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საოცრებათა ქალაქი

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,236 ratings  ·  156 reviews
„საოცრებათა ქალაქი“ ცნობილი ესპანელი მწერლის, სერვანტესის პრემიის ლაურეატის (2016), ედუარდო მენდოსას გახმაურებული რომანია. წიგნში მოთხრობილია მე-19 საუკუნის დასასრულისა და მე-20 საუკუნის დასაწყისის ბარსელონის მშფოთვარე ცხოვრება. ქალაქის სოციალური და ეკონომიკური გარდაქმნის ფონზე მწერალი გვიამბობს პროვინციიდან დიდ ქალაქში ჩამოსული ბიჭის, ონოფრე ბოუვილას საოცარ ცხოვრებას. ანა ...more
Paperback, 525 pages
Published 2018 by ინტელექტი (first published 1986)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  3,236 ratings  ·  156 reviews


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Jim Fonseca
City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza

A historical novel that is a love story to the author’s hometown of Barcelona. The time frame is sandwiched between Barcelona’s two World’s Fairs – 1888 and 1929. The main character is a poor boy from a rural area who is trying to escape poverty by coming to the city as a young teenager. He stays at a boarding house with a lot of characters (a fortune teller, a cross-dressing manager, a retired priest, a dentist/abortionist) and he gets a job distributing anarch
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Mag
Oct 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a feeling that Mendoza is better known in Europe than in North America. I have already read four of his books, none of which has been published here I don’t think. The three were on a lighter side with an insane barber turned detective as the main protagonist- sort of Being There by Kosinski but on a very light side.
Even though all them are set in Barcelona, this one, The City of Marvels, is about Barcelona itself. Yes, it does have a plot that kept me reading even though my interest pete
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Michiel
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism
It has been said before: the book is more about the city of Barcelona than about the person Onofre Bouvila. That isn't the biggest issue however. On lots of occasions I missed depth, spots where the plot really could have been more intense. Missed chances, even. I couldn't help associating parts of the story with Zafons Shadow of the Wind series, which took all of these possibilities and added more depth and more magic to it.
Dwight
My comments on the book

From the bookflap:
Here is the story of Onofre Bouvila, a poor Catalan country boy who arrives in Barcelona in 1886 and lies, cheats, and murders his way to enormous wealth and power.

Young Onofre first stays at a boardinghouse whose permanent residents are a distingue closet transvestite, a lady fortuneteller who treats her clients to large doses of doom, a garrulous barber who also pulls teeth, and a scullery maid who protects her virginity with the aid of a ferocious ca
...more
tripu
I was a bit disappointed with this one. I have read a few other novels by Mendoza, which I liked best.

Punctuation is weird (different sentences chained together with commas are less legible). The author rarely uses quotation marks or quotation dashes, so it't up to the reader to guess where some character stops speaking, and where the narrator resumes narrating. Full stops are scarce, and Mendoza mixes different situations and times in the same paragraph…

The story itself is entertaining, funny a
...more
Holly Troup
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in Spanish in 1986 ( La Cuidad de los Prodigios)and translated into English in 1988 by Bernard Molloy, THE CITY OF MARVELS is a chronicle of the modern age in which historical facts are combined with the story of the rise to power of Onofre Bouvila, a scheming, self-serving peasant boy who comes to Barcelona in search of work.
Set in the time period between 1888 and 1929, Mendoza's vivid portrayal of Barcelona, in all its splendor and squalor, echoes Onofre's rapid ascent to power and fab
...more
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Recommended by a friend, it was a bit of a struggle to get this 1986 book. The book reads more like a fairy tale, where a slightly absurd take on history is intertwined with the archetypical but rather flat endeavours of a country boy trying to make it in the big city, being saved by a deus ex machina on a few occasions. Then there's the thing that the book doesn't seem to be able to decide whether it's going to tell the history of its leading character or the history of the city of Barcelona.

M
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Jayne Taylor
A big book which started off quite slow... once it got into the main story I enjoyed it and felt it was a great way of learning about the city of Barcelona during the period (1180's -1920's - ish).
By the final third it was jumping all over the place - passages of past events mixed in the middle of current events - I found that confusing and annoying. It then felt like it was trying too hard - to fit in events and occurrences of the period rather than continuing a story that everything fit with.
...more
Mona
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the time this book held my attention. The details about the growth of Barcelona were interesting and hopefully I will remember some of them when I visit next month. But I never really bought the rags to riches story nor could I keep straight the different people in the rival shady organizations.
Anchi Djo
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. Mendoza masterly succeeded in bringing life to each of his characters and making each of the 503 pages a new adventure.. Additionally you get to know a lot about Barcelona's history - but in a very entertaining way as for example when he describes Gaudi as a grim-looking old man scolding and shaking his fist at venturesome pilots from the top of the Sagrada Famila ...
Bernard
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful fictional story of a young boy without scruples coming to Barcelona, becoming one of its richest citizens through crime. It gives insight into Barcelona's history between the two world fairs of 1888 & 1929, but its true strength for me lies in the powerful sketches of a number of colourful figures whose adventures made me chuckle and even laugh with a sardonic pleasure at times. ...more
Francisco Presas
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Between the magic realism and the surrealism. Mendoza fresh and cultivated style takes us to the Barcelona nineteenth century. We follow the development of the city and get engaged by the colorful collage of characters. No moral is intended, just showing the lights and shadows of the end of that century in the city.
Arjan Deutekom
Can't say I read it in Spanish, but the Dutch (yeah I know) translation is not registered a goodreads. Fantastic first half of the book,.. four stars, maybe even five. After that, the story starts to get more and more far-fetched, tinner and less gripping,.. still a wonderful read though!
Matthias
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if you ever want to know something about Barcelona, read this book. A great story. From rags to riches, power and money, but what about love?
Ingo
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book changes genres, sometimes loses focus, often not convincing

The book starts out in a yarn telling style about the beginnings of Barcelona and its rise o a European Metropolis from the 1880s onward. We follow young Onofre Bouvilla to guide us through the different parts of the city, the different kind of people, who live there, from the 1st world exposition in 1888 to the second one in 1925.
The first part of the book recounts a lot of anecdotes surrounding the city´s early days always in
...more
Juan
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mendoza once again served a story featuring his beloved hometown Barcelona with his picturesque and characters - this time set between the 19th and 20th century, long before it became a trending tourist destination. Plentiful, as expected, of mistery, plot twists, and his trademark sense of humor - often dark and raw, yet expressed with such elegance of words, that one would find difficult to feel offended by it. It won't disappoint his fans.
Filipe Teixeira-Dias
La Ciudad de los Prodigios transports you to a fictional late XIX and early XX century Barcelona. It feels so real that I frequently checked online for historical facts, only to realise then that most were only the result of Eduardo Mendoza's imagination. It is an intricate story going through several generations and social changes. An excellent read, strongly recommended.
Maxim Postnikov
It starts as a good book and finishes as a really awful one.
Best part: Some interesting facts about Barcelona.
Worst part: the main character and all the other things.
Unjela Kaleem
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Highly recommended.
Volodymyr Melnyk
I didn't enjoy the storyline as much as the curious facts from the history of Barcelona.
Jane
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as much about Barcelona as its central character, we are taken through the life history of Onofre Bouvila, an enterprising criminal of peasant roots who works his way up through the ever-changing criminal circles and trends of the Catalan city. I just wish I remembered the layout of Barcelona better, as there are lots of references to the different neighbourhoods there.
Miriam
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Miriam by: I bought it in a bus station
I discovered this author with this book, and it was really interesting for me. It happened in the beginning of 20th Century in Barcelona, and it is the story of a poor man and his life. Really great!!
Laila
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Did not like this book at all. Despicable, unbelievable characters, meandering and less than captivating story line. Only read it because I was interested in Barcelona in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
margot lane
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting span of the turn of the last century and the rise of franco in barcelona through serious catalan spectacles.
Rachel
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story with historical context (Barcelona 1888-1929).
Jannewyork
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating historical novel about Barcelona that begins and ends with a world's fair. I read the translation by Bernard Molloy. Lovers of the "Devil in the White City" might find it interesting.
Doug Bremner
I had a hard time liking the protagonist, although the writing and descriptions of Barcelona were great.
Ilene
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"5 star masterpiece, one of the most important novels in many years..." read the review. It was interesting, well written, quite odd and unique. Didn't wow me, though. Wonder, what I am missing?
Meg
Seemed like a fun picaresque novel... unfortunately got left behind on a trip because I needed to lighten my luggage.
Geoffrey Gates
The City of Marvels has the form of historical fiction and the light touch of magical realism. The fact that it was recommended to me by a Spanish professor made me read it with an ear for higher meaning – this is so well disguised in the novel that it may not actually exist at all. And yet I think it’s there in spades.

Here are my thoughts on the novel:

http://gatesyread.blogspot.com.au/201...
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Eduardo Mendoza studied law in the first half of the 1960s and lived in New York between 1973 and 1982, working as interpreter for the United Nations.

He maintained an intense relationship with novelists Juan Benet and Juan García Hortelano, poet Pere Gimferrer and writer (and neighbour) Félix de Azúa.

In 1975 he published his very successful first novel, La verdad sobre el caso Savolta (The Truth a
...more

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“ما عساى فاعل و أنا داخل هذا القفص سوى القراءة ؟ فى القراءة و التفكير أقتل الساعات و الأيام .
أحيانا تكتسبى افكارى قوة كبيرة حتى إننى أصاب بالذعر و فى أحيان أخرى ، يتملكنى كدر لا سبب له ، و يبدو لى أننى داخل حلم فأصحو منه غارقا فى كربى ، و أحيانا أجهش بالبكاء بلا مقدمات و يستمر البكاء ساعات فلا استطيع كبحه”
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“الواقع الذى يحيط بنا ليس سوى ستارة ملونة
وفى الجانب الاخر من هذه الستارة لا توجد حياة اخرى وانما هى الحياة نفسها فليس الغيب الا ذلك الجانب الاخر من الستارة وعندما ندقق النظر فى الستارة لا نرى الجانب الاخر الذى هو الشىء نفسه وعندما ندرك ان الواقع ليس سوى ظاهرة بصرية فاننا نتمكن من اجتياز هذه الستارة الملونة
وحين نجتاز تلك الستارة الملونة نجد انفسنا فى عالم اخر مماثل لهذا وفى ذلك العالم يوجد كذلك من ماتوا ومن لم يولدا بعد ولكننا لانراهم الان
لانهم مفصولون عنا بالستارة الملونة التى نخلط بينها وبين الواقع وما ان يتم اجتياز هذه الستارة فى احد الاتجاهات حتى يصبح من السهل جدا اجتيازها دوما فى الاتجاه نفسه وفى الاتجاه المعاكس ايضا”
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