DROPPING OUT's Reviews > Cathedral of the Sea

Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones
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U 50x66
's review
Oct 16, 2009

did not like it

I could not bring myself to give this two stars, meaning it was merely OK.

The book was a best seller in Spain, with proclaiming Falcones Spain's answer to Dan Brown. (He is not that good - and not that bad either.) I can see why the book was so popular, for the author, A Catalan, wrote a historical novel of his city, Barcelona. This is something totally unthinkable 50 years ago, when the Franco regime forbade Catalan culture and language.

Perhaps another reason for he book's popularity was its language. I perused the Spanish original and the style and vocabulary were simple and elementary. In short, it is "fast food" literature, accessible, filling, but hardly nutritious. (Not unlike Dan Brown.) One could almost call it a "beach book" or "airport book," but its sheer bulk make it less than handy and therefore unlikely.

More substantively, the plot seethed with hokey melodrama (Spanish has a word for it: cursi) and the characters two dimensional, almost stereotypical.

Falcones is an attorney in Barcelona, and he wrote this book over a period of years, an hour or so in the morning before going to work and an hour or so after work. It is also obvious he spent time in libraries as the plot is replete with minor heroes of Catalan history from the thirteenth-fourteenth century.

Perhaps a movie will be made of it, dumbing it down even further, which can only ensure an even greater success. But it would have to be done the scale of a Cecil B. DeMille epic.

I do not feel guilty leaving it unfinished.
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Reading Progress

October 16, 2009 – Shelved
October 16, 2009 –
page 220
Started Reading
October 23, 2009 – Finished Reading

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