Customer Reviews for

The House of the Spirits

Average Rating 4.5
( 110 )
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(69)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    I think this is the best novel written by Isabel Allende, ever!

    As a latinamerican I know what she is talking about: those big wooden houses, the importance of family, social classes differences, tabues, etc. She has recreated our early 1900's society quite accurately.
    Besides that magic surrounding the principal character! Spirits, unknown forces, besides the force of blood and family as life passes by are of great importance too!
    I bought the book as a gift, since I have to really, really like something in order to pass it to someone else.
    Buy this book, you won't regret it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2008

    couldn't put it down!

    this book is beautiful -- it swept me away and I wanted to be reading it every second I could. Just wonderful. The characters are so alive and the book is enchanting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my favorite books of all time! I loved the characters.  I

    One of my favorite books of all time! I loved the characters.  It is definitely for someone who likes cultural books that transport you to another era.  I don't want to give much of the plot away.  There are some elements of fantasy in the book, but it is mostly just a beautiful novel.  The imagery is powerful.  The stories of the women in the family is a topic anyone could be interested in.   

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    Well written.

    Well written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book!!

    This is one of my favorite books ever!! I read it when I was 13 years old in Literature Class and just fell in love with the story and the characters. This is a great South American story and it also makes me remember my family and country. It is A MUST READ.... A classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    One of the best books ever written!

    I was in 5th grade when my older brother gave me this book. I didn't actually read it until I was in high school. This is one of the best books I have ever read. It makes you cry, it makes you laugh and ultimately live the life of the Truebas through and enchanting saga. I took my time readng it, relishing the details and love that Allende put into this beautiful novel. Once finished you feel as though you have come back from a very very long odyssey. Nothing seems the same anymore and you will never forget the Truebas, for their pain was your pain and their glory was yours as well. I recommend this to anyone to pick up and give it a shot. It is truly one of the most remarkable stories ever told.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    This is a spectacular book!

    Had a hard time putting it down. The characters are all so amazing and full of life! Written beautifully, you feel like your there with them through everything!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    I have just bought this book,and read about 4 chapters. I love t

    I have just bought this book,and read about 4 chapters. I love this book,and each time I turn each page I can not put it down at all. It's a must read book.

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  • Posted December 12, 2012

    The House of the spirits published by Everyman's Library was a t

    The House of the spirits published by Everyman's Library was a tragic and thrilling story. Isabel Allende did an amazing job with this novel. Estaban and his granddaughter Alba are looking back into Clara del Valle's journal to put their families story together. Clara is the main character of this novel she is Estaban’s wife (Estaban also narrates parts of the novel.) Clara is the mother of Jaime, Nicolas and Blanca. Thought the story something tragic happen between Clara and Estaban where they do not speak for years. Isabel Allende did an amazing job in showing the drama and pain of the Trueba family during those many years. This novel shows love and the struggle and heartache that comes along with it. This novel was great ! It had me wondering what was going to happen and having me unable to put the book down. Isabel Allende did a great job bring the characters to life sometime i would even feel for the characters as if I knew them. The house of the spirits was a great novel. It brought you along on the Trueba family’s journey. You go through three generations of struggle and violence. Isabel Allende really bring out the Spanish culture in this novel. Yes I recommend this book it is a page turner and overall a great novel.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Only Isabel Allende could get away with her writing style

    An interesting story of a family in a Latin American country (Peru? not sure) - anyway, it traces the generations from the early 20th century until (I think) sometime in the 60s (it doesn't really make it 100% clear.) Some of the people are just plain weird - Clara, the grandmother, is the weirdest one. But most of them are likeable, with the notable exception of Esteban, the grandfather. He's one of those people who rants whenever those who are less wealthy than he is stand up and ask for more equitable treatment, arguing that "I worked hard, everybody else should too, if you don't want to do backbreaking work 24/7 then you're just worthless, blah blah blah." Give him credit - he DID work his ass off to get rich. However, he conveniently forgets that he owned a lot of land free and clear in the first place. There's never any mention of rent or mortgage payments. So he started out with a huge advantage - if he hadn't had all that land to begin with, his hard work would have made somebody else rich. But he expects other people not to mind working hard to make him rich. He's also a sexist jerk who rapes and abuses peasants on his estate and forces his daughter to marry a weird guy who's into *very* kinky stuff.

    However, the overall story is awesome, and it might not be possible without the horrible character of Esteban. If the book was full of nothing but nice people, maybe nothing interesting ever would have happened. One cool thing about Isabel Allende - she has a writing style that would get on my nerves if anybody else tried it. She doesn't always stay right on topic, she drifts sometimes from one seemingly unrelated thing to the next. She's one of those rare authors who can do that without irritating me into giving up on the book.

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  • Posted May 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Along with "Paula," and "Hija de La Fortuna" they are the best from Allende.

    La casa de los espíritus by Isabel Allende

    The House of Spirits is probably Allende's best book and the one responsible for her fame. The movie version helped spread her work in the EE UU.

    In it, she chronicles the life of a family, as the patriarch grows from a child to an elder, with the world changing all around him while he tries to keep it the same. Through the lenses of the Trueba family, we follow the portion of Chilean history that eventually leads to the 1973 coup, where the CIA deposed Salvador Allende. Of course, the author is the niece of Salvador Allende, the socialist president democratically elected that was removed from power and killed by Pinochet, aided by the American government.

    The book is based on clashes; old versus young, communists vs conservatives, landlords vs tenants. As the story unfolds, we view the extremist positions that each side takes: landlords attacking tenants, conservatives attacking communists, and vice versa. From the polarization of positions emerges a military dictatorship that no one wanted, but that was a product of the system setup by class warfare.

    The book tells the story of Clara del Valle, a young girl who is able to predict every event in her life although not able to change the future. When her uncle Marcos dies and his body is delivered to her house, along with a puppy called Barrábas, Clara decides to start keeping a journal, which is later used by her husband Esteban and granddaughter Alba to piece together the story of their family. Clara's sister, Rosa the beautiful is engaged to Esteban Trueba, until one day she is accidentally poisoned instead of her father. Clara stops talking as a reaction to this event.

    Esteban continues to work hard and through his determination makes a fortune out of his estate, Trés Marias. Nine years later he returns to the city and visits the del Valle family again. This time he intends to get engaged to Clara who surprises everyone by talking again and telling Esteban she will marry him.

    From then on, this compelling story continues to detail the lives of the del Valle / Trueba family as well as the social and political on goings of the country.

    Magical Realism follows the female characters of the Trueba family. The peasants at Trés Marias are a perfect example of this, where the fight between the social classes is so evident and this book gives you a view from both angles. Esteban oppressed the peasants andf sired a child that later haunts him.

    I liked how the personal and political aspects are woven together in a novel that analyzes the changes in the different generations of the family as well as those happening in the country, with the magical touch of the del Valle family to enhance the story but not ruin it with unrealistic occurrences.

    Along with "Paula," and "Hija de La Fortuna" they are the best from Allende. Lately her books are too commercial and not worth reading.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What an Amazing Story and Writer

    Being a Hispanic woman who had never read anything by a Hispanic author I was very disappointed in reading One Hundred Years of Solitude. This is the book I should have read first. Allende from the moment the story started had me captivated. The characters had their own unique views of life and how one should handle things in their times. I often measure a book by the depth I feel as I am reading it and I have to tell you when Clara died in the story I cried. I felt Esteban's rage and his reasoning behind why he was the way he was. And at the end the relationship between Alba and her grandfather and Alba's explaining her understanding of the long history and nature of relationships in the family was uniquely riveting. I cannot wait until I read another book by Allende. This book speaks from the heart and I am ecstatic about having it as part of my collection and passing it down to my son.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    colorful words to a great book

    This book is wonderful and the characters come to life in this telling of age tale. Colorful words that read like poetry and make this great book a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2008

    Loved It!

    I would recommend this book to everyone. When I finished the book, my thought was, 'That's it?' It was very entertaining and easy to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2007

    HAUNTINGLY MAGICAL !!

    I first read about Isabel Allende in my Spanish textbook--the magic and 'dark arts' presented in this novel greatly interested me, so I picked up a copy of this book the past week and was completely enthralled--I read a quarter of the book in two days, but am nowhere near finished. Allende writes with a style all her own. The writing is so real, so passionate. She writes with emotion and drags you, as a reader, into the Latinoamerican world. Everything that she writes is AMAZING! I'm only beginning chapter two, and I'm waiting for the end in anticipation! Esteban's love for the enchanted Rosa. Esteban's hate of his sister Ferula. Esteban's aches. Clara's unspokeness. All are captured in bright, clear detail, and I swear, if you read a paragraph, or even a sentence, you can feel the characters move. My favorite page--22. If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, something you won't feel guilty reading, than this book is for you. A TOTAL ADVENTURE!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    An Artist At Work

    Isabel Allende always blows me away with her first sentence and then holds my affection until the end when all her twists and turns come to seamless fruition. The House of Spirits was no exception. My only regret is that the book came to an end and all the characters she had brilliantly created exited my life. Great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2006

    the best!

    I have loved this book for years (first read it in High School, as part of summer reading program... but have since read it two more times!). It's a true epic, with real characters you get invested in quickly. Plus, I love magical realism! This is a great book with so many layers and the end chapter brings it all together! I highly recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2006

    An Excellent Book!

    I read this book for my College English Literature class and I loved it! At first I thought it was going to be dragging, but I thought wrong! This book practically has everything from brief history, family conflicts, love stories, politics, and even lessons in life. I really recommened this book because it's a book that when you start to read, you end up wanting to know more of whats going to happen. That to me is what makes an excellent novel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2005

    A Haunting Tale

    If you like romance, history, politics, and magic (real or supernatural), this is the book for you. This is the story/history of a family in a South American country that is unnamed, but if you know anything about history and politics it is easy to decipher that it is about Chile. Also that Isabel Allende is the niece of the real-life assasinated President Dr. Salvador Allende, whose character in the book is 'The Candidate' then 'the Companero President,' you can bet you are reading some real history. Isabel Allende's story is mesmirizing. The love stories in this book will break your heart for their intensity and trials. The history in this book will make you realize that it really happened and that people are still affected by it today. The politics in this book are amazing and will leave you fired up to act. The magic of this book is that it will stir up your emotions and make you want to take note of all that is around you. This book is written in the form of a memoir from different points of view in the del Valle and Trueba families. Most of all it is a story about a family, and what it is to be a part of a family. Each character has (sometimes too much) pride and their own opinions, but in the end they are family and their bonds are unbreakable even in death. You won't be disappointed with this book. You'll wish you had read it sooner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2005

    ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT

    Word cannot BEGIN to explain how good this book is! It is simply wonderful! Allende is a wonderful writer, the book is just so beautifully written. It is unique and unpredictable. I read it the first time in August 04, and since then I have already read it three times! People who have not read this have NO idea what they're missing out on! Wow! seriously! READ IT!!!

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