Thus Bad Begins
Award-winning author Javier Marias weaves a darkly thrilling tale of love, betrayal and lives played out in the unhappy shadow of history As a young man, Juan de Vere takes a job that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Hi employer is Eduardo Muriel: a famous film director, sophisticated and discreet. Muriel's wife Beatriz is a soft, ripe woman who slips through her husband's home like an unwanted ghost, finding solace in other beds. And on the periphery of their lives stands Dr Jorge Van Vechten, a old family friend with a shadowy past. Juan enters eagerly into Muriel's world of glamour and prestige, but as time passes he is troubled by many questions that seem to have no answer. Why does Muriel hate Beatriz? How did Beatriz meet Van Vechten? And what happened in the chaotic years after the war? As Juan learns more about his employers, his own innocence begins to fall away. Though he starts off as a mere observer, he is soon unable to stand on the side lines, compelled to interfere ever more dangerously in the dark interior of other people's lives. Marias presents a study of the infinitely permeable boundaries between private and public selves, between observer and participant, between the deceptions we suffer from others and those we enact upon ourselves. 'No one else, anywhere, is writing quite like this' Daily Telegraph on The Infatuations
Publisher's description. From one of Spain's most acclaimed literary voices comes a rich and complex portrait of mutual deception, toxic love and cruel, lingering guilt. A youth caught in the middle of someone else's bitter marriage; a beautiful woman scorned; a man torn between conscience and will. Step into the melancholic, unforgiving world of Javier Marias. Penguin Marias returns with another masterful tapestry of noir-ish twists and digressive cerebration The Millions Elegant and beautiful, reminiscent of Proust... Magnificent Daily Mail One of Marias's most enjoyable and accessible novels Financial Times Marias is relentless in his pursuit of literary and psychological truth Sunday Times Ferociously addictive, troubling [and] seductive... It works as high literary fiction, constantly picking apart our assumptions about story and fiction, but also offering good old-fashioned plot' Independent A powerful study of history and memory from a literary giant Sunday Times Easily as engrossing as anything he's written before... He manages to tread the tightrope between a very literary fiction and an utterly absorbing plot The Times Alfred Hitchcock would be a home with Marias - but so too might Harold Pinter...It's a rare trick to pull off, this combination of suspense, analysis and metaphysics that aims both high at the brow and low at the gut Prospect Almodovar-esque New York Magazine On the page, he is expansive and unrestrained New Yorker A major work from a global talent, Thus Bad Begins knits Hitchcockian suspense into a hypnotic tale crackling with erotic tension and political strife... The personal is political, as Marias' powerful, wide-ranging, yet curiously intimate novel attests Minneapolis Star-Tribune Marias is a master of a kind of suspense that is rare in the modern novel NY Times Erudite, strange, hypnotic and beautiful...One reads Marias for his ability to make the smallest parts of the world come alive LA Times
Javier Marias was born in Madrid in 1951. He is the author of sixteen works in Spanish, which have been translated into forty-two languages including English. His translated English works are All Souls, A Heart So White, Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, When I Was Mortal, Dark Back of Time, The Man of Feeling, Voyage Along the Horizon, Written Lives, the Your Face Tomorrow trilogy (Fever and Spear, Dance and Dream, and Poison, Shadow and Farewell), Bad Nature, While the Women Are Sleeping, The Infatuations and Thus Bad Begins. Javier Marias has received numerous literary prizes including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Prix Formentor, and he is the King of Redonda. He lives and works as a translator and columnist in Madrid.