Customer Reviews for

Guernica

Average Rating 4
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Great Debut Novel

Guernica covers the years from 1893-1940. The reader learns of the Basque people and their culture. This is an agrian society, with farmers and fishermen. The people work hard and love their families and their land above all.

The years before WW II are dangerous ones...
Guernica covers the years from 1893-1940. The reader learns of the Basque people and their culture. This is an agrian society, with farmers and fishermen. The people work hard and love their families and their land above all.

The years before WW II are dangerous ones for this area. Those who want independance are overwhelmed by the Spanish who are allied with the Germans and the Italians. Basques are labeled as troublesome separatists and unloyal to the country. The Basque country is in Spain, and there is a natural struggle between the Spanish government and the Basque people. The forces making their way across Europe in this time frame gave a window of opportunity to those seeking to repress the Basques forever.
The reader learns of two Basque families. One is a farming family, led by the Justo, the strongest man in town. He is married to Mariangeles and they have one child, a daughter named Miren. The other family is a fishing family, but one son is not enamoured of the sea and comes to Guernica to live his life instead as a carpenter. This is Miguel, who marries Miren and finds happiness and contentment with her. They have a baby daughter, Catalina.

Those who have heard of Guernica probably know of it from the tragedy that struck the town on April 26, 1937. The German airforce, to train their pilots prior to the war they knew was coming, and to support Franco and his political party, carried out three hours of horrific air raids on the town. Guernica was almost totally destroyed, with most families losing one or many members and families torn apart. People were killed in the intial blasts, or in collapsing buildings or by overcrowding in the shelters. Almost no family was untouched. There was as much firepower used in this one attack as in all of WW I. It was the first use of modern air warfare, and the opening of the ability to kill hundreds in a quick attack. The other striking feature was that this was not a military attack; instead, harmless townpeople were targeted and shot down as they ran for shelter. The horror of what was done was captured by Picasso, in his famous painting of the same name, showing the world what had been done to Guernica and the Basques who had lived there for centuries.

This is Dave Boling's first novel, and it is incredible to me that such a wonderful novel could be someone's debut. I was immediately attracted to the characters, and they became very important to me as I read. There was dread as I knew what would happen, but I had to continue reading to see what would happen to these brave families. This book is highly recommended to those lovers of historical fiction, or anyone looking for a great read.

posted by sandiek on September 9, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Guernica by Dave Boling

The subject of the Basque culture and the very locale was of interest to me because of family history in the region. It was a very well researched book in terms of the Basque country, the relationship between Spain's Basques and the French Basque.


I consider thi...
The subject of the Basque culture and the very locale was of interest to me because of family history in the region. It was a very well researched book in terms of the Basque country, the relationship between Spain's Basques and the French Basque.


I consider this book as a wonderful archive of the history of the Basque people and the incredible tenacity they have in preserving their culture. Although the author spends a great deal of time developing his characters, they are so romanticized as to not seem real, thus making it difficult to establish a connection of identity with them as real people.

For anyone with a desire to understand more about the Basque Separatist movement in an entertaining manner, I would highly recommend this book.

posted by pointofview on November 16, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Keep reviews simple

    Why do people feel the need to write a lengthy book report
    instead of a simple review? Just give your opinion of the writing style, did it keep your interest, age appropriate, believable plot, was it worth your time and money? When you go on and get past 10 lines, I don't even read your post. Just a simple review ... Please!

    7 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 16, 2009

    Guernica by Dave Boling

    The subject of the Basque culture and the very locale was of interest to me because of family history in the region. It was a very well researched book in terms of the Basque country, the relationship between Spain's Basques and the French Basque.


    I consider this book as a wonderful archive of the history of the Basque people and the incredible tenacity they have in preserving their culture. Although the author spends a great deal of time developing his characters, they are so romanticized as to not seem real, thus making it difficult to establish a connection of identity with them as real people.

    For anyone with a desire to understand more about the Basque Separatist movement in an entertaining manner, I would highly recommend this book.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Debut Novel

    Guernica covers the years from 1893-1940. The reader learns of the Basque people and their culture. This is an agrian society, with farmers and fishermen. The people work hard and love their families and their land above all.

    The years before WW II are dangerous ones for this area. Those who want independance are overwhelmed by the Spanish who are allied with the Germans and the Italians. Basques are labeled as troublesome separatists and unloyal to the country. The Basque country is in Spain, and there is a natural struggle between the Spanish government and the Basque people. The forces making their way across Europe in this time frame gave a window of opportunity to those seeking to repress the Basques forever.
    The reader learns of two Basque families. One is a farming family, led by the Justo, the strongest man in town. He is married to Mariangeles and they have one child, a daughter named Miren. The other family is a fishing family, but one son is not enamoured of the sea and comes to Guernica to live his life instead as a carpenter. This is Miguel, who marries Miren and finds happiness and contentment with her. They have a baby daughter, Catalina.

    Those who have heard of Guernica probably know of it from the tragedy that struck the town on April 26, 1937. The German airforce, to train their pilots prior to the war they knew was coming, and to support Franco and his political party, carried out three hours of horrific air raids on the town. Guernica was almost totally destroyed, with most families losing one or many members and families torn apart. People were killed in the intial blasts, or in collapsing buildings or by overcrowding in the shelters. Almost no family was untouched. There was as much firepower used in this one attack as in all of WW I. It was the first use of modern air warfare, and the opening of the ability to kill hundreds in a quick attack. The other striking feature was that this was not a military attack; instead, harmless townpeople were targeted and shot down as they ran for shelter. The horror of what was done was captured by Picasso, in his famous painting of the same name, showing the world what had been done to Guernica and the Basques who had lived there for centuries.

    This is Dave Boling's first novel, and it is incredible to me that such a wonderful novel could be someone's debut. I was immediately attracted to the characters, and they became very important to me as I read. There was dread as I knew what would happen, but I had to continue reading to see what would happen to these brave families. This book is highly recommended to those lovers of historical fiction, or anyone looking for a great read.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    Quite simply, this is excellence in literature

    This book is a fervent, consuming and entralling lesson in fortitude. The characters are vivid,interesting and compelling. There are layers of complexity interwoven into the family saga that take it to a higher level of writing than most historical novels. The characters seem hand picked to portray the strength, courage, love, patriotism and determined integrity of the Basque nation before, during and after the genocidal bombing of the town at the core of it's culture. Guernica educates in a grippingly graphic tone the horror of war and the collateral devastation it inflicts. And yet the intrinsic core of the story is of a family's love. It evokes humor, anger, disbelief, tears and joy. It has been a long time since a novel of this caliber, eloquent and enduring, has been published.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 8, 2011

    History and culture come alive

    This is a solid and thought-provoking historical fiction novel of a tragic period in Spanish history. The Basque culture came alive through the strong characters. This novel describes life before the bombs dropped and how the tragedy transformed the characters' loves, families and livelihoods and the different paths each chose to survive. "Justo learned from Miguel that if you lose someone you love, you need to redistribute your feelings rather than surrender them. You give them to whoever is left, and the rest you turn toward something that will keep you moving forward."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Thoughtful, touching and insightful. Great reading!

    Guernica, the debut novel for Seattle journalist Dave Boling. Set in the moments before the outbreak of WWII in the Basque region straddling southwestern France and northwestern Spain, this novel is a beautiful meditation on the power of love and a heart-wrenching exploration of the devastation the machinery of war visits upon the innocents of all ages. While this book tells the tale of the people at the heart of Basque culture in Guernica, it paints on a canvas even larger than Picasso did for his epic mural. This intimate portrait paradoxically sprawls across the sweeping events of the era and illuminates--through fiction--the horror of war, the heroism of living a meaningful life in the face of unimaginable heartache, and the dignity of doing the best you can in the worst of circumstances. This was a five-star read for me, and is a fine example of how fiction at its best illuminates and informs the best and the worst in us.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

    A beautiful story

    Dave Boling weaves a beautiful tale that compels you to turn the page. I eagerly await his next book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Interesting read

    The historical aspects of this novel were often fascinating. I really did not know very much about the tragedy at guernica before reading this. I became attached to a couple of the main characters and felt a sense of inevitable doom as i proceeded to read. Nevertheless, the ending was fantastic. A slow read, but still interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2012

    Enjoyable read

    Enjoyable read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 6, 2012

    Wonderful story

    A mix of a great character study, history, and a lesson in the horrors of war.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    This is a really good book. I didn't want to put it down.

    This is a really good book. I didn't want to put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Avid Reader -Loved this book

    Really enjoyed this story, full of history and great characters. I look forward to his next book.... as others have indicated. It truly is hard to believe this was his first book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Great story

    This is a totally absorbing novel which contains finely drawn characters against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the Basque culture and people. Ieagerly await other novels by the author of this book. Does anyone have any recommendations regarding other novels about this subject?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Highly recommend. A wonderful read!

    This is a beautifully written book about the Spanish civil war. It reminded me of Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 20, 2012

    Hope rising from the ashes

    This book is horrifying, poignant, deeply sad, and full of hope. The characters are vivid, and the blending of real historical characters with the fictional ones is skillful. The horror of the attack on Guernica and the subsequent suffering and deprivation of the people becomes almost palpable as one reads. The strength and determination of the survivors, however, is inspiring. Strongly recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2012

    Gripping account of an Historical Event

    Story of the event which inspired one of Picasso's most famous paintings. A must read for any serious reader of historical fiction!
    A great selection for a book club.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Brings to life a moment in history not to be forgotten

    If you wonder how the Nazis began the carnage later visited on their European neighbors, learn about the people in the peaceful Basque town they erased in a day just for practice. The author draws you into their lives and you won't forget them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Guernica and how it came to life for me

    very enjoyable story well written. I enjoyed all the people in the story and how they all fit together. I went on-ling after I read the book to read more on the country and the war.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Pleasently surprised

    Good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2012

    recommend if u like historical based novels.

    Was hard for me to read but did enjoy the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4