Reviews

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

_maren_'s review

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  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

carolineabeachum's review

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slow-paced

2.5

m_h_dahl's review against another edition

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mysterious reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

A tale that takes your breath away and leaves you speechless. 

I was engulfed by Allende's book 'The House of the Spirits' from the very first sentence. As a lover of fantasy, this book gave me everything; magical realism at its most beautiful and mysterious, yet so authentic that you accept it as the most natural thing that ghosts wander the house at night, and that the dog is a mythical creature, characters so beautiful with porcelain skin and green hair, some with a personality so ugly yet so vivid and complex that you find yourself rooting for them, all woven into historical fiction that is so engaging that you almost put life on hold because you spend all your time reading, reading, reading. 

There's something undeniably captivating about the way Allende brings her characters to life, infusing them with depth and authenticity that resonates with you on a profound level. 

For me, it's the sheer magic of storytelling at its finest that makes 'The House of the Spirits' an unforgettable literary masterpiece.

Perhaps it's the masterful blend of magical realism and historical fiction, where the supernatural and the mundane coexist in perfect harmony. Or maybe it's the rich tapestry of characters, each one complex and compelling, their lives woven together in a captivating narrative that spans generations. I don’t know what it is that makes this one of the most magical books I’ve read, maybe the book itself is haunted by spirits, but i know for sure that this is the best book by Allende I’ve read.

brannonkrkhuang's review

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5.0

One of the greatest books of all time. I feel privileged to have read it. Will be hyping this one up for all of eternity. Read, read, READ IT!

ehickman0817's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

[Reading the World Challenge - Chile]

This story is truly a saga. I can see why it is such a well-known book, particularly in Chile, for the sweeping narrative covering so much of the country's recent history through the eyes of the characters. I generally liked the writing style and particularly the descriptions of the setting, my favorite of which was Tres Marias. The first half of the book was much more character-driven, while the second half was much more plot/politics-driven. At times, in the second half of the book, it felt like the characters were just a vehicle for the political story. I didn't feel like the elements of magical realism were particularly necessary, even though this author is known for that, as they were minimal and didn't add a whole lot to the story for me (admittedly being someone who doesn't love magical realism). I did like this approach to magical realism much better than others!

Although I enjoyed the story, I also found myself falling asleep a lot reading this one, and it felt like a bit of a slog at times (has more of a literary vibe than casual).  But, I can also appreciate how good it was, and I would read more from this author.

kgorinshteyn's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

beatrizferreira's review against another edition

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adventurous funny reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

iisangy's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I haven’t explored magical realism but it’s something I’ll definitely check out more of now that I’ve experienced the wonder that was this reading experience. The books covers 4 generations and I loved how we bounced through time but it never felt rushed or unexpected. The themes of family, love, and political upheaval add so much richness to the story. Every character is unique and the book does a great job of making you understand their own circumstances and how they come to be as they are either as awful humans or beings trying their best. The writing is so beautiful and captivating. The change from magic to revolution is inevitable but carefully crafted from the very beginning of the book to the end.

vanessac18's review against another edition

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mysterious relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

daniellop's review against another edition

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5.0

Bellerín tenía razón. Vaya librazo.