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Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extremos

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.

Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extremos

Post Number:#1 by Kalin Adi
» 15 Oct 2017, 00:30

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "El balance o el equilibrio en los extremos" by Barbara.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by Kalin Adi
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Have you ever gone to see a play? It's very common to observe the actors making a characterization, so the audience understands the characters and the plot better. When reading El balance o el equilibrio en los extremos, I felt I was reading a script for a play in several occasions. I imagined the characters preparing their roles.

El balance o el equilibrio en los extremos is a book of reflection. It was written by Barbara and it's written in Spanish. It consists of 52 chapters; most of them are short, no more than two pages. Sometimes, before each chapter, there is an illustration of one of the characters. The main characters are animals, a fox and a horse. That's why, I thought the book was a fable, at first. However, it isn't. Barbara characterizes these two common animals to transmit ideas about money, power, crime and punishment, guilt, freedom among others. Each chapter deals with a different topic.

By using a fox (usually symbolizes cunning) and a horse (portrays the idea of strength and perseverance), Barbara helps the reader meditate in different situations that we can encounter in our daily life. Sometimes, these two animals are arguing about a topic, and other times they recognize they cannot live apart. When reading, I found myself meditating in some profound phrases and/or statements such as why thinking about blaming something or someone when "the only one responsible for my actions is me." Do I really have to choose between two bad choices when "Ice and fire have the same power of destruction"? or "We cannot achieve peace in our mind if we do not achieve peace with our body first."

Although I enjoyed reading some of the remarkable statements mentioned above, I must admit sometimes the topics were not delved fully. Actually, some statements were quite ambiguous. For instance, the author speaks about loneliness, but she only repeats how lonely she is without explaining the reasons why she is lonely and/or what people did to her to make her feel that way. Besides, at the beginning of the book, the writing style used is structured coherently. The fox and the horse are having a dialogue. Nonetheless, from the middle of the book forward, the author gives no participation to the characters or it is just scarce. The author starts writing directly to her son or a divine someone. It was very confusing.

Moreover, there were some grammar errors. Spanish uses mark accent in many words and the accentuation depends on the length and spelling of the words. I found some words marked with the accent that shouldn't have been marked. On the other hand, the gender of the fox and horse suddenly switched from He to She, which made me go back several times when reading to understand the message better.

In sum, the book has very important current topics that any of us might live or have lived before. However, the lack of consistency in the writing style and not delving into the topics force me to give this book 2 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to readers that like to meditate on emotions and feelings that humans experience in our lives. Also, if you want to polish your Spanish, this is a good book. The language used is rich and easy to understand.

******
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#2 by kandscreeley
» 16 Oct 2017, 17:53

Sounds like there were good and bad points of this book. I'm glad that you found some enjoyment. It's too bad the writing was inconsistent.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#3 by Miriam Molina
» 16 Oct 2017, 18:53

No tengo dinero. That's as far as my Spanish goes, Kalin Adi. lol

I envy those who can do (speak, read and write) other languages. How does the title translate to English?

A horse and a fox are an unusual combination for me.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#4 by Kalin Adi
» 16 Oct 2017, 20:03

Miriam Molina wrote:No tengo dinero. That's as far as my Spanish goes, Kalin Adi. lol

I envy those who can do (speak, read and write) other languages. How does the title translate to English?

A horse and a fox are an unusual combination for me.


"No tengo dinero is an important phrase Miriam. Good job! Now that you have some time in your hands, why don't you try learning a new language? Spanish is always a good choice. In my case, I'm trying to learn Japanese, but it is not very friendly with me. Every time I need to say something, the words run away from me. LOL.

How does the title translate to English? Translation is not my forte, but I'd say "The balance or the equilibrium between the ends.

-- 16 Oct 2017, 20:06 --

kandscreeley wrote:Sounds like there were good and bad points of this book. I'm glad that you found some enjoyment. It's too bad the writing was inconsistent.


Yes, kandscreeley. I did enjoy some parts of it, mostly until the middle of the book. After that, the inconsistency in the writing was irking. Thanks for stopping by.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#5 by Felicidad
» 16 Oct 2017, 22:33

Hi! I liked your review of the book! It really sounds interesting. The message was clear!
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#6 by kislany
» 17 Oct 2017, 01:22

Nice review, Kalin Adi. Sadly, my Spanish is very limited (I only know a bit because it's sister language to Romanian, which I speak very well). So I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to tackle this one without an English (or Romanian!) translation.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#7 by Sarah Immanuel
» 17 Oct 2017, 03:26

Excellent review. I don't think this book is for me. The writer seemed to talk about so many topics all at once in one book, getting me confused. However I was very impressed with the Spanish title.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#8 by Kalin Adi
» 17 Oct 2017, 10:21

Felicidad wrote:Hi! I liked your review of the book! It really sounds interesting. The message was clear!


Thanks for stopping by!

-- 17 Oct 2017, 10:25 --

kislany wrote:Nice review, Kalin Adi. Sadly, my Spanish is very limited (I only know a bit because it's sister language to Romanian, which I speak very well). So I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to tackle this one without an English (or Romanian!) translation.


@kislany, I once met a Romanian girl who spoke perfect Spanish. When I asked her how she learned the language, she told me she did by watching soap operas. LOL. Amazing! Perhaps we can make help each other. You can teach me Romanian and I teach you Spanish, but I do not Romanian at all.

-- 17 Oct 2017, 10:27 --

@Sarah Immanuel, I totally agree with you. The book has too many topics, but they are dealt separately in each chapter.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#9 by Quinto
» 27 Oct 2017, 23:10

Iam glad you enjoyed the book where you could. The book appears to have the potential to be an excellent book though.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#10 by Kalin Adi
» 28 Oct 2017, 06:28

Quinto wrote:Iam glad you enjoyed the book where you could. The book appears to have the potential to be an excellent book though.


It needs some work redone, though. Thanks for stopping by. :D
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#11 by Mtsweni Nelsy
» 05 Nov 2017, 14:34

Well, it is great that you enjoyed the book. Thanks for the review.

-- 05 Nov 2017, 21:36 --

Well, it is great that you enjoyed the book. Grammatical errors can ruin the smoothness of reading a great book. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#12 by Kalin Adi
» 05 Nov 2017, 14:47

Mtsweni Nelsy wrote:Well, it is great that you enjoyed the book. Thanks for the review.

-- 05 Nov 2017, 21:36 --

Well, it is great that you enjoyed the book. Grammatical errors can ruin the smoothness of reading a great book. Thanks for the review.


You're right, Mtsweni! Grammatical errors are like bumps on a road. Tedious! Thanks for stopping by.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#13 by HouseOfAtticus
» 08 Nov 2017, 09:21

I like the way you have articulated yourself. You have extensively covered every aspect of the book. Thank you for writing this.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#14 by Kalin Adi
» 08 Nov 2017, 09:27

HouseOfAtticus wrote:I like the way you have articulated yourself. You have extensively covered every aspect of the book. Thank you for writing this.


I appreciate your compliment, HouseofAtticus.
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Re: Official Review: El balance o el equilibrio en los extre

Post Number:#15 by The Researcher
» 16 Nov 2017, 01:14

Nice review. Though the book is not for me. I enjoyed reading your view on it.
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