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Thus Bad Begins

by Javier Marías

Set in Spain in 1980, the novel is a masterly evocation of the effects of the Civil War on public and private morality and ideas of revenge. Usually I read far too quickly but I forced myself to savour this beautifully-written book and was well rewarded - not least by the introduction of the B Movie star subplot.

Extract

'While we're alive,' he repeated. 'Yes, it's illusory to go in pursuit of the truth, a waste of time and a source of conflict, sheer folly. And yet we can't not do it. Or, rather, we can't help wondering about it, knowing that it does exist and is to be found in a place and a time to which we have no access.'
Translated by Margaret Jull Costa

Parallels

Embers by Tibor Marai
Secrets and Lies - the film
 

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