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The Age of Disenchantments

The Epic Story of Spain's Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War
Written by: Aaron Shulman
Narrated by: Tim Andres Pabon
Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins

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Publisher's Summary

A gripping narrative history of Spain’s most brilliant and troubled literary family - a tale about the making of art, myth, and legacy - set against the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War and beyond.

In this absorbing and atmospheric historical narrative, journalist Aaron Shulman takes us deeply into the circumstances surrounding the Spanish Civil War through the lives, loves, and poetry of the Paneros, Spain’s most compelling and eccentric family, whose lives intersected memorably with many of the most storied figures in the art, literature, and politics of the time - from Neruda to Salvador Dalí, from Ava Gardner to Pablo Picasso to Roberto Bolaño. 

Weaving memoir with cultural history and biography and brought together with vivid storytelling and striking images, The Age of Disenchantments sheds new light on the romance and intellectual ferment of the era while revealing the profound and enduring devastation of the war, the Franco dictatorship, and the country’s transition to democracy. 

A searing tale of love and hatred, art and ambition, and freedom and oppression, The Age of Disenchantments is a chronicle of a family who modeled their lives (and deaths) on the works of art that most inspired and obsessed them and who, in turn, profoundly affected the culture and society around them.

©2019 Aaron Shulman (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Gabriela Zabalúa
  • 2019-07-15

A piece of literary art

The Age of Disenchantment by Aaron Shulman is one of the best books I have read in several years. From prologue to epilogue and every page in between this book is unputdownable. Aaron Shulman’s ability to paint rich images with words, his masterful writing and his journalistic background all come together, effortlessly, to take the reader on a journey through the history, culture and society of Franco’s Spain and beyond, from the perspective of the Panero Family, a well-known clan of literary intellectuals, whose lives intersected with some of the most notorious artists, poets and writers of the time, inspiring them and at times obsessing them, but ultimately, shaping them into the individuals they became.

This books invites introspection, as in learning how the time, the place and the circumstances surrounding the Panero Family infused and impacted the live of each of its members, the reader cannot help but to reflect on what has, so far, and continues to mold its own. As the author himself explains, understanding this helps us “to live”.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Dawn
  • 2019-06-16

Not a favorite

I found the writing hard to listen to and the narration was uneven. There were odd changes in tone and flow though out the narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Veronica S Foley
  • 2019-03-26

Captivating exploration of a larger-than-life family

The story was well-crafted and well-paced, and the subject matter riveting.

This book deserved better narration or at least better editing. There were many mid-paragraph shifts in volume or tone. The reader’s pronunciation of Spanish proper nouns — while I imagine they were technically correct — came off as a bit exaggerated, especially when there was an awkward mid-sentence pause between English and Spanish. I found myself picturing a bad stage actor spinning around with a cape over his face to get into character.