The infatuations by Javier Marias

the infatuations

The infatuations by Javier Marias

Spanish literature

Orginial title – Los enamoramientos

Translator – Margaret Jull Costa

Source – library book

I have read two other Marias before this one ,I reviewed while the women are sleeping a couple of years ago and late last year read a heart so white ,I enjoyed both and have before that i have tried to read the huge your face tomorrow trilogy but never got to it as I never get chance to have the library books out long enough to get to them .But after hearing this mentioned as one of the favourite books of last year by Three percent podcast .I decided with the Independent foreign fiction prize looming in the background I review this before a heart so white .Javier Marias has been writing for forty years he started translating Dracula scripts for his uncle a well-known Spanish film director the infatuations was his latest book in Spanish published in 2011 in there .

The last time I saw Miguel Desvern or Deverne was also the last time that his wife , Luisa saw him ,which I ,on the other hand was a preson he had never met , a woman with whom he had never exchanged so much as a single word .I didn’t even know his name ,or only when it was too late

The opening lines of the book ,now doesn’t that draw you in?

 

I had been meaning to try this book , since it came out  last year partly due to the great black and white cover ,I’m not a huge one for mentioning covers but this one is a just come and look and read me cover ,anyway back to the book it the story of a women Maria Dolz  who works in publishing ,she sits every morning in a cafe and watches a young couple that also frequent the  same cafe ,she is an imaginative person and dreams about these two then one day she finds out the husband of the couple has died  after seeing a picture of a man who has been stabbed in a newspaper .This draws her into a sort of mystery and what is the wife doing ,when she turns up with some kids and they are fetch by another man .What is happening ? why did he die ,who is the new man ?

“Once the sentence had been  heard ,it was Athos who turned to her and ,as master of ceremonies , said : “Anne de Brueil , countess de la fere , Milady de Winter ,your crimes have weried men on earth and god in heaven .

one of many literary links in the story ,Maria does work in publishing .

I love Marias and will read all his books translated over time ,if there is a reading version of slow cooking he is it the prose he writes isn’t flashy ,the action plot isn’t a hurtling train no this is like a slow cook the senses ,mind is seeped slowly and gently into finding out what had happened to the couple .We discover that what Maria saw and thought she saw isn’t really what she saw .I was reminded of the way Maria gets drawn into this Murder and the web surrounding of the Woody Allen film Manhattan Murder mystery which saw a character played by Diane keaton sees her neighbour maybe kill his wife ,this book remind me of the fumbling into a deeper mystery .I also loved the way he used the character of my lady from the three musketeers as someone to compare the wife too .    We see a lot about life ,death and what drives people. I loved his style of writing ,yet again his books are like a slow drift down the river ,there is no hurrying in his writing it needs to be savoured .

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 17:25:29

    Lovely review Stu and this sounds great. I have had A Heart So White on my wishlist for a long time, and I think I better add this too!

    Reply

  2. Amateur Reader (Tom)
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 17:37:41

    Brain Drain‘s review of the novel appeared almost simultaneously in my RSS reader. Kinda funny.

    I would not complain if Marías returned to his earlier, more precise style, but I do not think that is going to happen, so I will enjoy what we got.

    Reply

  3. heavenali
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 00:11:52

    Not a writer I know I confess but I love the sound of the novel.

    Reply

  4. whisperinggums
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 06:08:08

    Great opening lines Stu. And, I think it’s ok to talk about covers sometimes. Some covers are just delicious.

    Reply

  5. Bina
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 23:39:12

    Never even heard of him, but this one sounds quietly exciting. Will definitely be looking out for this one!

    Reply

  6. Claire 'Word by Word'
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 08:13:37

    Sounds like my kind of mystery, a slow burning one. Nice review and extracted passages Stu.

    Reply

  7. Anokatony
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 15:55:38

    It is a real horse race between Javier Marias and Enrique Vila-Matas for best Spanish writer. You probably have some more names, but these two guys write great novels.

    Reply

  8. Col
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 20:50:10

    I’m really delighted to come across your review. I’ve decided to do an Espana Reading Challenge this year and plan to have a go at reading Spanish writers and novels in Spanish as well as in English translations. This had been on my list of possibles – I will now move it – and A Heart So White, up to the ‘definite’ pile!

    Reply

  9. Guy Savage
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 22:39:48

    I want to read this one–been meaning to get to it, but you know how it is… The Woody Allen connection makes it even more interesting to me.

    Reply

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  12. Jacqui (@jacquiwine)
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 18:05:58

    Great review, Stu. I’ve come to Marias quite late having read him for the first time just last year but I loved this one. It’s quite philosophical in places, a kind of meditation on some of the big themes in life: grief, love, truth, our own mortality. I completely agree it’s a novel to be savoured slowly; it’s one I’d like to revisit at some point, especially if it makes the IFFP shortlist. Marias’s prose feels quite layered and a second read.could reveal even deeper insights and meaning.

    Reply

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  19. Lisa Hill
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 02:45:09

    “the action plot isn’t a hurtling train no this is like a slow cook the senses , mind is seeped slowly and gently into finding out what had happened to the couple” – I love this, Stu, you are quite the poet when writing about books you love!

    Reply

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