Guernica

Guernica

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Guernica 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
pointofview More than 1 year ago
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.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Cycling_Chef More than 1 year ago
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."
RLPace More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
UnoEE More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable read.
Baileycat More than 1 year ago
A mix of a great character study, history, and a lesson in the horrors of war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dave Boling weaves a beautiful tale that compels you to turn the page. I eagerly await his next book.
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This is a really good book. I didn't want to put it down.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written book about the Spanish civil war. It reminded me of Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises."
janhig More than 1 year ago
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.
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