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The Infatuations
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2013
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Description

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, NPR Great Reads, and Onion A.V. Club Best Book of 2013

Each day before work María Dolz stops at the same café. There she finds herself drawn to a couple who is also there every morning. Observing their seemingly perfect life helps her escape the listlessness of her own. But when the man is brutally murdered and María approaches the widow to offer her condolences, what began as mere observation turns into an increasingly complicated entanglement. Invited into the widow's home, she meets--and falls in love with--a man who sheds disturbing new light on the crime. As María recounts this story, we are given a murder mystery brilliantly encased in a metaphysical enquiry, a novel that grapples with questions of love and death, chance and coincidence, and above all, with the slippery essence of the truth and how it is told.

This ebook edition includes a reading group guide.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/13/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307960733
ASIN:
B00BH0VSGW
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Javier Marías. (2013). The Infatuations. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Javier Marías. 2013. The Infatuations. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Javier Marías, The Infatuations. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Javier Marías. The Infatuations. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951. The recipient of numerous prizes, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Prix Femina Étranger, he has written thirteen novels, three story collections, and nineteen works of collected articles and essays. His books have been translated into forty-three languages, in fifty-two countries, and have sold more than seven million copies throughout the world. 

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title
The Infatuations
fullDescription

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, NPR Great Reads, and Onion A.V. Club Best Book of 2013

Each day before work María Dolz stops at the same café. There she finds herself drawn to a couple who is also there every morning. Observing their seemingly perfect life helps her escape the listlessness of her own. But when the man is brutally murdered and María approaches the widow to offer her condolences, what began as mere observation turns into an increasingly complicated entanglement. Invited into the widow's home, she meets--and falls in love with--a man who sheds disturbing new light on the crime. As María recounts this story, we are given a murder mystery brilliantly encased in a metaphysical enquiry, a novel that grapples with questions of love and death, chance and coincidence, and above all, with the slippery essence of the truth and how it is told.

This ebook edition includes a reading group guide.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content:

        "Sometimes startling, sometimes hilarious, and always intelligent . . . Marías [has] a penetrating empathy."

      • premium: False
      • source: Fresh Air/NPR
      • content: "The Infatuations is mysterious and seductive; it's got deception, it's got love affairs, it's got murder. . . sheerly addictive."
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times
      • content: "Haunting. . . . Evokes verbal puzzle-makers like Borges, and Marías's ingenious chessboard plots bring to mind the 20th century's grand-master strategist, Vladimir Nabokov."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "An arresting story of love and crime."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian, UK
      • content: "A masterly novel . . . The classical themes of love, death, and fate are explored with elegant intelligence by Marías in what is perhaps his best novel so far . . . Extraordinary . . . Marías has defined the ethos of our time."
      • premium: False
      • source: Wichita Eagle
      • content: "Marías has created a splendid tour de force of narrative voice. . . . A luminous performance."
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Review of Books
      • content: "Marías's novel weaves an intricate web, but its triumph is in the power of its narrator. Marías has found the ideal voice--detached, inquisitive, and vigilant--for one of his finest novels."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Observer, UK

      • content: "A haunting masterpiece."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 24, 2013
        Marías (While the Women Are Sleeping) shows that death is hardest on those left living. Each morning María Dolz has breakfast at a cafe watching perfect couple Miguel and Luisa. One morning Miguel is stabbed to death on his birthday by a knife-wielding panhandler, a seemingly random act of madness. This rupture in María’s idyllic voyeurism causes her to intersect her life with Luisa’s, enmeshing herself in the murder’s aftermath. Yet, as the story unfolds it becomes clear that nothing is certain but death. With philosophical rigor, Marías uses the page-turning twists of crime fiction to interrogate the weighty concepts of grief, culpability, and mortality. Indeed, scattered throughout are metafictional reflections on the limits and power of literature’s hypotheticals, while María’s job at a publishing company provides comic relief in its caricatures of the vanities of writers. The novel’s power lies in its melding of readable momentum and existential depth. Through Costa’s lucid translation, the prose exhibits Marías’s trademark clarity and digressive uncertainty; a novel that further secures Marías’s position as one of contemporary fiction’s most relevant voices.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from July 15, 2013
        An apparently random street murder sparks musings on shades of guilt and the mutability of truth in the distinguished Spanish writer's latest (Your Face Tomorrow: Poison, Shadow, and Farewell, 2007, etc.). For years, Maria Dolz has idealized Miguel Desvern and his wife, Luisa, as the perfect couple, basing this image on the loving interactions she observes at the Madrid cafe, where she has breakfast before heading to her job at a publishing house. (Marias pokes fun throughout at authors' vanities and quirks.) After Miguel is stabbed to death by a deranged homeless man, Maria introduces herself to Luisa and through her meets Javier Diaz-Varela, a family friend devoted to helping the shattered widow rebuild her life. Maria and Javier embark on an affair, but when an overheard conversation reveals that Miguel's death was not what it seems, the lovers engage in a long conversational fencing match. Did Miguel ask Javier to arrange his death because he had a horrible fatal disease? Or did Javier incite his best friend's murder because he coveted his wife? As always with Marias, there are no definitive answers, only the exploration of provocative ideas in his trademark style: long, looping sentences (superbly translated by Costa) that mimic the stuttering starts and stops of a restless mind. It's no accident that Maria's and Javier's first names combine to form their creator's full name; they voice his consciousness. Marias' rare gift is his ability to make this intellectual jousting as suspenseful as the chase scenes in a commercial thriller. He's tremendously stimulating to read; arresting turns of phrase enfold piercing insights, such as an overbearing character's "charming Nazi-green jacket" or the dark vision of "continuous, indivisible time...eternally snapping at our heels." Though eschewing overt political commentary, the novel makes crystal clear the bitter contemporary relevance of someone who believes guilt can be evaded through "murder-by-delegation." Blindingly intelligent, engagingly accessible--it seems there's nothing Marias can't make fiction do. No wonder he's perennially mentioned as a potential Nobel laureate.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from July 1, 2013
        Mar-as has earned major literary prizes in his native Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Chile, and Ireland. A novelist's novelist, a consummate stylist, his works have been translated into 42 languages. The plot of The Infatuations has elements of a thriller. The narrator, Mar-a Dolz, eavesdrops on a conversation that undoes all she thinks she knows about Javier, her lover, and his dear friend, the victim of an apparently brutal and senseless murder. What she believed was a tragedy may be the result of a conspiracy. When Javier speaks of Balzac, Mar-a thinks of her father's favorite, Dumas p're, and quotes from Macbeth appear; yet these postmodern tropes are never more alive than in Mar-as' respectful hands. The cadences of his exquisite sentences are preserved in translator Costa's English, the clauses balanced like a loaded scale; detail accumulates yet also erodes and turns elusive. The more precise the descriptions of passion and reflection, the more fleeting these states appear: the object of our attention and its dark shadow vie for supremacy. It is magical, stupendous, and not done for effect. Mar-as dramatizes the fluidity of attention as Mar-a persuades herself, and us, of the truth and of its opposite.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2013

        Titles by Marias have sold six million copies in 50 countries worldwide, and his prizes range from the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award to the Prix Femina Etranger. His devoted following in the United States is about to get bigger with his shift to a powerhouse publisher. Already a best seller in Europe, this work is a murder mystery wrapped in a novel of ideas, asking questions about love, mortality, and truth vs. appearance. Maria Dolz can't help admiring the couple she spots daily at the Madrid cafe where she breakfasts; they seem so much happier than she is. Then the husband is murdered, and when Maria pays the widow a sympathy call, she meets (and falls for) a man with disturbing insights into the crime.

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2013

        The blockbuster "Your Face Tomorrow" trilogy is a tough act to follow, and this latest novel by Spanish novelist Marias, whose prizes range from the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award to the Prix Femina Etranger, is very much in a minor key. Similar to Marias's previous works, this novel is devoid of plot, which is propelled by a half dozen or so conversations and meetings. The focus of the action is the murder of distinguished film distributor Miguel Desvern, whom the female protagonist Maria Dolz has been observing with his wife, Luisa Alday, with whom she now strikes up a friendship. Shortly thereafter, Javier Diaz Varela (Desvern's best friend) becomes romantically involved with both Maria and Luisa. Marias turns a narrative about an apparently random homicide into a metaphysical inquiry fraught with ambiguity as accounts of the incident vary in their degree of accuracy and detail, a plot twist presents a questionable motive, and even the victim's name isn't certain. The story is focused more on death than falling in love, contrary to the title. VERDICT From this novel, it is easy to see why Marias is among Spain's most celebrated writers living today, but his fluid yet digressive style may not be to everyone's liking. When it comes to a novel exquisitely questioning the nature of fact and truth, however, this is a highly rewarding literary experience. [See Prepub Alert, 2/11/13.]--Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, NPR Great Reads, and Onion A.V. Club Best Book of 2013

Each day before work María Dolz stops at the same café. There she finds herself drawn to a couple who is also there every morning. Observing their seemingly perfect life helps her escape the listlessness of her own. But when the man is brutally murdered and María approaches the widow to offer her condolences, what began as mere observation turns into an increasingly complicated entanglement. Invited into the widow's home, she meets--and falls in love with--a man who sheds disturbing new light on the crime. As María recounts this story, we are given a murder mystery brilliantly encased in a metaphysical enquiry, a novel that grapples with questions of love and death, chance and coincidence, and above all, with the slippery essence of the truth and how it is told.

This ebook edition includes a reading group guide.

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publisher
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group