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.
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--This text refers to the
“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)