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Heretic Hardcover – Apr 25 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press (April 25 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585675709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585675708
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.6 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,006,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
No proofreading Aug. 28 2007
By J. Weinstein - Published on
Format: Paperback
As another reviewer noted, the publisher of this translation couldn't even bother to proofread the finished product. The fact that even a casual reader can find countless typographical errors is, unfortunately, one of the few interesting things about this book. Delibes came highly recommended to me; perhaps one has to read him in the original.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Incoherent Inquisition Jan. 6 2007
By doomsdayer520 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those supposedly profound novels that people tend to praise without actually reading it. This historical non-epic might feature attractive prose in its original Spanish, and maybe Miguel Delibes hit the jackpot with the plodding melodrama and attempted big statements that old-school critics adore. Delibes obviously strove to paint a portrait of life in 16th century Spain, but he does so in an annoyingly snobbish manner. There is little effective use of any potentially interesting history (including the supposed centerpiece of the story - the Inquisition), and the characters are shallow and stereotypical, down to the caricatured servants and working classes, while only the noble classes in this medieval society are given any humanity or dignity. And those two qualities barely even apply to the two main characters - a father and son who spend the first half of the novel indulging in ugly perversions while still attaining great success, despite their reprehensible behavior and belief in their entitled positions. The main point of the story - the son's conversion to the then-underground Reformation movement, doesn't come until halfway through the novel. Later, the Inquisition is only used as a backdrop for an interminably boring and melodramatic "climax" which consists mostly of shallow self-reflection by the protagonist, whose religious conversion and imprisonment were previously laid out in such a bland and verbose fashion that the reader cares little about his predictable soul-searching.

This average novel is docked one more star due to an atrocious translation and publication process. What may have been melodious Spanish prose has been clumsily converted to nearly unreadable English, with a preponderance of awkward sentence structures, italicized terms of dubious importance, stilted dialogue, and barely-English verbiage like "aggressivity," "agilely," or "lubricity." The publisher is also guilty of a regular parade of typos and punctuation errors. This over-praised novel presents a melodramatic and boring story with unlikable characters, which is then poorly translated and produced, making the book a loser for readers in any language. [~doomsdayer520~]
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Heretic Aug. 7 2006
By Berengaria - Published on
Format: Hardcover
THE HERETIC by Manuel Delibes

I saw a review of this book in the New York Times, and it seemed quite interesting and different, since most of what has been written about the Spanish Inquisition is connected to the Jewish people. My native tongue is Spanish, so I bought a copy in that language. Frankly, I found the book slow, boring, and the language is too descriptive in an uninteresting way. I hope that Mr. Alfred MacAdam's translation into English improved the pace and general feeling of it. I give this book only one star and only for the effort that went into the research to write it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A pleasure, but frustrating June 14 2010
By Lucy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I agree with Liz. The Heretic was an interesting, intimate portrait of a time and -- especially -- a place. If only the translation and the editorial care had been worthy of it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Gee, I thought it was pretty good. Feb. 9 2009
By NYCGram (Liz) - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree the translation was sloppy and distracting but found the story interesting and different. I also bought the book based on the Times review which really should have noted the shortcomings in the translation and spelling. Worth reading, I think.