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All Men are Liars [Kindle Edition]

Alberto Manguel
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Where can you find truth in a world that is so thoroughly ruled by lies? That is the question tackled by the investigation of a French journalist who endeavours to shed light on the enigma of an unexplained death: that of the Argentinian writer Alejandro Bevilacqua, found lying on the pavement underneath his balcony in Madrid in the mid-1970s. The few accounts of those who knew him - which include those of his last lover, a former fellow prison inmate, a sworn enemy and even the author Alberto Manguel himself - are contradictory and unreliable. Poor devil with a troubled childhood, literary genius and irresistible seducer, ordinary man masquerading as hero, pure and simple impostor - these are but a few facets of a mysterious figure in this tribute to falsehood. Between the lines, the reader must discover the only worthwhile truth: the fascinating homage Alberto Manguel pays to literature and its shape-shifting creations, which give infinite expressions to the objects of our desires.

Product Description


'Clever, witty and entertaining; and very timely in a society increasingly accustomed to living in a blizzard of lies' --The Times

'All Men Are Liars is a remarkable novel richly textured, ingeniously constructed and deeply unsettling' --The Spectator

'[Manguel s fiction] works from the human core outwards, and is in fact elaborately though unpretentiously constructed.' 'If Paul Auster wore a friendly beard and had more of a Latin temperament, he might produce something like this richly hued, melancholy and funny puzzle of a novel.' --The Guardian

About the Author

Born in Buenos Aires in 1948, Manguel is a Canadian Argentine-born writer, translator, and editor. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980) and A History of Reading (1996) The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008), and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991) for which he won the McKitterick Prize.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 327 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Alma Books (7 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096QYOTW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #682,108 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Thomas Cunliffe TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I have enjoyed Alberto Manguel's book about reading for many years now (A History of Reading, A Reader on Reading, The Library at Night and others). It was with some trepidation that I came to my first work of fiction by Manguel - would he be able to create fiction as well as he critiques it? I am pleased to say that All Men are Liars did not disappoint.

In All Men Are Liars, a journalist, Terradillos, is investigating the life of the Argentinian writer, Alejandro Bevilacqua who seems to have jumped off the balcony of his apartment in Madrid. Terradillos interviews four people, their accounts of the events leading up to Bevilacqua's death being compiled into this book with its bluntly stated premise in the title - all men are liars. But are they? Is one account true, or more true than the others? Or are they all incorrect, but in different ways? It is up to the reader to find out, for even Terradillos, who has his say in the last chapter may or may not be able to finally solve this conundrum.

The four accounts build up to make a fascinating picture in themselves. The author himself is the first interviewee - I quite enjoy the concept of authors appearing in their own books! After all, Manguel is a noted Argintinian writer so he would have known Bevilacqua well. Manguel speaks of Bevilacqua's sincerity and explains that after Bevilacqua's death he could no longer live in Madrid and moved to Poitiers to get away from the "ghost" of Alejandro Bevilacqua.

It all sounds so plausible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manguel makes metaphysical mischief. 2 Feb. 2013
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
"Frankly, I'm the last person you should be asking about Alejandro Bevilacqua."

This is the opening line of All Men Are Liars and it is spoken by the author, Alberto Manguel to the journalist Terradillos who is investigating a mysterious event that happened thirty years earlier. The eminent writer Bevilacqua fell - or was pushed - to his death from the balcony of Alberto Manguel's Madrid apartment. In his search for the truth, Terradillos interviews key figures from Bevilacqua's past, the first being the author himself. So far, so intriguing. As the other stories unfold, whose are we to believe? Or do we believe anyone if all people are liars?

To get the most out of this novel, it would have been useful to have had more background knowledge of Argentinian politics in the 70s and the story does take a while to get into. But perseverance pays dividends. This is an unusual and clever if challenging book. There is a line which will haunt all those readers who also write: "Every author discovers himself through his adverbs." Scarily good, no?
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me... 1 Aug. 2012
By MCDee
Although there are elements of the prose which work well, this novel lacks enough suspense and context to keep the reader engaged.

The mystery of the book is what happened to Alejandro Bevilacqua, whom the reader does not meet, or even hear from in the story, but instead has to piece together the accounts of five people as to what exactly happened.

There simply is not enough background, the only focus is the fate of Bevilacqua, but I'm afraid I found this work is lacking in enough of anything for me to care what happens by the end.
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