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Your Face Tomorrow: Dance and Dream (Vol. 2) (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – May 17, 2008

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Your Face Tomorrow: Dance and Dream (Vol. 2) (New Directions Paperbook) + Your Face Tomorrow: Poison, Shadow, and Farewell (Vol. 3) + Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear (Vol. 1) (New Directions Books)
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Reprint edition (May 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811217493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811217491
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The spy story is incidental to acclaimed Spanish novelist Marías's elegant but prolix second volume of a projected trilogy (after Fever and Spear) narrated by Jacques (or Jaime) Deza, a Spanish expat in London and former Oxford instructor working as an analyst for the intelligence service MI5. Deza's inscrutable, nihilistic handler, Bertram Tupra, doesn't clarify Deza's mission when he brings him to a nightclub to accompany the wife of a contact. There, Tupra terrorizes and beats a man for hitting on the wrong woman. Though this central action unfolds at length, Marías's real concern-evidenced by the dense but not always incisive philosophizing that makes up this mostly internal novel-is the process of reflection rather than the ideas themselves. Like Marías, Deza is an accomplished translator, keenly aware of the imprecision of language; his inner monologues sprawl and fold back in on themselves. In the novel's most compelling section, though, Deza recounts his father's recollections of the Spanish Civil War, which revealed the capacity of ordinary people to commit and then disassociate themselves from extraordinary brutality. With the elder Deza's voice, Marías demonstrates his adroitness at narrative, which makes the rest of the digressive novel all the more frustrating.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Your Face Tomorrow is already being compared to Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, and rightly so.” (The Observer)

“The overall effect recalls the cerebral play of Borges, the dark humor of Pynchon, and meditative lyricism of Proust.” (Review of Contemporary Fiction)

“By one of the most original writers at work today, Your Face Tomorrow [is] as accomplished and sui generis as all his mature work [and the] most affecting narrative feat in Marías’s work to date.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“This brilliant trilogy must be one of the greatest novels of our age.” (Antony Beevor - The Sunday Telegraph [London])

“I would like to forget this novel but it is hard to get it out of one’s mind. We wait uneasily for Volume Three.” (Margaret Drabble - Times Literary Supplement)

More About the Author

Javier Marías is an award-winning Spanish novelist. He is also a translator and columnist, as well as the current king of Redonda. He was born in Madrid in 1951 and published his first novel at the age of nineteen. He has held academic posts in Spain, the US (he was a visiting professor at Wellesley College) and Britain, as a lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University. He has been translated into 34 languages, and more than six million copies of his books have been sold worldwide. In 1997 he won the Nelly Sachs Award; the Comunidad de Madrid award in 1998; in 2000 the Grinzane Cavour Award, the Alberto Moravia Prize, and the Dublin IMPAC Award. He also won the Spanish National Translation Award in 1979 for his translation of Tristram Shandy in 1979. He was a professor at Oxford University and the Complutense of Madrid. He currently lives in Madrid.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Narciso Bentley on October 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
...then Marias is worth the time and effort. Perhaps one should not begin with Your Face Tomorrow. A Heart so White might be a better place to start. But as the next installment in the growing Marias body of work, Your Face Tomorrow shows that we are in the presence of something serious and enduring. Not for those seeking easy adventure. Marias demands that you think. He requires an openness to what a novel, or indeed, (why not?) an adventure might be. While the Tu rostro series has yet to be concluded, and while I have no idea where Marias is heading with it, I trust that, as with all of his previous work, it will have been worth the long, interesting, curious journey.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Moritz Hau on December 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
The "Your Face Tomorrow" trilogy is Javier Marias' magnum opus and quite possibly the reason for a potential Nobel Prize in the near future. Its style is experiential, at times employing stream-of-consciousness techniques.

Both of the two novels currently available in English (part three is due in 2009) are centered around a single event; in this case a visit to a night club. Marias cleverly uses flashbacks and foreshadowing to weave together the various levels of narrative. Marias fans will also recognise strands from earlier books, although it can be appreciated without any further reading (however it is recommended to read part one).

Jacques Deza, a Spaniard living in London, is gifted with the most incredible powers of observation which he puts to use working for an unnamed fraction of the English secret service. As time goes by, he begins to realise the impact of his analyses on the lives of others, which culminates in a choice between life and death in the night club scene.

In short, this is a highly eclectic combination of genres and styles - imagine Proust writing an existentialist spy novel in the 21st century. Javier's epic sentences can drag on for pages, but they are so incredibly precise that no word is ever superfluous. If you shy away from lengthy sentences, start with one of his earlier books - All Souls is recommended. Otherwise, give it some time and you will find yourself churning through this book - his most mature and ambitious to date.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second volume of what is commonly referred to as Javier Marías's magnum opus. Maybe YOUR FACE TOMORROW is so called because it is three volumes and 1273 pages long. But so far - after reading Volumes One and Two -- I would not accord YFT the honor of "magnum opus" based on intrinsic merit. It is good and it is certainly ambitious, but it also is long-winded and at times tedious. As I wrote in my Amazon review of Volume One, I should reserve judgment until I have read the entire work, but for me, having now read Volume Two, Marías has even more to do in Volume Three to push YFT to the forefront of his oeuvre, to truly make it his magnum opus. I suppose that also is a roundabout way of saying that Volume Two is not as good as Volume One.

Reading Volume Two clarified one point for me - namely, that YOUR FACE TOMORROW is not a trilogy. Instead, it is one novel, with seven parts, published in three volumes - the first containing the parts Spear and Fever; this, the second, containing the parts Dance and Dream; and the third, the parts Poison, Shadow, and Farewell. Therefore, unless you are somewhat perverse, do NOT begin reading Volume Two unless you already have read Volume One. Much in Volume Two assumes familiarity with Volume One, and reading this rather difficult novel will be rendered more difficult if one does not have that background. What this also means is that YFT is a bloody long novel. I have made a personal point of not reading any book longer than 1000 pages (there are too many good books out there and life is too short), and had I fully appreciated, when I began Volume One, that I was embarking on a 1273 page trek, I probably would have passed, even though the author is Javier Marías.

The setting of Volume Two is London.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adam Webb on May 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I can't believe I'll have to wait at least two years for the third volume. Just like Fever and Spear, the sequel ended in a crescendo of questions, flashbacks, cliffhangers and teases. Marias is an author that takes some getting used to but once you do, once you stop thinking about what happens next and simply take in each of the anecdotes and flashbacks and slowly-revealed plot points as they come, you will be hooked. If you haven't read Marias before, I would recommend starting with his short novel, The Man of Feeling, or with the short stories. Come back later for Your Face Tomorrow because it is definitely a masterpiece.
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