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A Heart So White Hardcover – 5 Dec 1994


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Hardcover, 5 Dec 1994
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: The Harvill Press (5 Dec. 1994)
  • ISBN-10: 0002713195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002713191
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

Javier Marias is one of the world's major living authors. If I had to name just one contemporary writer of his quality, it would be Garcia Marquez (Marcel Reich-Ranicki)

The writing shows enormous cunning and a fiendish degree of patience. It threads together the elements of psychological analysis with the precision of a miniaturist (Frederic Vitoux Nouvel Observateur)

[I] became enthralled by [Marias's] strange mix of made-up memories, lost experiences, and real-life fantasies; he has something of W.G. Sebald's sense of consciousness in flux...sharper about people and sexual attachment... Very funny (Marina Warner Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'It has achieved the status of a manifesto: it is one of those unusual books breaks new ground' Le Monde (2002-10-18) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Susan Hutchinson on 4 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book was one we chose for our book club. I got it from the library and wasn't sure if it was going to be an easy read or a tedious, boring drudge through some long, descriptive sentences. I read it in 6 days and couldn't put it down. There was stage at the early part of the bookwhen it did become a bit dull. Then the story picked up and the tale of how Juan met his wife really grabbed my attention. I laughed and really couldn't stop reading. There was an unexpected twist near the end. All together I thought this book was well written, had my attention and I actually cared about all of the characters.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
I remain enthralled with Javier Marias. This is the fourth book of his that I've read; the other three are: While the Women are Sleeping, Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me (Penguin Modern Classics), and Dark Back of Time (Vintage International). Each title is taken from a line in Shakespeare. In the case of this book, the line is uttered by Lady Macbeth, after the murder of Duncan. She says: "My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white." And so what does that really mean? The beauty of Shakespeare, here as well as other places, is the possible ambiguities. Marias proposes that it might mean "nonchalance," but it could also mean "pale and fearful" or "cowardly." I could think of some others. It is an excellent title, given the subject matter of this book, some of which is the most essential to human existence: what do we really know about our parents, and hence how we got here; and what do we really know about the person who shares our bed every night? Marias continues to show the relevance of Shakespeare to our daily lives. He takes the "white heart" theme, and about nine others, develops them, and plays them back through the lives of his characters. Point and Counterpoint. And even a "riff" or two.Read more ›
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26 of 34 people found the following review helpful By x-bout reviews on 24 April 2008
Format: Paperback
'A Heart So White' is an emotionally-layered and incredibly nuanced yarn that explores - evidently - the human heart, its immense power and the darkness that lies therein. Page by page - almost too methodically sometimes - the book questions what love is, the lies that sustain love, and the limits to which it can drive us. Starting with the protagonist, Juan, being mistaken for some one's lover, and then overhearing a lovers' spat while caring for his new wife, who is delirious with fever, the story slowly unfurls Juan's own history, paralleling the story of the bickering lovers with that of Juan's father with a truly surprising conclusion.

Javier Marias is the kind of writer that I don't imagine would be an easy read for the typical UK reader since, for the last fifteen years or so, the average book buyer picks up sensationalist or shallow entertaining books which are promoted to death, with, of course, the odd masterpiece - like Margaret Atwood's 'The Blind Assassin' thrown in. Indeed Javier Marias may have found it hard to find a publisher if he was English, so thank god for Spanish and thank god for translation!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
A Heart So White is exceptional. I read it a while ago, so the fine details do not stick with me, but I recall a powerful book, sensitively written, with immense intelligence and lovingly crafted sentences (well done to the translator!) I remember sympathetic, flawed characters, tragedy wrought excellently. It builds wonderfully, slowly, and is not a quick read: that's not to say it is difficult to ingest, it just requires patience. I remember that it has a great shock at the end. I remember that I enjoyed it immensely, found it rewarding, and recommend it to people ages after I read it. If you have a reading list, this should go on it. A major world writer.
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