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The Infatuations
 
 

The Infatuations [Kindle Edition]

Javier Marías , Margaret Jull Costa
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The Infatuations is a metaphysical murder mystery and a stunningly original literary achievement by Javier Marías, the internationally acclaimed author of A Heart So White and Your Face Tomorrow.



Every day, María Dolz stops for breakfast at the same café. And every day she enjoys watching a handsome couple who follow the same routine. Then one day they aren't there, and she feels obscurely bereft.



It is only later, when she comes across a newspaper photograph of the man, lying stabbed in the street, his shirt half off, that she discovers who the couple are. Some time afterwards, when the woman returns to the café with her children, who are then collected by a different man, and Maria approaches her to offer her condolences, an entanglement begins which sheds new light on this apparently random, pointless death.



With The Infatuations, Javier Marías brilliantly reimagines the murder novel as a metaphysical enquiry, addressing existential questions of life, death, love and morality.



The Infatuations is an extraordinary, immersive book about the terrible force of events and their consequences.



'I am greatly impressed by the quality of Marías's writing . . . he uses language like an anatomist uses the scalpel to cut away the layers of the flesh in order to lay bare the innermost secrets of that strangest of species, the human being' W. G. Sebald



'Years ago, I said that Marías was Spain's best living writer . . . Nothing, afterwards, has made me alter that opinion' Eduardo Mendoza, El País



''[I am] enthralled by his strange mix of made-up memories, lost experiences and real-life fantasies' Marina Warner, Guardian



'Stylish, cerebral . . . Marías is a startling talent' The New York Times



Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published ten novels, two collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into thirty-two languages and won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious Dublin IMPAC award for A Heart So White. He is also a highly practised translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne. He has held academic posts in Spain, the United States and in Britain, as Lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University.



Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator for over twenty-five years and has translated many novels and short stories by Portuguese, Spanish and Latin American writers, including Javier Marías, Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, Bernardo Atxaga and Ramón del Valle-Inclán. She has won various prizes for her work, including, in 2008, the PEN Book-of-the-Month Translation Award and the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for her version of Eça de Queiroz's masterpiece The Maias, and, most recently, the 2011 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for The Elephant's Journey by José Saramago.

About the Author

Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published thirteen novels, two collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into forty-two languages and won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious Dublin IMPAC award for A Heart So White. He is also a highly practised translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne. He has held academic posts in Spain, the United States and in Britain, as Lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University.

Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator for over twenty-five years and has translated many novels and short stories by Portuguese, Spanish and Latin American writers, including Javier Marías, Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, Bernardo Atxaga and Ramón del Valle-Inclán. She has won various prizes for her work, including, in 2008, the PEN Book-of-the-Month Translation Award and the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for her version of Eça de Queiroz's masterpiece The Maias, and, most recently, the 2011 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for The Elephant's Journey by José Saramago.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 500 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0241145368
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ADNP5N6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,243 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Infatuations - Javier Marias 6 Mar 2013
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
New novels by J.M.Coetzee and Javier Marias in a single month? It must be the best March in history for the readers of the world.

The Infatuations is a novel about grief, love, death. It's more focussed, more concentrated, than much of Marias's work I've read up to now - this is both good and bad. The novel has drive and direct force and I finished it in a couple of sittings. However I did on occasion find myself wishing that he'd let himself with his digressions a bit more! There a few bits and pieces that I do think a little more could have been done with, such as the initial conceit of one character observing two others in a cafe every single morning. But there we are. Yes it could have been 500 pages and I would have liked it. As it is it's 350 and I like it. No, not like it: love it. Of course!

I adore Marias's style. It is made for my heart, my mind. Its rhythms coil themselves into my brain perfectly. His writing is hypnotic, languorous, philosophical, striking. He builds up themes and colours with repetitions, digressions, asides, tangents. He's a writer who manages to create both vague impressions and also to convey very specific ideas at the same time, in a completely unique way.

As far as I'm concerned, he's a genius. Anything he writes is worth reading, and this as much as anything. It's a fascinating book, superbly written. To be honest it's an ideal Marias introduction - it diverges, wanders, a little less than some of his other books, the themes are more focused, there are fewer events. It has volumes to say about love, trust, death, dying, returning. I don't see myself reading a better book this year.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Stylish and Philosophical Enquiry 4 Mar 2013
By Susie B TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Javier Maria's latest novel 'The Infatuations' is narrated by Maria Dolz, a woman in her late thirties, who works for a Madrid publisher and who takes her breakfast every morning in the same cafe. At this rather ordinary cafe, Maria observes an unusually handsome married couple as they breakfast together before going their separate ways. Maria can see the man and woman are very close by the way they look at each other and how they seem to take pleasure in one another's company, and Maria enjoys watching them and imagining their lives. One day, the couple are not there, and Maria is surprised to discover that she feels strangely deprived of their company, even though they have never really spoken to her. It is only later, when Maria is made aware of the brutal and fatal stabbing of the man, that she discovers who the couple are.

Some time later, when Maria sees the woman at the cafe again, she decides to offer her condolences and is surprised when the woman, Luisa, invites her to call at her home that evening. At Luisa's home, where Luisa talks to Maria about the intense grief and bewilderment caused by her husband's death, Maria meets Javier Diaz-Varela, whom she describes to the reader as handsome and virile, with delicate features, almond-shaped eyes and lips that make her want to kiss them. After this meeting at Luisa's home, Maria finds herself becoming increasingly involved in the lives of Luisa and Javier and, as she spends more time in Javier's company and becomes closer to him, she discovers things which make her look at the seemingly random and apparently motiveless death of Luisa's husband in a different light.

This is not the average type of murder mystery novel, just as Javier Marias is not the average kind of writer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best novel I have read this year. 30 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is clever, absorbing and beautifully written. It is also wonderfully crafted - a mature writer at his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your life reading this! 9 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whilst I except that this book is well written in and explores so interesting concepts, it is interminable! The concepts are debated in such a lengthy circuitous way that I lost interest. All of the few characters are so self absorbed and cold, I had little interest in any of them. The prose is full of subclauses, one sentence starting on the bottom of the previous page and not ending until the foot of the next.
I read this for book club and frankly don't even want to waste time discussing it tonight! Sorry
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Prudent Young Woman." 16 April 2013
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Shameful to say, this is my first Javier Marías book and I have come away from it - just this moment - slightly shell-shocked by the power it had to move me.

The story is told by María Dolz who becomes entranced with a happy, loving couple who breakfast at the same café as her every morning; without their knowing it, they enable her to start her working day on a note of optimism. Then, one day, they aren't there and María is left feeling bereft. From a newspaper, María learns that the husband, Miguel, has met a brutal death. Later, she sees his widow in the café and approaches her to offer condolences thus setting off a chain of events in which María, the Prudent Young Woman - as the couple had termed her, becomes pivotal.

Javier Marías has constructed a deeply thought-provoking novel around the subjects of love, loss and the nature of time. "We cannot know what time will do to us with its fine, indistinguishable layers upon layers, we cannot know what it might make of us...its treacherous minutes and its sly seconds, until a strange, unthinkable day arrives, when nothing is as it always was..."

An existential novel such as The Infatuations leads the reader to peer into its hidden depths. It is interesting to note that the author's name for the narrator is María and his name for the dead man's best friend with whom she falls in love is Javier. Then there are the different spellings of Miguel's surname - Desvern or Deverne - which are explained at the outset and yet the names continue to alternate throughout the book. Whether these things are significant or not though, I'm not clever enough to discern.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Full stops badly needed
When I started this book I found that I kept having to reread what I’d just read. I then noticed that a sentence went on for sixteen lines. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Damo Green
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelectual and well written book. VERY long sentences ...
An intelectual and well written book. VERY long sentences and not sure about some words used for translation. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Amanda Dean
4.0 out of 5 stars The Infatuations by Javier Marias
This book is not just another novel it's outstanding. Javier Marias shows a lot of skill and intellect. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Angela Thomson
4.0 out of 5 stars Love, Death and Balzac
Javier Marías is a profoundly unique writer. Despite this he is frequently and deliberately derivative. His literature is a synthesis of Literature as a whole. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 2 months ago by diane day
3.0 out of 5 stars A very clever writer if you like literature with a capital L thenyou...
A very clever writer if you like literature with a capital L thenyou would enjoy it .basically a murder plot a crime of passion and a love story but with a plot so different... Read more
Published 2 months ago by elizabeth leedham
1.0 out of 5 stars Life's too short
I very rarely give up on books but I could not get past page 52 of this tedious, irritating missive.
Published 3 months ago by jane
4.0 out of 5 stars Very different
Very unusual story. v interesting. Not the usual murder/mystery type novel. some people may find the construction and dialogue off-putting, but worth sticking with
Published 3 months ago by JOHN
1.0 out of 5 stars The Infatuations
Not an enjoyable read. The first half of the book was filled with the rambling thoughts surrounding death from the narrator, Maria. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Coyne
5.0 out of 5 stars A+
I got completely lost in this book. So many profound, golden moments punctuated this beautiful story, I couldn't put it down. Just perfect!
Published 5 months ago by Adam Lee
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