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Patria

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  16,288 ratings  ·  1,877 reviews

El día en que ETA anuncia el abandono de las armas, Bittori se dirige al cementerio para contarle a la tumba de su marido el Txato, asesinado por los terroristas, que ha decidido volver a la casa donde vivieron. ¿Podrá convivir con quienes la acosaron antes y después del atentado que trastocó su vida y la de su familia? ¿Podrá saber quién fue el encapuchado que un día lluv

...more
Kindle Edition, 646 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Tusquets (first published 2016)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  16,288 ratings  ·  1,877 reviews


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Kalliope


This novel has been a huge success in Spain recently. From September 2016 to July 2017, that is ten months after it was first published, it has run through twenty editions. Several of my friends have read or are reading it and a few recommended it to me. Generally I am not much drawn to bestsellers and this one was no exception. But I received it recently as a present from a family member, so I decided to face my prejudices.

The novel deals with two Basque families from around the 1980s to the re
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David
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two women. Bittori and Miren. They live in a small Basque town in northern Spain. One rainy day, Bittori’s husband Txato, owner of a trucking company, is gunned down by ETA terrorists. Why? He refused to pay money to ETA. He was not patriotic enough.

Miren’s son is charged in the killing. Spurred on by his mother patriotic fervor, her eldest son Joxe Mari grows to become part of ETA. And he is picked to kill his neighbor, a friend of the family.

The two families are torn apart in a land torn apart
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Roy Lotz
I feel myself doubly unqualified to rate and review this book, which has recently become ubiquitous here in Spain. For one, I decided that I would use the audiobook to improve my listening ability; and even though I normally had no trouble on the level of words and sentences (the book’s style is quite simple), I often lost the main thread. Indeed, at times I was so confused that I feel embarrassed in even marking this book as ‘read.’ What is more, much of this book’s emotional impact seems to co ...more
Zizeloni
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am torn between 4 and 5 stars.

The book is Patria, by Fernando Aramburu. It deals with two families living in a Basque village. They are very close until they are separated by political reasons: one family's son is a member of ETA and the other family's father is murdered by ETA.

You have 9 narrators, small chapters that jump to different parts of the timeline with no pattern (at least not an obvious pattern I am too lazy to discover it). It sounds hectic, but it really isn't, I never got confus
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Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Probably not the height of literary style or sophistication. And so so great precisely because of that. So necessary. So simple. So human. So profound, so full of compassion. And, last but not least, so horrifying and gripping.
Heptapod
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It made me understand how life was under the ETA times, and how it could affect people lives. How life in a little village has its own dynamics and how lives are constrained against one’s own will. Only a few can resist it but end up usually in exile.
I loved reading it, anxious to go on and unable to stop at night.
I wish it was somehow described the situation of the oppression previously under Franco dictatorship, how were the Vassos treated?
Angela Leon
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bestial!!!!
Zozetta
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A must read!
Cristina Darabut
What a book! I loved each page and I am nervous when writing this review as if it would wash away part of the charm. It definetly goes into my top 10 books which I would take on the other side. :)
Rarely did I encounter so much patience and skilfulness for turning the characters into full fledged humans. I feel I know them forever: we grew togheter and I witnessed their development, their sorrows, their darkest and brightesed moments. Wow!
Marija Assereckova
It’s my first encounter with Aramburu and “Homeland” stands somewhere in between of strong three stars and far-fetched four. It’s definitely interesting to read this book, it’s not boring and written in a lively manner. However, in many ways, it’s inferior to other politically dense novels I’ve read.

First of all, Aramburu prefers to take the beaten track. There are ETA members, who are bad, and there are all others, politically more or less inert Basques, who are different but generally good; th
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Eddie Clarke
I did enjoy this with some reservations.

We are in very similar territory to 'Milkman' by Anna Burns - a close examination of a society and time wracked by terrorism; and the effects of that terrorism on an intimate family and closed social grouping. Both writers have personal experience, and parallels are striking (even down to the dead cat! - Aramburu's however has less freighted symbolic significance than Burns', I think).

Both novels employ a non-linear, mosaic-like chronological development w
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Paula
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The writing, the story itself, the way the book is organized and narrated. I highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially to anyone that has ever lived in Spain or is familiar with its history. The book deals with the tensions of the terrorist group ETA and their desire to have the Basque Country secede from Spain. The way the story is told and narrated is incredibly accurate to the feelings and the culture of the region, it is ...more
Justas Ložinskas
This was an amazing read covering the Basque - Spanish conflicting through the lens of two families and showcasing the effect that the conflict had on people's relationships, thoughts and everyday life. In the beginning it takes a little bit of time to get used to the style due to short chapters that very often jump back and forth in terms of the timeline and key character, yet all the chapters blend in together very smoothly to capture the essence and reveal the personalities of the main charac ...more
Sandra
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very well written could have been shorter.

It’s an interesting story to read and it covers all angles of how the two families were affected by being on one and the other side of ETA. Although the length helps to define very well the characters it felt a bit too long and I guess the author could have kept the story a bit shorter.
Anyway recommending to take the time and read it!
Sally Kesh
Unfortunately, the translator completely failed this book. The story was compelling but the translation was clearly off, which was both distracting and ineffectual.
Angel 一匹狼
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thebooktrail
description

Viist the locations in the novel


This book has made an impression on me. One due to its sheer size – 581 large format pages and fairly small print, and the sheer scope of the novel itself. It aims to look at the Basque problem, the issue of terrorism of the country at large. That is one epic theme. Break it down into the involvement, opinions and experiences of two families and you start to understand the wealth of the journey the writer takes you on.

I almost didn’t read this as I’ve read so mu
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Alison
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very long novel, but it had to be long. It's about the twenty-odd year relationship between two Basque families. The son of one of the families becomes an assassin for ETA; the father of the other family is a victim of ETA. The novel has to be long because it is about the agonizingly slow pace of forgiveness and the agonizingly slow process of disillusionment with political violence. Aramburu does not pay much attention to place or interior monologue. The novel is dialogue, dialogue, ...more
Danny Jacobs
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The past eight day - while reading Aramburu’s book - I made a round trip in Spanish Basque Country. PRESO ETA IHESLARIAK ETXERA (bring basque prisoners back home) is still one of the most popular murals in many villages and cities. Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, was the separatist armed movement that wanted to establish an independent, socialist Basque state from 1959 to 2018. In his book ‘Vaderland’, Fernando Aramburu gives you a perfect tale of the last decennial of the dark years. Read it!
SandraV
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Meh. The themes explored were interesting enough and I do see the literary value. However, it was dragged out way too long with the overall arc very unclear and disjointed. The blatant self insert was so very eyeroll inducing and completely unnecessary. Also the casually thrown in mentions of sexual violence for no narrative purpouse at all? Yikes.
Jo
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Focussing on two families, this novel explores what happens to a small community in the Basque country impacted by ETA. It's difficult to totally comprehend what it was like to live in the midst of such times but the author manages to convey a sense of the era. The writing is so good and the translation is excellent.
Richard Skolek
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hands down one of the best books that I have ever read. To write about something so complicated and ugly in such a civil, humane way is no small feat. Aramburu masterfully uses the characters to present various facets of the Basque conflict and I have to say, even though I started reading with a clear idea about who is right and who is wrong, I am no longer sure about that.
Guillermo Varela Carbajal
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This piece makes it easy to read about such a cruel and complicated socio-political conflict from a very human perspective. It should be incorporated to the list of mandatory reads of every Spanish High School.
Stephen King
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story set in the Basque Country from the 1970’s to the (almost) present day focusing on two families who are friends and then caught up in ETA activities. Moving, beautifully written and carefully crates characters made this a joy to read.
Gail
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a big, dense book -- I had to make a little chart to keep family members straight -- but worth the effort if you're interested in the Basque country, extremism, and the lasting effects of dictatorships. It's beautifully done.
Alejandra Pooler
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I learnt a lot about the terrorist group and how it affected everyone in the Basque Country. Very detailed, written from many points of view. Interesting.
Nicolas Chinardet
I have to admit that I found it difficult to get involved with Homeland. The fragmented nature of the narrative and timeline may have a lot to do with this. Small clusters of short, related chapters follow each other with no apparent reason for how they are cut up, or how they are ordered. This made it difficult to remember who the characters were, particularly as they all have unfamiliar Basque names. It is only really in the last third or so, when I started reading for longer periods at a time ...more
Kintsugi Kitty
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very well written book with such attention to detail that you can really enter the lives of the main characters and the families that the book centres around.

If you are looking to understand the community and how ETA affected lives, not only of members or victims, but of those around them, then this is a must read.

I´ve awarded 4 stars instead of 5 as there were points, that in my opinion, that could have been improved.

Given the length of the book, there were unnecessary chapters/characters tha
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Annie
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 2012, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) announced a ceasefire that, so far, appears to have finally ended decades of violent conflict between Basque separatists and the Spanish government. Just because there’s a ceasefire, however, does not mean that everything is peaceful. Fernando Aramburu’s monumental novel, Homeland, explores the lingering conflicts between families who were friends once but were then torn apart by violence...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.
...more
Paola Markek
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
For anyone interested in the various relations in the Basque region of Spain, here is a good starter book. It is not in touch with the current situation in Spain, but with the times when ETA was very much active.

It goes little into motivations of ETA, but much more in how their actions and rationalisations affected the entire Basque region.
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Goodreads Librari...: correct the page number on Homeland 2 15 Jun 21, 2019 05:49AM  
Club literario: 5ª lectura: PATRIA (23.04.2018-17.06.2018) 52 120 Aug 27, 2018 02:29AM  
Comentando libros...: Patria, de Fernando Aramburu 1 29 Feb 14, 2018 03:33PM  

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Fernando Aramburu nació en San Sebastián en 1959. Es licenciado en filología hispánica por la Universidad de Zaragoza y desde 1985 reside en Alemania. Fue miembro del Grupo CLOC de Arte y Desarte. Considerado ya como uno de los narradores más destacados de su generación, es autor de tres libros de relatos: No ser no duele (1997), Los peces de la amargura (2006) y El vigilante del fiordo (2011), y ...more

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