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In the Night of Time Hardcover – 17 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Tra edition (17 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547547846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547547848
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 597,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Spellbinding...What distinguishes "In the Night of Time"--what makes it eye-openingly new--is its meticulous reconstruction of Spain in 1936, its attention to detail, its fusion of history and imagination, its tension between love's surrender and war's stiff resolve. Let me put it this way: Antonio Munoz Molina's novel is one of the most eloquent monuments to the Spanish Civil War ever to be raised in fiction." --Marie Arana, "Washington Post" "Labyrinthine and spellbinding...one of the most eloquent monuments to the Spanish Civil War ever to be raised in fiction." --"The Washington Post, " Best Fiction Books of 2014"A vast, architectural novel." --NPR.org"Sweeping, magisterial...An astonishingly vivid narrative that unfolds with hypnotic intensity by means of the constant interweaving of time and memory..."In the Night of Time" is Tolstoyan in its scale, emotional intensity and intellectual honesty." --"The Economist" "What is remarkable about the book, despite the emphasis on the private and the shadowy, is how much Munoz Molina manages to say about the world itself and how hypnotic his narrative becomes as he slows down time...He can have his protagonist contemplate his own past in slow and searching tones; he can have him consider his lover's body with mesmeric grace; he can have him ponder his need to escape with urgency; he can have him consider architecture with originality...Munoz Molina, in all his fiction, has a sense of the past as a living force, darting, shifting, haunting, impossible to pin down...In "In the Night of Time "he brings this perception further, allowing the most private inner moments to have greater importance than the war outside, and he approaches character with even greater tenderness, allowing for every type of weakness." --Colm Toibin, "New York Review of Books""An epic...Molina's cogent examination of war on a scale both large and small reaffirms his place as a giant of Europe's literary scene, well-worth being discovered by American readers." --"The Daily Beast""A story of love, violence, and politics...["In the Night of Time"] echoes Molina's earlier works, including the much-praised "A Manuscript of Ashes."" --"The New Yorker""Epic..."In the Night of Time" gives its subject the space it deserves and renders it vibrantly with intoxicating prose." "--Entertainment Weekly""A fascinating read." --"Typographical Era""A sweeping, mesmerizing tale that weaves seamlessly between Spain and America, present and past, personal and political." --Bustle.com"Superb...A simple love story at one level, a broad portrait of a nation in flames at another, and a masterwork through and through." --"Kirkus" (starred review)"A "War and Peace" for the Spanish Civil War, this classically sweeping novel from Molina ("A Manuscript of Ashes") follows a large cast of characters, intermingling real and fictional figures, through times of both peaceful routine and grotesque violence." --"Publishers Weekly""A large rough-cut gem of a story that lingers in one's mind. [Molina] appears to be finally getting the international attention he deserves." --"Booklist" (starred review)"Antonio Munoz Molina's "In The Night of Time" is a sweeping love story enveloped by the horrors of the Spanish Civil War...In this monumental book, Molina has described with brutal honesty the atrocities committed on both sides of the war." - "Charleston Post and Courier"

Book Description

The internationally bestselling historical tour de force of love and tragedy in the Spanish Civil War --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Siciliano on 13 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover
A revolutionary guardsman deems Ignacio Abel, the protagonist of Antonio Muñoz Molina's "In the Night of Time," a "gentleman with a union card."

Civil wars often divide countries. Spain's sliced Iberia into a series of mind states, intellectual positions and moral prerogatives that deposited a prismatic understanding of those traumatic events in history's hopper.

How you understand the conflict depends very much on who is telling the story, a devout Catholic or Falangist, a millenarian anarchist, a determined communist, a socialist intellectual with sympathies rooted in a class not their own.

Abel is a working class boy made good by studying hard in preparation, and marrying up to cement his drive for respectability.

His complacency, his thinly veiled boredom with bourgeois Spanish life, mark him as something other than the family he's married into, architectural brilliance and financial success notwithstanding.

As the country lurches toward civil war, circumstances in the family come to something of a boil as his socialist tendencies clash with their own Catholic and evolving fascistic allegiances.

The ebullient Republican milieu and the opening up of Spain in the 1930s, following years of dictatorship, led to outside influences and armies of curious visitors. One of these, Judith Biely, a student, revolutionizes his life, awakens the older man's sexuality and deepens his appreciation for Madrid, the city he grew up in yet has never truly seen.

About the time the affair comes to light in Abel's domestic life (not a spoiler) the civil war has broken out. They go together, this conflict at home and the larger one outside it, to the point where the same things that divide Abel's family, divide the country.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Per Osterman on 17 Mar 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is probably a marvelous story to tell about the civil war in Spain. Unfortunately the author tries to jam in as many words as possible for every minor event that occur around his main character. It makes the reading very tedious and slow. Maybe critics like it. I don't.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A triumph of the imagination 27 Feb 2014
By Comment Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In the Time of Night is a brilliant novel firmly in the modern school. Molina has a gift "for imagining what other people are living or have lived through." (That is a line from the novel lifted from the character Van Doren which I take as Molina's assessment of his own ability.) He uses a extremely sophisticated narrative scheme, which follows the thoughts the main character, the architect Ignacio Abel as he rides a passenger railroad from New York City to a college in the woods. The narrative unfolds through a series of Abel's memories. However, in the almost dream like structure of the narrative, Molina shifts the narrative focus from Abel to other characters such as his wife Adela, his lover Judith Biely, his son, his father-in-law, etc.; these technically difficult point-of-view narrative shifts have the great advantage of creating exceptionally convincing psychological character studies.

The book works at one level as a reverse Portrait of a Lady, with the focus on the European lover, in this case a Spaniard, rather than the young American woman. Molina indicates he is aware of this homage by his somewhat ironic references to Henry James and Isabel Archer. At another, it is a panoramic recreation of Spain on the cusp of revolution, with people from different segments of society--the traditional Catholic, the bourgeois, the proletariat and the artistic--imaginatively and sympathetically recreated. In a sense, the character Ignacio Abel represents a modern Spain almost stillborn in the wake of Franco's revolt.

Molina has asked several interesting and crucial questions. He has imaginatively recreated what it meant to live in Spain before the Civil War and what it meant to live through the terror that gripped Madrid after Franco's Army began advancing through southern Spain. He has tied the narrative tightly to actual events in Spain. I found it helpful to read the concise history The Spanish Civil War, 1936-39 while reading this novel. I also googled individuals mentioned in the book online, listened to flamenco songs of the era and viewed clips of Spanish movies of the time on You Tube. All this made me appreciate the skillful way Molina uses history to create a vivid narrative.

This moving and profound novel does not give the easy pleasures of popular fiction. I do not regret the almost two weeks of nightly reading it took me to finish it. In the Night of Time is a memorable and wise work of art and I finished the book with a feeling of deep satisfaction. This may be the finest work of historical fiction I have ever read.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Things fall apart - 4- 29 Nov 2013
By Blue in Washington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a novel with epic ambition and real challenges for the reader. Mostly set in the mid-1930s, it's the story of a Spanish architect whose one true passion in life is his work--until a young American woman visiting Madrid pushes him into a total about face.

The novel is told in densely written vignettes that jump back and forth through periods of the man's life, so attention must be paid to keep up with the thrust of the plot. The hefty and often rich substance of the story (largely narrative) is what makes it worth plowing through the 600-plus pages of the book, which are heavily populated with un-indented paragraphs that frequently caused my mind to wander. That challenge notwithstanding, "In the Night of Time" very effectively and convincingly evokes the political chaos of 1930s Spain, the fraying of Spanish society, and the crumbling of the protagonist's well-ordered architect's life and his subsequent reaction to a middle-aged obsession.

Not an easy book to read, but worth the effort for this reader.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In the Night of Time 22 Mar 2014
By Kate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The very structure of each sentence, the cadence and meter pull you into the world inhabited by characters, a world spinning off its axis toward the horror of war and self annihilation. The narrator is in such control of the rhythm of futility that the reader must surrender to the journey...This tale of love and attrition wedged in the dissolution of the Spainish Republic.
The true nature of ideologs is unmasked, in a way that histories fail, as they are written from a point of view that sees one side as 'the other'.
The consuming nature of passion, the lies that are told to oneself or others is unmasked, past, present and hope for future are chiseled deep within this tale of passivity and the incomprehensible and blind commitment of those who are carried to their extinction by the slogans of propaganda, and yearnings for utopia.
This is moving beyond words.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Morosely wearying. 12 Aug 2014
By J. Hamby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Unfortunately no matter how I tried, I just didn't find this a compelling read. Often setting it aside and having to go back and struggle through what I had already read to make sense of what I then tried to continue to read.

There was a richness to the prose but it was squandered on too many slow and circular passages that seemed to say little and move the story forward even less. Too many times I felt that the heavy handed attempts to hammer home how sad everything was just weighed the plot down more than it should have. Tragedy works best when there is a greater effort to provide the contrast of what is lost or never achieved when tragedy overcomes triumph. It did not help that the main character seems completely blase at his initial actions and then spends hundreds of pages seeming to wonder if he should perhaps do a little emotional navel gazing. Without ever fully committing to it in my opinion.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Only for deep readers 6 Jan 2014
By Neal Reynolds - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Casual readers, don't bother with this book. It's rich with description and with inner thinking, but the plot is slow developing and will discourage many would be readers.

That's not to say that this is a bad book. It's written for a specific audience. If you're into the turmoils of 1930's Spain, I do recommend this. Even so, the book is a chore to read, but it will be worth it if you want to truly experience the time period and locale with all of its politics and conflicts.

However, I can't recommend this for the general reader.
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