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Your Face Tomorrow 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewell Paperback – 5 Aug 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (5 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099527081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099527084
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The final, and the most powerful, part of Javier Marías's monumental trilogy. Together the three volumes constitute one of the great novels in modern European literature... a triumph" (Antony Beevor Sunday Telegraph)

"One of the most remarkable novels of our time, utterly compelling, as addictive as Proust... Marías blends fact and fiction seamlessly. He is marvellously observant and also inventive...One of the great works of modern European fiction" (Allan Massie Scotsman, Books of the Year)

"Those who have followed Your Face Tomorrow through its first two volumes will find its conclusion, Poison, Shadow and Farewell, mesmerising. They will surely feel that it has been one of the defining reading experiences of their life and look forward to starting all over again" (Literary Review)

"And with this triumphant finale - the longest and best of all three - it becomes impossible to resist the thought that this deeply strange creation...may very well be the first authentic literary masterpiece of the 21st century" (James Lasdun The Guardian)

"An outstanding book that rounds off one of the most thoughtful and inspiring fictional works of the last decade" (Independent)

Book Description

The concluding part to Marías' masterwork: 'This trilogy must be one of the greatest novels of our age' (Antony Beevor).

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alfred J. Kwak on 2 Feb 2010
Format: Hardcover
An alternative title for a review of this phenomenal final part of the trilogy could be, "One should never tell Anything to Anyone", a dictum of Sir Peter Wheeler(SPW), retired Oxford don, spy during WW II and the Spanish civil war. He was close to members of an ultra-secret group charged with "black propaganda" that created chaos in Germany during WW II. He gives this advice to the trilogy's hero Jaime (etc.)Deza, who works for a 21st-century version of this ex-WW II agency, which has co-opted its staff of no more than seven on SPWs say so, regardless of nationality, no oath required. Privatisation of intelligence gathering is only one of many themes in this trilogy. Blackmail is just one of many tools in the trade's business.
Words can kill. This volume provides plenty of evidence: slips of the tongue, false accusations, a bright idea to discredit an SS-officer, and the horrible consequences, wished for or not. The trilogy's key message is that to win a war requires total determination, anything and everything is allowed, despite there always being innocent victims. In smaller campaigns like scaring away a competitor for the love of the mother of one's children, the application of fear and violence also requires absolute determination. Who in this murky line of business is determined enough and can also cope with the collatoral damage? And if not applied properly, what will survivors do? Deza is put to the test in this final volume...
This third volume and the entire trilogy strive to be a very deep piece of work. It turns out to be more(auto-)biographical than expected when I began Part One: JM wrote two books on his life as a lecturer in Oxford prior to the trilogy starring SPW, who turns out to be a real person after all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the kind of book that defies review, really. But most of those by Marias I have read are similar in that respect. This trilogy is a digressive, major, deceptively controlled masterpiece. The fact of its masterpiece-ness doesn't become apparent until this third volume however this brings the whole thing together perfectly: the previous two books describe ever wider circles around this, afraid to truly get to the centre, but this one brings all the threads together and goes for the jugular. The book is the greatest metaphysical thriller I have ever come across: an occasionally violent tract that puts seemingly everything to the test, interrogates every motive that crosses its path, talks its way around every subject and idea to give what great fiction does: a sense of the tremendous significance of, well, nearly everything.

I cannot praise this trilogy highly enough. It took me a while to read both the first two books, but this one I galloped through in days. A wonderful, dark, dangerous book. Marias, with Coetzee, is my bet for greatest novelist alive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rogpooley on 10 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just finished the trilogy, having first got hooked on Marias' long, reflective sentences in A Heart so White. The pivotal actions are told with fascinating psychological precision, so much so that the drama can be held in suspension so we can see how Jaime/Jacobo is affected by it as it unfolds. But that's not the half of it - the nameless group he belongs to on the edge of MI6, interwoven with the stories of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, make this a compelling historical novel and, ultimately, a rigorously ethical investigation of how war and peacetime violence alike transform and sometimes poison their participants, even those who are just part of the propaganda effort. Lots of other themes and conflicts to be thought about further - but for now, I wanted to share the impact this has had on me before I go away and see what others have said - not to mention the rest of his writing.
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