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Beyond the Lone Islands

Monday, 16 February 2009

Cathedral of the Sea

I have finally finished Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones, which I have been reading "by ear" - a box of 19 CD's (in Swedish), borrowed from the library. It took me six weeks to get through them. I found the book historically informative: it is an epic novel set in 14th century Barcelona and includes topics like the building of a cathedral, slavery, serfdom, anti-Semitism, the Spanish Inquisition, prostitution, the growth of sea trade and insurance companies, and more. But somehow I found it hard to really connect to the characters. It is a "heavy" story, not the most easily digested kind. The main character is Arnau Estanyol, son of a fugitive serf, seeking freedom in Barcelona. How to define freedom is a recurrent theme.

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