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Cathedral of the Sea: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, April 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Washington Post
An absorbing epic...Falconess rich portrait of medieval society is fascinating.
Top Customer Reviews
Follett's two novels had a lot of depth, and dark mystery. Cathedral of the Sea is more straightforward--there are not the politics, the undertones, the buried (literally) secrets in Follett's novels, and the characters are often rather one-dimensional. But it does give a good sense of time and place, and life in Barcelona in the 1300s is probably less familiar to US readers than life in England at the same time. The Black Death sweeps into this novel, as it did in World Without End, and you'll also get a view (similar to Follett's works) of the contrast between the poor, the wealthy, and the nobility.
Some of the elements in this novel seem a bit contrived: Arnau rises from an orphaned runaway serf to become a major figure in Barcelona, and marries into the nobility. In Pillars of the Earth, Tom is a skilled artisan: the rise in rank is much less, and more believable. Unlike World Without End, the Inquisition enters the scene.Read more ›
Cathedral was a best-seller in Europe. I would never have heard of it had I not found a copy in my hotel breakfast room in Bordeaux this summer. It was written in Spanish and has been ably, but not flashily, translated into English. The style is plain and direct. If you don't require heightened dramatic language in your fiction, then perhaps you will like this book.
The title reflects the setting of the book, Barcelona during the years when the cathedral Santa Maria de la Mar was built. If the descriptions pique your curiosity, google the cathedral and you will find wonderful pictures on various web sites. Its design is unusual and the story of its construction "by the people and for the people" of Barcelona is worth knowing. This book is a fine way to learn more about medieval Catalonia while enjoying the ins and outs of a complex plot, plenty of moral conflict, and interesting, unpredictable characters.Read more ›
It satisfied my interest in the culture and society of these times, especially the role and power of the Catholic Church, which apparently dominated most if not all aspects of a person's lifetime.
It has also a good understanding of the role of faith or lack, in these times. Arnau and his "brother" Joan take different paths and the contrast is evident. I will probably get the book referred in another review, Pillar, as that seems a good and more thorough recounting of the building aspect of a cathedral. But that doesn't diminish my appreciation for Cathedral of the Sea. Falcones is a gifted story teller.
But he destroyed my trust as a reader when he transformed the main character's brother into a willing accomplice in abduction, brutal multiple rapes, and forced marriage. What caring brother and priest would do this to his brother and niece? I closed the book and cursed the author. Authors control the worlds they create. Falcones must have something dark inside him to twist even his sympathetic characters into the worst of misogynists.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just returned from a trip to Barcelona where this novel is set. I only wish I'd read it before my trip! Read morePublished 1 month ago by CC Nelson
Great historical fiction, especially if u love/know Barcelona. Although long, I was sad when I finished it!Published 2 months ago by T.L. Ortiz
After being in Barcelona and saw this cathedral I found this book very interesting! And learning g the life of peasants was so sad! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Miss Cindy
i was frankly disappointed in this book which had been recommended to me before a trip to Barcelona. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
To steal some of Falcones' favorite devices:
Holding this book open around a third of the way through, I said to myself, "This must be one of the worst books I've... Read more
Good translation of a fascinating book Get ready for Miniseries in RTVEPublished 4 months ago by Jorge R.
This was a wonderful book! Concise, well researched and well written. I loved it, it was detailed where you can picture every place, room city, and event, experience what they were... Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Velazquez