Saturday, 2 October 2010

Book Review - The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Synopsis - Spanning four generations, this magnificent family saga is populated by a memorable, often eccentric cast of characters.  Together, men and women, spirits, the forces of nature, and of history, converge in an unforgettable, wholly absorbing and brilliantly realised novel that is as richly entertaining as it is a masterpiece of modern literature.

Review - I generally like the south american authors, Paul Coelho, Gabriel Garcia Marquez to name a couple.  I also like the way they tell their stories weaving magic, alchemy and spiritual superstitions into their fantastical fiction.  However, this book was very disappointing and in my opinion overrated.  I found it quite difficult to plough through the first two thirds of jumbled storytelling.  It was not until the last third of the book when the story got to it's more "political" phase and the family were under one roof in the town/city where action started to take place.  The characters were not entirely believable, yes, I can imagine men like Esteban Trueba whoring and taking women for pleasure and being complete and utter selfish bastards.  That fits with the time and culture but not necessarily typical.  It is storytelling and adding drama to the novel for effect and sensationalism.   Sadly this reading group read was not for me after all, even though it was in my to be read pile.  I have generously given it 3* as it did come through at the end and I have to say I began to enjoy those final chapters.

Blog Archive