NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Friday, April 25, 2008


by Carmen Laforet

I wanted to read Nada: A Novel (Modern Library Classics) because it received the rare 5-Star rating on Bookmarks Magazine's "Best of 2007" list. According to Publisher's Weekly, it is a 1945 Spanish cult classic available in English for the first time in the U.S. The story takes place in post-Civil War Barcelona and follows one year in the life of a young woman, Andrea, living with members of her wildly dysfunctional extended family while she attends school.

The mood is very dark throughout, and while this normally doesn't bother me at all, as I got deeper into the story I was telling myself, "I don't like this book." But I kept on reading. When I thought about what it was that was so distasteful to me, I found that it wasn't the book itself that I didn't like. My problem was that the depictions of the characters and their disturbing behavior were so intense that it was making me uncomfortable. I would get jumpy when it looked like Juan was going to fly into one of his violent rages, afraid he was going to beat me this time instead of his wife. I got creeped out every time Roman walked into the room. I wanted Aunt Angustia to quit talking to me. I wanted to take Grandma and run away. I didn't want to know any more of their awful secrets, but there I stayed until the bitter, tragic end.

What is so interesting to me is how consistently this book made me strongly feel things while I was reading. I admire it for the ability it had to make me so uneasy. I felt like it was me living in hunger in that squalid apartment with those crazy people. If you're looking for a light, happy read, this is not it. But if you want to take a peak through the keyhole into that seedy apartment down the hall, you'll hit the jackpot here!



BooksPlease said...

This book got right into your head! I thought when I started to read your post that I would like this book as it is about post-civil war Barcelona and it could be a good follow-up to "Winter in Madrid" set in in the civil war period and the second World War - but maybe not.

Lezlie said...

Books Please ~ It really did! Maybe check out some of the reviews on Amazon before you totally eliminate the possibility of reading it. I didn't dislike it. It just made me feel weird.


joanna said...

That sounds like an interesting one... maybe not for now though because i'm still hunting for happy books!

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ Definitely interesting! Let me know if you decide to read it. I'd love to compare notes!


Anonymous said...

The last sentence is great! How could one NOT be intrigued!?! "Peak through the keyhole into that seedy apartment down the hall" Yes, of course!

btw, the Tolsoy short story is God Sees the Truth, But Waits.

Lezlie said...

BkClubCare ~ Thanks! And thank you for the story title. I'm going to look for that one.

zetor said...

That sounds as though it was a very powerful read.

Linda/CT said...

Hi sure have peaked my interest. Will see if my library has it. Linda

Lezlie said...

Zetor and Linda ~ It has stuck with me. I find myself thinking about it at the oddest times.