- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 25 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 12 Aug. 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00L4FZ3OI
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Outlaws: A Novel Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The book takes place from the end of the Franco era in the mid-1970s to the present. It describes how Canas, a studious teenager from a conventional home joins a gang of "quinquis" (the English equivalent might be gypsy/travellers) from the other side of the river and spends his summer on a spree of crime and mayhem. The gang is led by Zarco who is described as charismatic, manipulative and unscrupulous. Without giving the plot away, the events of that summer and his relationship with Zarco profoundly influence the rest of Canas' life.
Cercas cleverly allows us to see the plot from several points of view, not only of Canas, but also of a police inspector and a prison superintendent. Whilst the plot is based around crime and delinquency, Cercas' skills give depth to the story so it becomes a meditation on growing up; the meaning of personal responsibility; how we perceive right and wrong and more.
Readers who persist with this deeply Spanish book will, I think, be very satisfied when they reach its conclusion.
What, if anything, is Cercas’s message, or ethical claim? He suggests that life and action are determined by context, whose power is greater than behavioural intentionality, or institutional reform. We are irreversibly formed, we don’t choose. But he presents justice as inescapable. Efforts to redeem one delinquent, or a decision to let another off, (similar to an event in Cercas’s ‘Soldiers of Salamis’), or to ignore the question of who the informer is, or to forgive and forget the school bully, are doomed. The birds come home to roost. The combination of these two claims makes justice harsh. For Cercas, mercy and compassion are ineffective. We have to hope otherwise.
On the negative side (& really it wasn't that much of an issue), I felt that the interviews with each person were told in the same tone & style which I wouldn't have thought is particularly realistic. It could also be said to drag a little bit but overall I'd still rate it highly.
Three excellent books of fiction, followed by a laboured non-fiction book followed by this tedious effort.
Found the style jarring and never have I been less interested in the central characters.
Used to be a writer I looked out for, now is one to avoid
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Ceras always waiting for his next novel. Very good but not one of his bestPublished 10 months ago by Mr. C. Dunne
Don't on any account spend money on this book. I read this in Spanish when it came out and it's painfully drab. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Thorycroft