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on 18 March 2017
I adored this. Priests, feudal aristocrats, bastards, the deep countryside, nineteenth century Spanish politics: these are all some of my favourite themes. But this is utterly brilliant: both funny and unsettling by turns. The plot and the characters are immersive and compelling, and I was borne along so happily by the absorbing torrent of the narrative that I read the whole book in a single day, and almost in a single sitting. Hugely enjoyable.
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on 6 April 2014
A beautifully written, sumptuous novel that combines elements of comedy, satire and adventure as well as gothic tropes, Bazan's novel deserves to be far better known than it is.

The author's characterisations of the well-meaning but ineffective Father Julián Alvarez, the brash, libertine marquis and the scheming antagonist Primitivo, are among the most fascinating of 19th century literature. Played against a backdrop of political conniving and religious uncertainty, House of Ulloa is a novel rich in life, and brilliantly executed. It should take pride of place on every literature-lover's bookshelf!
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on 14 September 2013
Really enjoyed this book Loved the innocence of the young priest resisting the temptations of the earthy serving girl . The relationship with the saintly wife of the 'Marquis ' was delicate and tender. I really could see this as suitable to be made into a movie.
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on 16 October 2013
This is a really entertaining story with humour and pathos. I had never heard of the author before but trusted a recommendation I got.
I like to be transported back into another century and culture - especially when the writing is as lively as this is.
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on 4 December 2014
A book of two halves in tone. First half is witty and unsubtly funny in equal measure. Second half is darker. A good read.
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on 6 March 2014
This was chosen for our book club,so probably not one I would normally have picked. However I enjoyed it because it was different,but was not totally won over by some of the translation which I felt was a touch modern.
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on 4 April 2013
This is the naturalist novel by the Spanish female author Bazan, written in 1886. It takes its realistic style from famous authors like Zola, Galdos, Flaubert, Frank Norris, George Moore, Gissing, Queiros, Matto de Turner etc writing about the same time being mid-late 1800s. It is supposedly Bazan's finest achievement being a prolific author but straight off this story is no Zola or Norris.

This is quite a simple story. We are introduced to the new chaplain Julian Alvarez arriving to the manor house of the Marquis of Ulloa (Don Pedro), a single brutish man of the country - he has a ruthless scheming farm manager Primivito who's daughter, Sabal, does the cooking. The naive priest soon learns that Sabal's young boy Percho is the illegitimate son of Pedro. The historical backdrop is the Glorious Revolution of 1868 when the fight was between democratic constitutional or absolute monarchy. Julian tries to effect a moral improvement by getting Pedro to consider visiting his cousins with a view to marriage (and getting a male heir). The tale takes the classic turn of events (you know where it will lead) when he falls for the innocent, weak, youngest of four Nucha. Julian though himself innocent does in an extremely mild way, I inferred, fancy Nucha himself too. The intrigues around the Marquis putting himself up for election with Primivito secretly working against him leads to tragedy.

May be I expected too much and though a well written story and perhaps at the time mention of bastard children, wife abuse (bruised wrist) and election rigging was scandalous or challenging, the style really did lack passion or drive - not dry as such just never getting above a simmer. I did find interest in the period setting yet this didn't really take centre stage either. A Spanish classic may be but it's unemotional and indistinct overall; I'm not convinced that the thrust of the story the 'decline of the house of Ulloa' was well achieved given the ending too. Quality perhaps and uninspiring really, it is worth a read from my point of view being a female author amongst many male contemporaries. My suggestion is if you've bothered to read this far into my review then it's worth you getting the book. No standout quotes either.
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on 29 July 2014
good purchase
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