The Anatomy of a Moment Paperback – 5 Jan 2012
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'A brilliant reconfiguring of a key event in contemporary European history. Audacious and wholly fascinating' (William Boyd)
'Persuasive, brilliant and absorbing' (Economist)
'Richly imagined, suspenseful and surprisingly poignant ... a reminder of how Spanish history might have taken a dramatically different turn that evening thirty years ago' (Financial Times)
'An almost Shakespearean account of soldiers, politicians, mixed motives and the lust for power' (Anne Chisholm, Sunday Telegraph)
Cercas is a master storyteller (Independent)
A mesmerising achievement (Literary Review)
Cercas forces us to abandon the fiction, the legend of the coup, and look at the pictures and story anew in all their complexity (Michael Eaude, Independent)
Always a nimble dancer on the edge of history and fiction, the Spanish writer returns with a closely researched but always dramatic account of the failed coup in 1981 that almost vanquished his country's fragile post-Franco democracy (Boyd Tonkin, Independent)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
"The anatomy of a moment" focuses on the three parliamentarians who refused to duck when the Civil Guard who invaded the Cortes opened fire. They were Gutteriez Mellado, a former Francoist general now deputy Prime Minister, Santiago Carillo, head of the Spanish Communist party, and Adolfo Suarez, the outgoing Prime Minister. Suarez is above all the hero of the book - in Cercas account a Francoist functionary and "provincial non-entity" who grew into the architect of democracy and a giant of Spanish history. The author returns again and again to the image of Suarez sitting alone on the prime minister's bench as the bullets fly around him, one of only three people prepared to risk their necks while those with more impecible democratic credentials cower behind their desks, as most of the rest of us would naturally and rationally have done in similar circumstances.
Parts of the book are difficult - the author talks to the reader as if they are already au fait with the history and politics of Spain.Read more ›
The book will appeal to and engross those with a love of and interest in Spain. As a well-researched historic drama and commentary, it tells the reader an immense amount about the incident, its genesis, and something of its aftermath/consequences. The musings include a plausible set of hypotheses that fill in the gaps where historic records are absent, or where testimonies are contradictory.
It is more difficult to see the piece working as a novel in its own right, divorced from any desire to discover something about the essence of Spain. Sentence construction is too often tortuous and overcomplex. The major protagonists (even the coup leaders) are generally too sympathetically drawn. And some of the "plot" devices - the role of TV footage; the excursion into italian cinematic reference points; and the belated homage to Cercas' father - are rather contrived. The causes of Suarez's malaise and decline - probably the major determinant of the incubation of the coup - is left unresolved. And Cercas does not pursue the clear complicity and contribution of the newly elected Reagan administration in encouraging the insurgency.
Similarly, "Anatomy...Read more ›
Stylistically, it's a meditation on one key moment.
When Lt.-Col Tejero and his goons burst into the Chamber of the Parliament and started shooting, three Deputies kept their seats while all the others (sensibly) hit the floor. One was Adolfo Suarez, the outgoing Prime Minister, who had led Spain from dictatorship to democracy despite his own Francoist history. Another was Santiago Carillo, the veteran Communist Party leader whose political evolution from Stalinist to Democrat mirrored that of Suarez. Finally, the civil war era General Mellado, who despite his advanced years, bravely confronted the intruders.
Suarez is the main focus of the book. Despite a humble provincial background, he had a meteoric rise to power during the Franco era. After the dictator's death, Suarez was seen by the old guard as a safe pair of hands in which to entrust the future of the regime. Instead, the man described by the author as a 'pure politician' began a brilliant series of political manoeuvres which quickly destroyed Franco's legacy. His charm was a key asset. He could be all things to all men. He gained the trust and friendship of the King, and even the old Communist Carillo described their first meeting as being like falling in love.
By the time of the coup, each of the three was a spent force, reviled by Francoists, Communists and the Army for their perceived betrayals. What then, lay behind their courage in the Parliament? Duty? Bravado?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book. Thoughtful , measured and knowledgeable . For anyone with an interest in Spanish political history . Read morePublished 14 months ago by Howard
Meticulously detailed account of the foiled coup d'état in SpainPublished 18 months ago by Kernowdog
An excellent imaginative fiction/fact-based insight into the post-Franco era in pain.
Worthy of being on the book shelves of anyone interested I modern-day Spain
Part history, part imagined examination of the causes and consequences of the 1981 coup in which Francoist and lapsed Francoists attempted to derail Spain's fragile democracy and... Read morePublished on 21 April 2013 by andrew
... And was very happy to receive this book. The translation is really excellent.
It arrived quickly, and is greatly appreciated.
One of the better modern history books I've read in years. Well researched and well written. I have yet to read anything by this author that was less than fantastic.Published on 29 Sept. 2012 by Amazon Reader