Barcelona is well written with some edge of the seat turns If you enjoy medieval fiction such as Pillars of the Earth you may ike this one I enjoyed Pillars of the Earth but this was ovely also The story was compelling Like most historical fiction you ove some of the characters and hate a few others also There were some parts that bored me but those are easy to skim through One word of warning for those who may be a bit on the conservative side it does get a bit graphic at times but not too often Finally the book is thoroughly researched I really enjoyed the final pages of the book where the author explains the parts of the story that are true I hope that we have time to visit this fascinating cathedral during our short stay in BarcelonaSome of my favorite uotesThe past does not exist There is nothing to be sorry for Today is when we start to Dona Flor live Lookook at the sea The sea has not past It is just there It will never ask us to explain The stars the moon are there to Rocker Babies Wear Jeans light our way to shine for us What do they care what might have happened in the past They are accompanying us and are happy with that Can you see them shine The stars are twinkling in the sky would they do that if the past mattered Would not there be a huge storm if God wanted to punish us We are alone you and I with no past no memories no guilt nothing that can stand in the way of ourove From the beginning Santa Maria de a Mar church was built by and for the common people Santa Maria de a Mar is without doubt one of the most beautiful churches to be found anywhere It may Sono with Visits from the Seventh lack the monumentality of others built at the same time orater but its interior is filled with the spirit with which Berenguer de Montagut sought to infuse it the people s church built by the people of Barcelona for Barcelona is Remarkable Creatures like an airy Catalan farmhouse It is austere protected and protecting and theight of the Mediterranean sets it apart from any other church in the world According to the experts the great virtue of Santa Maria is that it was built over an uninterrupted period of fifty five years This means it benefits from a unified architectural style with few elements added on making it the eading example of Catalan Gothic I read the book in English and perhaps it was not that good in translation However as a person who absolutely oved The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett I thought that this was just a poor copy of the epic novel Cathedral of the Sea is worth a read if you ike historical fiction but that s pretty much about it I picked up this well crafted historical epic masterpiece at a charity shop and am so thrilled that I did It is passionate and beautiful inspiring uplifting and heartbreaking with a strong feel for 14th century Catalonia at the height of the InuisitionArnau Estanyol is the son of a fugitive serf who acuires freedom wealth and a high status through the help of his Jewish benefactor Hasdai Crescas and the Moorish slave he is given to him Guillem after the rescues Hasdai s three young children and the slave from a mob which has attacked the Jewry in Barcelona in a bloodthirsty pogrom caused by a blood ibel He achieves great military success against the attacking ships of the enemy king of Castille and is elevated to the nobility while being forced marry the ward of the King Eleanor who he does not Chuck and Danielle love as his heart belongs to the enchanting girl he adopted after the death of her parents the attractive andively MarArnau is betrayed by his adopted brother Joan who has become a cruel and narrow minded inuisitor who together with the evil Eleanor plan and execute the kidnap rape and forced marriage of Mar Arnau falls foul of the inuisition and the author gives a great insight into the machinations of the Spanish Inuisition and it s purge of Jews and Heretics Meanwhile two women who have been earlier in their Escaping the Endless Adolescence: How We Can Help Our Teenagers Grow Up Before They Grow Old lives forced into prostitution Arnau s mother unbeknown to him Francesca and Arnau s firstove the alluring and goodhearted Aledis I Dogs Behaving Badly: An A-Z Guide to Understanding and Curing Behavorial Problems in Dogs like his sympathetic portrayal of the prostitutes and his reminder to us that often it is many whores who s hearts are much bigger than those of the the saints The book isingeringly erotic in parts SPOILER WARNINGTogether with Mar and Guillem they rescue Arnau from death at the hands of the inuisitionThis book is not only a real page turner of which the Gray Bishop last 150 pages are particularly enthralling but an analysis of historical events including the Inuistion and anti Semitism society and human natureHighly recommended. Ersonaggio di inusuale tempra e umanità Arnau non esita a dedicarsi con entusiasmo al grande progetto della cattedrale del popolo E all'ombra di uelle torri gotiche dovràottare contro fame ingiustizie e tradimenti ataviche barriere religiose guerre peste commerci ignobili e indomabili passioni ma soprattutto per un a che i pregiudizi del tempo vorrebbero condannare alle brume del sog.
So we just smiled to each other and made a photo I can t find any For all those who ove Ken Follett s The Pillars of th I gave up on this book at page 252 of 600 The very beginning was pretty interesting and I found the character of a young man essentially raising his baby alone with his remote wife as a successful medieval serf in pastoral Spain very compelling I iked the stuff through the pottery workshop too but after that It felt to me ike the story dropped off for the sake of cramming a historical setting with stock characters to represent different aspects of ife in 14th Century Barcelona There was ittle narrative suspense or tension and the book rapidly turned into an episodic adventure For all that the novel is touted as portraying a time and a place it does neither And when the characters are given a few ines of dialogue it serves only to do the author s work for him They don t talk ike anyone realThere are many places that the story could be developed the community of the bastaixos the relationship of Joan and Arnau regional warfare restrictions on women The author just glosses over everything The sentences are written well enough and the prose is readable enough but there s no real reason to keep reading the book It acks substance It s Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are like Moll Flanders Arnau just goes from place to place getting and successful but with very few insights into what he thinks or feels He s a puppet They re all puppets Ateast Moll Flanders makes some coy statements about her contemporary era which are interesting to read in the modern era Cathedral Gaffer lacks even that authenticityIike my characters to do a Circumstantial Evidence little thinking and my authors to do aot Lone Star Justice: The First Century of the Texas Rangers less spoonfeeding If youove Barcelona or the Santa Maria del Mar church or have a particular interest in the period you would probably ike this book I think you d be better off reading a really good non fiction book on the topic though Maybe there aren t any yet A story of treachery battle destitution sickness death ove betrayal hardship all A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store's Guide to Chicken Keeping life circumstances in an era filled with mystery and intrigue From the moment you read the first chapter to the end you will endure theife of a peasant a baron a nobleman or noblewoman a prostitute a warrior a witch a friar an inuisitor and a king Full review on my blog I could not bring myself to give this two stars meaning it was merely OKThe 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 Island of the Lost Horses (Dora and Friends) languagePerhaps another reason for he book s popularity was itsanguage I perused the Spanish original and the style and vocabulary were simple and elementary In short it is fast food iterature 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 ess than handy and therefore unlikelyMore substantively the plot seethed with hokey melodrama Spanish has a word for it cursi and the characters two dimensional almost stereotypicalFalcones 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 God Said, Ha!: A Memoir 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 epicI do not feel guiltyeaving it unfinished I probably wouldn t have even heard of this beautiful story had it not been for a review that I saw on Trip Advisor of all places I was ooking at places to visit for our upcoming trip to Barcelona deciding on whether or not to visit Santa Maria del Mar a cathedral in Barcelona One of the reviewers highly recommended reading this book first I m a sucker for reading travel related books and I have to say that I ve been hard pressed to find much that truly interests me when it comes to books that are set in Spain I am becoming a bit selective and no onger want to read a travel related book just because we re headed there It has to be good also Anyway I am so grateful to that reviewer and I wrote and told him so The story set in 14th century. Ertà che a tutt'oggi incarna On the Right Side of a Dream lo spirito di Barcellona all'epoca in pieno fermento i vecchi istituti feudali sono al tramonto e i mercanti e i banchieri sono in ascesa sempre più influenti nel determinaree sorti della città impegnata in aspre battaglie per il controllo dei mari Intanto 'azione dell'Inuisizione minaccia a già non facile convivenza fra cristiani musulmani ed ebrei
It is very important to know when you start this book that it is in fact based on the Chronica of King Pedro III Although historical fiction it closely follows true events in Catalonia during the 1300s under King Pedro s reign There is tons of history incorporated into the novel At the same time it has an engaging and fast moving plot You will Operation Iceberg : The Invasion and Conquest of Okinawa in World War II learn about Barcelona the building of the cathedral Sant Maria dea Mar You will be impressed by the cathedral s history its beauty and how it engaged the Arrows of the Night: Ahmad Chalabi's Long Journey to Triumph in Iraq life of so many in Barcelona It was built for and by the people of Barcelona All its people It was built at the site of an older church and underneath it is an ancient Roman cemetery However the book and the plot covers many many other actual events wars the bubonic plague the Inuisition guild practices treatment of women and Jews in fact all aspects ofife in Barcelona during the 1300s this book is a perfect example of how historical fiction can teach in a delightful engrossing manner There is a author s note that clearly explains what is fiction and what is fact The events that have been altered are pointed out What is amazing is that what seems fiction is fact I wish I had read it in the middle of the novel rather than at the end So why only three stars I know that for me to say I Michelin Green Guide Normandy like the book feels appropriate than to say I reallyiked it This is because I never really attached my self to the characters The book is concerned with the unrolling of the plot than character analysis Each character plays a significant role there are none that could have been eliminated Each character was rounded and well thought out but maybe the fact that all was so well planned that there were few bizarre elements that it simply felt a bit boring I do not mean the plot was boring that was rolling along at full speed continually In fact it felt a bit cinematicSo this book provides great history in an engaging story but without much sparkle I am very glad I read it I earned so very very much Did you know that the Inuisition began very early in Catalonia Dis you know that people were trading and profiting from the buying and selling of different currencies in the 1300s Did you know that when two serfs were married the master had the right to sleep with the woman first on the night of their marriage You will not regret reading this book Hefty historical novel set in fourteenth century Barcelona and revolving around the building of a cathedral yes there are similarities to Ken Follett s Pillars of the Earth Unlike Follett s novel this is very much woven around fact and an actual building and events and is based on a contemporary chronicle It is well plotted but there is a certain predictability about it The topics you would expect to come across are there the inuisition the plague relationships with Jews and Moors the guild system money ending serfdom and slavery nobility daily ife relationships between the sexes and so on It is a saga based on the main protagonist Arnau Estanyol his parents his adopted brother Joan and his subseuent ife and relationships All the boxes are ticked and this makes for the predictability The novel is informative and as it is based on historical fact I did earn a good deal about the history of fourteenth century Barcelona Some of the characterisation was a ittle contrived In the first part of the book there were a few characters who were clearly in the way of where the plot was clearly headed and I thought to myself How is he going to dispose of them Along comes the plague and of course the characters in the way succumb What Every American Should Know About the Rest of the World leaving the plot to roll along The ending was also aittle too cosy and predictableThis sounds ike I m being rather harsh the plot does move along at a good pace and there is certainly warmth to it that is endearing It isn t taxing and would make a good beach read If I was into beaches Great book couldn t put it down This is one of my favorite Spanish novels And my precious acuisitions as editor I ve heard about this book at that time just published in Spain from his agent during Book Fair in Turin called Laguna s big boss during first cigarette break we agreed to give an offer And by the time my plane anded in Belgrade Laguna had the rights I was so thrilled with the book that I immediately sold it to Bulgaria Croatia and Slovenia and became fairy editor for Falcones agent I ve met the author at Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007 but he doesn t speak English and my Spanish is not so good on speaking The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War level. Barcellona XIV secolo Nel cuore dell'umile uartiere della Ribera gli occhi curiosi del piccolo Arnau sono catturati dalle maestose mura di una grande chiesa in costruzione Un incontro decisivo poichéa storia di Santa Maria del Mar sarà il cardine delle tormentate vicende della sua esistenza Figlio di un servo fuggiasco nella capitale catalana Arnau trova rifugio e uella sospirata ib.
lldefonso Falcones de Sierra married and the father of four children is a lawyer who lives and works in Barcelona The cathedral of the sea is his homage to a people capable of building in the then unusual span of fifty four years what is undoubtedly one of the most lovely churches in the worldA historical novel that has become an unprecedented bestseller recognized by both readers and criti