The carpenter pencil by Manual Rivas


Manuel Rivas


Manuel Rivas is a spanish writer that writes in the Galician language from the north-west region of spain where it shares many similarities with portuguese ,Rivas has worked as a journalist and was a founding member of Greenpeace in spain ,two of his novels have been adapted to films in spain ,he is also one of the first spanish writers to examine the spanish civil war and it effects on people . 

The book- 

The story follows a couple dr Daniel Da Barca and Marisa mallio ,he is a left winger ,making speeches and rabble rousing with his girlfriend by his side but this leads to trouble and when a change in civil war means the right wingers take control he is promptly arrest and thrown in to prison,we meet Rincon another prisoner that is torture and eventually killed by the head of the prison Zalo ,a really nasty piece of work ,herbal the narator of the story grabs Rincon pencil as it drops he is the man who gave up dr daniel to the authorties as he is also in love with Marisa .Daniel eventually is asign to the prison hosptial where he trys his best to help the patients in rather poor conditions ,whilst his sweetheart marisa tries to via for his release . 

from the sentry box in a corner of the prison wall ,with the carpenters pencil behind his ear ,herbal listened to what the painter was telling him .he was telling him that beings and things are clothed in light .that even the gospels talk of men as “the children of light ” 

a quote from about midway in the book 

my view – 

This book is wonderfully wrote and beautifully translated by Jonathan dunne ,the scenes he writes are very vivid ,there is a sense your there watching these horrors unflurre in front of you .It gives a grewat sense of to quote the line from apocplyse now “the horror of war ” and it is even worse it’s a civil war as you now the people your are facing like daniel and herbal in this book .It is great to hear a spainsh voice talk about the civil war having read orwells and hemingways books set during the civil war .A wonderful book ,a true modern classic . 


his random house page

April 2010


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