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Javier Marías (1951–2022)

Author of A Heart So White

112+ Works 11,472 Members 375 Reviews 49 Favorited

About the Author

Javier Marias, a literary phenomenon worldwide, is still in the process of being discovered in America. Among his awards are the Premio Ciudad de Barcelona, The Spanish Critics' Award, the Prix L'Oeil et la Lettre, the Premio Mondello, the Premio Internacional de Novela Romulo Gallegos, the Prix show more Femina Etranger, the Nelly-Sachs Prize, and the Dublin International IMPAC Award. He is also King Xavier I of Redonda. show less


Works by Javier Marías

A Heart So White (1992) 1,962 copies
The Infatuations (2011) 1,151 copies
All Souls (1989) 876 copies
Thus Bad Begins (2014) 468 copies
The Man of Feeling (1986) 437 copies
Berta Isla (2017) 431 copies
Dark Back of Time (1998) 419 copies
Written Lives (1992) 413 copies
When I Was Mortal (1999) 401 copies
While the Women Are Sleeping (1990) 220 copies
Voyage Along the Horizon (1972) 213 copies
Tomás Nevinson (2021) 201 copies
Los dominios del lobo (1993) 100 copies
El siglo (1983) 62 copies
Your Face Tomorrow Trilogy (2011) 58 copies
Cuentos únicos (1989) 56 copies
Literatura y fantasma (1993) 37 copies
Venice, An Interior (2016) 32 copies
Miramientos (1997) 30 copies
Pasiones pasadas (1991) 29 copies
Vida del fantasma (1995) 29 copies
Cuando los tontos mandan (2014) 19 copies
Aquella mitad de mi tiempo (2008) 13 copies
A veces un caballero (2001) 13 copies
El oficio de oír llover (2005) 12 copies
Harán de mí un criminal (2003) 11 copies
Lo que no vengo a decir (2009) 9 copies
Demasiada nieve alrededor (2007) 9 copies
Ven a buscarme (2011) 8 copies
Tiempos ridículos (2013) 8 copies
Ni se les ocurra disparar (2011) 7 copies
LECCION PASADA DE MODA (2012) 7 copies
The Alphabet Garden: European Short Stories (1994) — Author — 7 copies
Desde Que TE VI Morir (1999) 6 copies
Beyaz Kalp (2016) 6 copies
Tutti i racconti (2020) 4 copies
Si rude soit le début (2014) 4 copies
Trilogia sentimentale (2010) 4 copies
Las huellas dispersas (2014) 3 copies
Karasevdalilar (2015) 2 copies
Tüm Ruhlar (2020) 2 copies
Zamanin Karanlik Yüzü (2021) 2 copies
Ditt ansikte i morgon (2017) 1 copy
Tako počinje zlo (2017) 1 copy
Kurt Mintikasi (2022) 1 copy
Duygusal Adam (2020) 1 copy
Sve duše 1 copy
Opaka narav 1 copy
Ástir 1 copy
Schöne Ferien — Contributor — 1 copy
Interpreti di vite (2011) 1 copy
Voglio essere lento (2010) 1 copy
Entrevistos (2005) 1 copy
Beleszerelmesedések (2012) 1 copy

Associated Works


1001 (79) 1001 books (72) 18th century (345) 18th century literature (53) 20th century (121) 21st century (103) biography (67) books about books (57) British (127) British literature (125) classic (179) classics (175) ebook (54) England (96) English (95) English literature (212) essays (105) fiction (1,848) humor (163) literature (539) metafiction (71) narrativa (103) Narrativa española (66) New Directions (62) non-fiction (73) novel (610) Novela (202) own (52) Oxford (54) read (129) Roman (123) satire (96) short stories (79) Spain (455) Spanish (281) Spanish fiction (69) Spanish literature (593) to-read (1,012) translation (116) unread (104)

Common Knowledge



I finished this book some days ago, but it remains with me still. I took a while to settle into the slow, intense narrative, but once I did, I became fully involved. Berta and Tomás fall in love while. still at school together. Anglo-Spanish, Tomás goes to university in Oxford, to further his extraordinary gift for languages, while Berta studies in Madrid. At Oxford, Tomás makes a mistake which results in the career choice he makes, working for the British secret service, and which changes his and Berta's relationship for ever.

This book is the story of that marriage, or rather is dwells on Berta's reactions to her husband's physical and emotional absence from their relationship. It unveils those feelings which often remain hidden, and portrays an isolated, lonely yet strong individual struggling with the overwhelming impositions of secrecy imposed on her husband by those who employ him. The Irish Troubles, Franco's dictatorship and the war in the Falklands all have their part in this drama, in which the world of espionage doesn't come out well.

At one point Berta herself quotes from Dickens' Tale of Two Cities: '…every human creature is destined to be a profound secret and mystery to every other creature'. That's what this book is about
… (more)
Margaret09 | 14 other reviews | Apr 15, 2024 |
In this novel, if you are waiting for a great resolution, you are waiting in vain.

There is a reveal, but it’s less exciting than the words if you get me.

It is better if you let Marías’ prose wash over you, like the references to Macbeth, to old films and TV shows, and the stream of Madrid seafood restaurants.

I only wish I had read this book before visiting Madrid where a fever had mostly confined me to a hotel bed.

I could have visited every one of those restaurants.

In one of the most comic scenes I have read in recent years, Juan, the narrator who is an interpreter, translates between Spanish and English diplomats, except instead of translating boring diplo-speak, he gives the interlocutors different words and an entirely different conversation between man and woman.

His superior, a woman translator, a woman he lusts for and ultimately marries, sits behind him and doesn’t correct the situation.
… (more)
MylesKesten | 56 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
"Far worse than my grave suspicions and my possibly hasty and unfair conjectures was the burden of having two versions of events and not knowing which to believe."

Maria breakfasts every day in a cafe where she observes a couple also breakfasting. She characterizes them as the perfect married couple. Then one day the couple is no longer there, and she is stunned to learn that the man is dead, having been randomly and brutally murdered.

Maria eventually meets the widow Luisa to express her condolences, and through Luisa she meets Javier, a friend of the murdered man. Maria and Javier become lovers, and she soon learns that Javier pines after Luisa and has for years. Then one day by chance Maria overhears a conversation that leads her to believe that Javier was complicit in the murder of Luisa's husband.

This book raises more questions than it answers. And it is very slow-moving and dense, not thrillerish at all. There was lots of wandering around going nowhere, and lots of repetition. This is the first book I have read by this author, and I will probably read more by him since I own a few of his books on Kindle. But this one did not impress me.

2 1/2 stars
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arubabookwoman | 50 other reviews | Dec 31, 2023 |
“…. and it doesn’t really matter because so many things happen without anyone realizing or remembering, everything is forgotten or invalidated.”
VictorHalfwit | 45 other reviews | Dec 9, 2023 |



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