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The Cypresses Believe in God: Spain on the Eve of Civil War - A Novel

(Tetralogía sobre la guerra civil #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  347 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Considered by many critics to be the greatest novel about the Spanish Civil War, this classic work by Spaniard Jose Maria Gironella is an unbiased account of the complicated events, movements and personalities that led up to the war. Beginning in 1931, Cypresses covers the next five years of political unrest, culminating in the explosion of the brutal war that wreaked such ...more
Paperback, 806 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Ignatius Press (first published 1953)
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Start your review of The Cypresses Believe in God: Spain on the Eve of Civil War - A Novel
Takoneando entre libros
No puedo escribir apenas nada después de acabar de leer este libro.
Aunque los hechos que aquí se relatan ya eran conocidos por mi de boca de mi abuelo, leerlo 30 años después y con la madurez que da la edad, hace que sea terrorífico descubrir la sinrazón que lleva a romperse a una comunidad.
Viendo la época tan convulsa que sufrimos en la actualidad, donde nadie puede exponer sus ideas políticas o decir si tiene o no afinidades religiosas, un libro como este debería ser de obligada lectura
.
Es
...more
Maria Olga Lectoraapasionada
Me pareció una novela bastante lenta y larga, me resultó muy pesada su lectura, debido a esa lentitud con la que va el libro.
Sol Misolmi
Aunque el autor anuncia en uno de los prólogos que intenta ser imparcial, fracasa estrepitosamente. Su ideología derechista, clerical y anticatalana es patente, y sus intentos de justificar a los sectores con los que él simpatiza mediante pobres recursos literarios atentan contra la calidad de lo que de otro modo hubiera podido ser un buen libro. Gironella dota a todos los personajes de izquierdas de defectos personales que escasamente tienen que ver con lo político (el catedrático Morales es un ...more
Jeraviz
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Novela imprescindible para comprender los comienzos del siglo XX en España.
Brendan Hodge
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Gironella's novel is epic in length, but in structure what makes it interesting is that it focuses on a set of people who all know each other, at least by sight, in the provincial capitol of Gerona. The novel covers roughly five years, ending just a week into the civil war, in July of 1936. The expansive plot gives you a chance to get a fair and often affectionate acquaintance with a range of characters on all sides of this most complicated of wars.

After proceeding at a more leisurely pace for
...more
Iñaki Tofiño
Empiezas a leer y piensas, bueno, que no está tan mal, que presenta una visión más o menos ecuánime de la España republicana, que quizás no es tan maniqueo como esperabas, aunque, claro, si se publicó en 1953, tiene que tener truco... Y, efectivamente, lo tiene. De una visión más o menos amplia de las diferentes opiniones y de los diferentes partidos políticos se va llegando a un reduccionismo que justifica el alzamiento militar; de igual forma, la presencia de Falange pasa de ser una anécdota ...more
Repix
Oct 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Un coñazo derechista, clerical y anticatalanista que me ha aburrido desde la primera parte, la costumbrista, que es un tipo de novela que adoro, y que me ha repugnado por su nada disimulada justificación del golpe de estado. Y, encima, literariamente no vale nada.
Joaquim Alvarado
Llegir aquesta obra és, abans que res, una prova de maduresa. Fa no gaires anys crec que no hagués pogut suportar el seu estil patrioter i imparcial. Afortunadament, amb els anys un es torna més flexible i sap valorar les coses en perspectiva. De fet, la impressió que li queda al lector és que ha llegit tres llibres:

- Una primera part, que li recorda els serials de ràdio dels 50 o sèries televisives com "Temps de silenci" o "Amor en tiempos revueltos". El període que abarca des de la proclamació
...more
Colleen
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Do you want an alternative view of the Spanish Civil War? This is a wonderfully written novel, although long, giving you a view of the non-Communist side of the Spanish Civil War. (ie Ernest Hemminway fought on the Communist side -- For Whom the Bell Tolls). The Communists were very cruel and they killed many innocent women and children, including nuns who were in NO WAY involved in political issues. I think this book gives a balanced view of this confusing time, it tells terrible stories about ...more
Betsy
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I had the opportunity to read this book while traveling in Spain, in the town of Girona where it takes place. I had wondered if the quote I had read dubbing it the "Spanish 'War and Peace'" was an overstatement, but it most decidedly was not. My hazy understanding of the Spanish Civil War was, probably like most Americans, a thin combination of Hemingway and high school world history class, but this brilliant fictional work puts faces to all the political splinter groups, and, like Tolstoy, ...more
El Segoviano
El ejemplar que yo leí era de casa de mis padres y alguien lo debe de tener porque desapareció, el actual procede de casa de los padres de Conchi y por completar la trilogía nos lo hemos adjudicado.
En la epoca que lo leí no firmaba los libros, entre otras cosas porque no eran solo míos, pero la trilogía que se inaugura con este libro sencillamente me pareció fantástica.
Recrea la vida de una familia durante la guerra civil española y está escrita, como la recuerdo, muy bien.
Su lectura fue muy
...more
Jc
May 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-politics
Esto sería un libro muy bueno si no fuera tan largo. El tema es muy bueno: la vida de una familia normal, en Girona, en los años 31 a 36. Pero durante 600 paginas no pasa nada, el autor describe los varios personajes pero de manera tan mala que tardas mucho en saber quién es socialista, quién comunista… A pesar de tardar 600 paginas en establecer el conjunto de la cena, nada explica como tantos se convierten de individuos normales en asesinos. Lo que JMG muestra bien es el follón que era España, ...more
Frank
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. It offers a human insight into how residents of a small town were drawn to opposing viewpoints and later progressed down an irreversible path to violence. Using one family as the center of unfolding events was a great vehicle to show how all of the various views and characters intersected together.

I was unable to put down the book over the final pages, and was greatly moved by the books conclusion.

I am bummed that the subsequent book, One Million Deaths appears rare and
...more
Douglas
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
98 days to read this book! Or, that is, about 8 pages a day from March to June. If you know nothing about the Spanish Civil War, this may be the book for you. At the end of the book you are realizing that war is madness. And for the Spanish Civil War madness squared. If I had read this book 20 years ago I would have said this could never happen in America, this could never happen in America.
Francisco Acuna
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent depiction of the day to day conditions preceding the Spanish Civil War. Although it may seem long and painfully detailed, it is said approach that kidnaps the reader into the narrated events. Reading this book feels like living through it. A great literary work!
Benedict Waldstein
Apr 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The spanish war and Peace. This book is much better than the red horse which is sort of the Italian version. It is hard to compare to the big English novel Middlmarch. it is a lot more sensational which makes sense since it is spanish. a must read for all lovers of the big novel.
Vicky
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I still need to read the second half. It is an excellent book.
Rebecca Diefenderfer
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The time investment is worth it!
Marisa
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: españa
Lo leí hace muchos años y la historia me pareció impactante.
Isabel
Oct 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like historic stories
Shelves: clasics
A book that may seem hard to read. The story is very good, based on a difficult time in Spain, and how people coped with it.
It is a book that will take time and patience but worth it.
Ann Jones
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
As complicated as the history it describes and as straightforward as the family at its center. A bit of a slog, but totally worth it.
Kelly
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m generally not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but this book was so remarkable it might very well change that, at least for a while. The writing (though it was a translation instead of the original Spanish) is exquisite and both the setting and characters lovingly detailed. It’s highly unusual among depictions of war (or, here, of the conflicts leading up to war) that I know of, in that characters on both sides of the conflict are depicted very sympathetically (with some exceptions ...more
Gabriel
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Parece mentira que esto ocurriera hace tantos años y aún no hayamos aprendido nada y sigamos marcando la diferencia, señalando al que no es de nuestro bando, y desde entonces, aún con revanchismos.

Un muy buen libro para entender cómo se coció la guerra civil española.
Maruchi De La Nava
No puedo con él, abandono
Rose
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spain in the five years before and leading up to the start of the Spanish civil war of 1936. Fascinating and educational and very readable.
Felipe Lazo
Jan 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book deserves two stars to me but I'm putting one start to enforce one thing: don't read this book. Or don't read it unless you accomplish one of two conditions:
1. You're from Spain or you lived somehow the civil war.
2. You know a lot from the civil war.

I read an edition containing about 762 pages. 600 of this pages were a boring story about a family and almost nothing interesting happened. In addition, some things were assumed as obvious by the author and they were not, so the story feels
...more
James
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Epic in scope - covering the five years leading up to the outbreak of the Civil War - with an endless array of characters who represent the myriad confusing and contradictory political movements of the time, the resulting novel is majestic. Anybody who wants to understand why the Spanish Civil War happened, and why various groups took the sides they did, must read this book.
Doug
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Well it would have helped if I had found the glossary of names and political parties at the back before I finished the book. It was intersting if a little long. It certainly made the rightists look like the good guys in the conflict though there were plenty of atrocities on both sides. Unbiased it wasn't, but it was a well written novel--or at least the translator was good.
Esmeralda
Feb 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
Aunque le di varios intentos no he sido capaz de terminarlo. La velocidad del desarrollo de la historia es tan lenta que termino perdiendo el interés. No pongo en duda la calidad del libro ni su escritura, sencillamente no soy la lectora adecuada para este estilo de obra
Veronica Uribe
Too slow until now, lets see if it improves soon...
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