Your Face Tomorrow 1: Fever and Spear: Fever and Spear v. 1 (Your Face Tomorrow Trilogy) Paperback – 6 Jul 2006
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"You are dazzled by the author's intelligence and understanding of human nature" (Scotsman)
"Your Face Tomorrow is already being compared with Proust and rightly so. It is a novel of extraordinary subtlety and pathos. The next thing Marias deserves is the Nobel Prize." (Observer)
"Marias is one of the best minds in fiction today.His is an experimental kind of writing, a thinking on the page, unlike anything else now.In Your Face Tomorrow, it produces another work of urgent originality" (Independent)
"He has as gift for the wickedly comic set piece...He seems incapable of writing a thoughtless or throwaway sentence.We need more novelists like Marias" (Independent on Sunday)
An intriguing and audacious experiment. I look foward to the next volume
" (Sunday Times)
The first major new novel from Marias since A Heart So White, winner of the IMPAC prize and a bestseller in Spain. Set in England, the book has all the suspense of the best spy novels, which it parodies so brilliantlySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This first part is a personal and a family history, and a history of the Spanish civil war, by a man endowed with a unique talent. He is able -on the basis of brief encounters (interviews, sometimes observations with only a few words exchanged) -to assess persons, know them better than they know themselves and put his findings on paper, in report form. It is a very rare gift and his talent is turned into employment by a shady agency in London, after his marriage in Madrid breaks up. The agency and the history of his sponsors suggest he is hired to play a role in support of post-Cold War intelligence work. After all, he lived in the UK before he married, lecturing in Oxford, building a network of friends. Interesting!
However, Javier Marias (JM)is his own writer, full of ideas and ambitions beyond a simple spy novel. The way the novel is written has led one Amazon.uk reviewer to give up reading well before reaching the half-way point. Why? Most pages are solid blocks of text, indentations are few, white lines absent. Fortunately, the chapters are fairly short. Real dialogues are rare. Usually, one character answers a question and holds forth for pages on end. Such essay-type statements are frequently interrupted by page-long musings by the hero himself, and then the lecturing continues. Is it a book written for women rather than men?
But it is also on occasion a warm, passionate book because of the personal ingredients.Read more ›
It's centred around Jacques Deza, an ex-teacher, broadcaster, and academic who is on the run from a failed marriage and family in Madrid. Jacques is talent spotted by a retired Oxford Don for his unusual talent, for he has the ability to see certain traits in people. From their appearance, mannerisms, from their subtle actions he can see people and understand them; understand them better than they can understand themselves. He is introduced to the mysterious Tupra who puts him to work in interpreting certain individuals - spies, revolutionaries, bad debtors - and in finding out what they will become in the future.
There's no denying it's a useful tool, for what is the novelist doing but interpreting the actions of others? Analysing their feelings and emotions: trying to get to their very core. And this book is well written, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa.
After reading my lukewarm praise the attentive reader is undoubtedly waiting for some sort of qualifier, a but or however. And it's difficult to know where to start because from a very promising opening, full of insight and wit and intrigue, I began to feel the book fall apart in my hands. What started off as sharp observation and shrewd interpretation slowly descended into a tone of over intellectualisation and didacticism. In one particular extract Deza is reading of the Spanish civil war after a dinner party in the Don's house. On a trip to an upstairs library he stumbles across a bloodstain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nothing much happens, but it does so in brilliant, insidious prose. Got to read the rest of the trilogy now.Published on 25 April 2013 by Kernowdog
I bought this book second hand and i am glad I did. I would have resented having paid full price for it. Although it has received much praise I cannot add my own. Read morePublished on 22 April 2012 by kendalltob
Marias unpeels every moment, examining it from every angle, exploring all its associated memories, all its biases and promises. Read morePublished on 12 Aug. 2011 by K. Philip Harrison
I have started reading this book twice. The first time I got to about page 34, the second time to somewhere past page 100. Read morePublished on 22 Aug. 2010 by Phil Jollans
Sometimes people's private observations and thoughts are interesting, sometimes not.
I wonder, is this an insight view of the world of secret services or is it, like all... Read more
As a previous reviewer has said, this book is based on a good central concept, but the execution is very poor. Read morePublished on 18 Jan. 2010 by book maven
This Trilogy has received much critical acclaim. I got to somewhere around page ten of this first book-couldn't recall what I had read and there was no indication of where 'it'... Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2010 by Awill