes
“- Tu mă iubești? îl întrebă Otilia serioasă ca și când l-ar fi întrebat dacă e bolnav.
Felix mărturisi cu capul.
- Ce copil ești! Ți-am citit scrisoarea, dar am uitat, știi că sunt o zăpăcită. De ce să fugi? Ți-am spus eu că nu te iubesc?
Felix tresări deodată înfocat.
- Otilia, e adevărat? Mă iubești?
- Ei, ei, nu ți-a spus nimeni că te urăște.”
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