Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas
A Novel

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Synopsis

In the final moments of the Spanish Civil War, a writer and founding member of Franco's Fascist Party is about to be shot, and yet miraculously escapes into the forest. When his hiding place is discovered, he faces death for the second time that day-but is spared, this time by a lone soldier. The POW becomes a national hero and a member of Franco's first government, while the soldier is forgotten. Sixty years later, Cercas's novel peels back the layers of truth and propaganda in order to discover who the real hero was. Elegantly constructed and told with self-deprecating, melancholy humor, Soldiers of Salamis is a wholly original work of literature by a modern master.
 

About Javier Cercas

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Javier Cercas is a lecturer in Spanish Literature at the University of Gerona. Soldiers of Salamis has been published in fifteen languages.
 
Published December 10, 2008 by Bloomsbury USA. 213 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Soldiers of Salamis

Kirkus Reviews

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While researching an article commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, Javier hears an interesting legend and works it into the piece: Nationalist hero Rafael Sánchez Mazas, founder of the right-wing Falange Party and onetime cabinet minister under Franco, was once captured by ...

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The Guardian

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The book ends with the narrator triumphantly certain that, whether or not Miralles was the man in question, on the level of his own fiction he is the perfect fit to help "complete the mechanism" of his book, and in so doing rescue from oblivion all the "soldiers of Salamis" - the warriors who w...

Jun 21 2003 | Read Full Review of Soldiers of Salamis: A Novel

The Guardian

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The centrality of the bombing of Barcelona in the war's reversals has never been disputed, however, and Cercas's book puts his revisionist history at the war's turning point, in his native Catalonia (and it was published in Castilian, not Catalan).

Jul 13 2003 | Read Full Review of Soldiers of Salamis: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Spanish writer and journalist Cercas received the prestigious Premio Librero de Narrativa for this historical novel about the failed execution of Rafael S nchez Mazas, one of the intellectual architects of Spanish fascism.

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Publishers Weekly

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Spanish journalist and novelist Cercas strives for a "true tale" in his first book to be published in the U.S., the story of a political prisoner during the Spanish Civil War who cheated death twice in one day.

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ReadySteadyBook

Cercas describes himself (or, perhaps, describes the writer of Soldiers of Salamis) as "not a good writer but not a bad journalist") who on hearing Mazas's (real) story, and writing a small article on the death of the poet Antonio Machado (described by his informant Aguirre in a way that usefully...

May 05 2003 | Read Full Review of Soldiers of Salamis: A Novel

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