Tag: Books: Spanish Literature


Review: Four Major Plays

Posted 2 June, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Four Major Plays
By: Federico Garcia Lorca
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

In his four last plays (Blood Wedding, Yerma, The House of Bernarda Alba, Dona Rosita the Spinster) Federico Garcia Lorca offered his disturbed and disturbing personal vision to Spanish audiences of the 1930s—unready, as he thought them, for the sexual frankness and surreal expression of his more experimental work. The authentic sense of danger of Lorca’s theatre is finely conveyed here in John Edmunds’s fluent and rhythmic new translations that lend themselves admirably to performance.

I read this book back in 2012 but I never wrote a review about it; suffice to say I really enjoyed it then (as well as Lorca being my favourite poet and all <333). I decided to revisit it again this year as I’ve been reading a lot of plays lately.

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Everything España: a 2014 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Posted 30 December, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments


Everything España: a 2014 Reading Challenge hosted by caffeinatedlife.net

And here we are, at the end of another year, and thus at the end of another one of the three reading challenges I participated in this year. Just a recap about the reading challenge I hosted: this challenge included any books set in Spain or originally written in Spanish by a Spaniard. All of the details about this challenge can be found in this post while the master list of reviews can be found here.

Levels (sorry, not feeling very creative coming up with these levels, lol; I’m pretty laxed about this):

  • 1 – 4 books — Tourist
  • 5 – 9 books — Frequent Traveller
  • 10+ books — Spain Is My Home

So what did I read? 🙂

  • Dave Boling’s Guernica (set in Spain) — review
  • Idelfonso Falcones’ The Hand of Fatima (set in Spain) — review
  • Prosper Merimee’s Carmen (set in Spain) — review
  • Javier Cercas’ The Soldiers of Salamis (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Graham Greene’s Monsignor Quixote (set in Spain) — review
  • Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station (set in Spain) — review
  • Antonio Munoz Molina’s In the Night of Time (ARC; Spanish author; set in Spain) — DNF
  • Andrew Greeley’s The Archbishop in Andalucia (set in Spain) — review
  • Victor del Arbol’s The Sadness of the Samurai (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra (set in Spain) — reveiw
  • Antonio Hill’s The Good Suicides (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Stories by Foreign Authors: Spanishreview
  • Antonio Hill’s The Summer of Dead Toys (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Life is a Dream (Spanish author) — review
  • The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Laurie Lee’s A Rose for Winter (travelogue set in Spain) — review
  • Julian Sanchez’s The Art Restorer (Spanish author; partly set in Spain) — review
  • Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Marina (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account (partly set in Spain) — reviwe
  • Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Poems (Spanish poet) — review
  • Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Fencing Master (Spanish writer; set in Spain) — review

The only books I didn’t get around to reading to in my original list was Almunedas Grande’s The Forzen Heart and re-readng Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Alas, maybe next year 🙂 Oh, and I ended up DNF’ing Antonio Munoz Molina’s In the Night of Time.

As a wrap for this reading challenge:
Favourite read? Difficult question as I loved many of them! – Zafon’s Marina, Greene’s Monsignor Quixote, Antonio Hill’s books, de la Barca’s Life is a Dream
Least favourite read? Falcones’ The Hand of Fatima was disappointing, especialy as I loved The Cathedral of the Sea 🙁

And that’s about it! Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them? If you participated in this reading challenge, what was your favourite read?

Review: The Fencing Master

Posted 27 December, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Fencing Master
By: Arturo Perez-Reverte
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

In Madrid in 1868, fencing master and man of honor Don Jaime is approached by a mysterious woman who seeks to learn the unstoppable thrust, an arcane technique known only to him. All too soon he finds himself in the vortex of a plot that includes seduction, secret political documents, and more than one murder.

Rich with historical detail of a decaying world that agonizes – as does the art of fencing itself – over the ideals of honor and chivalry, The Fencing Master is superb literature and a true page-turner.

So some of you may know that I’m a bit of a fan of Arturo Perez-Reverte; The Flanders Panel (review) is one of my favourite books ever. The Fencing Master was actually the second book I’d read by him, having read The Club Dumas (review) first, but strangely enough I never wrote a review on it. So I decided to revisit the book recently 😉

This book is part of the A Year in Re-Reading: a 2014 Reading Challenge and the Everything Espana Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

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Review: The Hand of Fatima

Posted 18 August, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Hand of Fatima
By: Ildefonso Falcones
Format/Source: Mass bound paperback; my purchase

1564, Granada. The Moors have unsuccessfully tried to rise up against their Christian oppressors and the town has been painted with the blood of their victims. Hernando, a young Arab with a Christian father, is despised by the townsfolk and by his own step-father for his ‘tainted’ heritage and is banished to live in the stables. Hernando finds comfort in his affinity with the horses and becomes an expert muleteer. News of his special touch reaches the King of the Moors and he is appointed to fight the Christian troops sent by the Spanish King Philip II. There he meets Fatima, a young girl with black eyes who will become the love of his life. But his step-father cruelly marries her instead and forces Hernando into slavery. With the help of his Christian friends, he hatches a grand plan to reconcile the two warring faiths – and the two halves of his identity…

I finally got around to reading this book! It had been sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, for a few years now. (loved Cathedral of the Sea and waited forever for this novel to be translated and available)..I suppose I kept putting it off in part because it doesn’t look like his third novel is going to be translated any time soon (Edit: Correction), plus this book is massive (over 900+ pages long…in mass bound paperback O_o It’s so big that it actually weighs down my book bag; everything else is seemingly lighter than it). In the end I decided to read it, particularly during my subway rides to and from class as it seemed like the best time to read it.

This book is part of the Everything Espana Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

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Review: The Sadness of the Samurai

Posted 14 August, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Sadness of the Samurai
By: Victor del Arbol
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

When Isabel, a Spanish aristocrat living in the pro-Nazi Spain of 1941, becomes involved in a plot to kill her Fascist husband, she finds herself betrayed by her mysterious lover. The effects of her betrayal play out in a violent struggle for power in both family and government over three generations, intertwining her story with that of a young lawyer named Maria forty years later. During the attempted Fascist coup of 1981, Maria is accused of plotting the prison escape of a man she successfully prosecuted for murder. As Maria’s and Isabel’s narratives unfold they encircle each other, creating a page-turning literary thriller firmly rooted in history.

I stumbled across this book during one of my many searches across GoodReads for books set in Spain or written by a Spanish author. The title of the novel was a curious one but the premise sounded very interesting and promised some grand drama. I got it some time ago for my eReader but only got around to reading it now. I was initially planning on reading it parts at a time while I re-read a few other novels, but after a few chapters, I was wholly sucked into the story 😛

This book is part of the Everything Espana Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

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