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Nada [Paperback]

Carmen Laforet , Edith Grossman
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

7 Feb 2008

Eighteen-year old Andrea moves to Barcelona to stay with relatives she has not seen in years while she pursues her dreams of studying at university. Arriving in the dead of night she discovers not the independence she craves, but a crumbling apartment and an eccentric collection of misfits whose psychological ruin and violent behaviour echoes that of the recent civil war.

As the tension between the family members grows in claustrophobic intensity, Andrea finds comfort in a friendship with Ena, a girl from university whose guilded life only serves to highlight the squalor of Andrea's own experiences. But what is the secret of the relationship between between Ena and Andrea's predatory uncle Roman, and what future can lie ahead for Andrea in such a bizarre and disturbing world?

Translated by Edith Grossman


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (7 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099494191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099494195
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"One of the great classics of contemporary European literature" (Carlos Ruiz Zafon author of The Shadow of the Wind)

"A story that Carmen Laforet narrates in prose both exalted and icy, in which what is unspoken is more important than what is said, keeping the reader of the novel submerged in indescribable anguish from beginning to end" (Mario Vargas Llosa)

"Laforet's voice is calm and clear...this remarkably sophisticated novel ...is unlike most Spanish literature of the time and before" (Michael Eaude Independent)

"A welcome rediscovery and a fascinating danse macabre" (Daily Mail)

"Laforet develops her narrative in a series of cataclysmic, operatic confrontations, in which no holds are barred. The language...is poetic, melodramatic, hyperbolic. Yet it never feels forced or ersatz... Nada is Zola-esque...what particularly impresses is the haunted atmosphere, the intensity of the paranoia and the unpredictability, and the Cinderella-eyed sensibility of it's heroine... A gothic horror story which deserves the widest possible readership" (Alan Taylor Sunday Herald)

Book Description

A modern Spanish classic, first published in Spain sixty years ago and translated into eighteen languages, and now available in a sparkling English translation, with a preface by Mario Vargas Llosa.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
'Nada' is a story about a university student called Andrea who has moved to Barcelona to study. She moves in with her Aunt Angustias and there the trouble begins. She starts to learn about the history of her family especially with regards to Ramon and Juan's behaviour towards Gloria. This novel was gripping and factual, it gave a real insight as to the atmosphere in Spain during the civil war. A must read novel, i can well appreciate how it won the 'premio nadal' in 1944.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad bad bad 8 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback
Like 'the Shaker', I ordered the translation, believing it to be the original Spanish text. As a languages graduate and working translator and teacher, I found this to be a poor translation; however, I'd go further and say that it's an abysmal translation. I actually find it very hard to believe that Edith Grossman, of world renown, was the real translator. The style is clunking, inelegant and unpolished to such a degree that in parts it's very hard to understand what's actually going on. Worse, there are some pretty unforgivable mistranslations: 'Su reacción no se hizo esperar' means 'We didn't have to wait long for his reaction'; it doesn't mean 'His reaction was unexpected', as the translator thinks. More examples available on request! It's not all awful, but for me the very frequent bad bits made it unreadable.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad translation 6 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
I had to buy this book for my spanish course at uni and accidentally bought the english version. But this way I was able to compare this version to the original. The book is good and well written but the translation in parts is not very good. It's good enough but doesn't represent perfectly what the spanish version says.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars review 21 April 2010
Format:Paperback
enjoyed reading it but it did not say that is in english although the title on the cover is in spanish. made it difficult for me to get my quotes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for someone learning Spanish 27 Aug 1999
By "dqb" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is about the life of a young woman in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. It is written in the language of a young woman, and, coupled with the fact that there is an English/ Spanish dictionary in the back with a section on idioms, makes it easy to read for someone learning Spanish. Beyond that, it is interesting, exciting, shocking, sad, and funny all rolled into a wonderful accounting of what life was like in this tragic era.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nada 6 Feb 2001
By Benjamin Macuil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have read this book and i think its just one of the greatest stories of all times. It describes the life of a girl, Andrea, who moves to Barcelona to study in a post-war society. She lives in her grandmother's house with her aunt Angustias, her uncles Juan and Roman, Juan's wife, Gloria, their son, and the maid, Antonia. Carmen Laforet perfectly describes every situation, like the impression she got when she first walked into her new home, or her fragile relationship with Ena, the beautiful girl in college, who becomes her best friend, an who also is strangely attracted to Roman. This is the circle of situations in which the story develops. I highly recommend it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read. 11 Nov 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent novel. From the very beginning Carmen Laforet manages to create a very interesting and convincing atmosphere, the characters are full and the plot does not stagnate. I have read it several times and always enjoyed it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book! 30 Dec 2006
By C. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had to read this book first for a class but loved it so much I wanted a copy of my own. Carmen Laforet is an extremely talented author and a great read if you enjoy works from the posguerra period in Spain. I found it easier to read than some works by other posguerra authors (Spanish is my second language so I sometimes struggle with some vocabulary).
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barcelona fascinante y sombría 19 May 2001
By Enrique Luis Avogadro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Nada" es el encanto original de Barcelona, la tenebrosa antigüedad de algunas calles, la noche como un compendio de aventuras confusas. Su virtud reside más en la rebuscada sicología de Andrea y sus congéneres que en la eficiente escritura de Carmen Laforet. Más que cualquier otra cosa, la casa de la calle Aribau es el logro mayor del libro, quedando para siempre su decadente y asfixiante impronta en el imaginario colectivo, un espacio habitualmente esquivo a las construcciones literarias.
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