Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marias
A novel

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...for all of Marias' gorgeous, looping, carefully structured sentences — and for all of his tales of sex and death and revolution — what Thus Bad Begins could've really used was a little bit of the bravado and rawness of youth.
-NPR

Synopsis

From the internationally acclaimed author of The Infatuations comes the mesmerizing story of a couple living in the shadow of a mysterious, unhappy history--a novel about the cruel, tender punishments we exact on those we love.

Madrid, 1980. Juan de Vere, nearly finished with his university degree, takes a job as personal assistant to Eduardo Muriel, an eccentric, once-successful film director. Urbane, discreet, irreproachable, Muriel is an irresistible idol to the young man. But Muriel's voluptuous wife, Beatriz, inhabits their home like an unwanted ghost; and on the periphery of their lives is Dr. Jorge Van Vechten, a family friend implicated in unsavory rumors that Muriel now asks Juan to investigate. As Juan draws closer to the truth, he uncovers only more questions. What is at the root of Muriel's hostility toward his wife? How did Beatriz meet Van Vechten? What happened during the war? Marías leads us deep into the intrigues of these characters, through a daring exploration of rancor, suspicion, loyalty, trust, and the infinitely permeable boundaries between the deceptions perpetrated on us by others and those we inflict upon ourselves.
 

About Javier Marias

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Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951. He is the author of more than a dozen novels and several short story collections. He is also an award-winning translator and a columnist for El País. He was the second recipient of the International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award (for A Heart So White) and is a member of the Royal Spanish Academy.
 
Published November 1, 2016 by Knopf. 464 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Thus Bad Begins
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Sep 25 2016

His storytelling has evolved into a more reflexive, denser, meditative voice. Thus Bad Begins is a novel, of course, but it could be perfectly read, too, as a beautiful, savage essay on hypocrisy.

Read Full Review of Thus Bad Begins: A novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Jason Sheehan on Nov 03 2016

...for all of Marias' gorgeous, looping, carefully structured sentences — and for all of his tales of sex and death and revolution — what Thus Bad Begins could've really used was a little bit of the bravado and rawness of youth.

Read Full Review of Thus Bad Begins: A novel | See more reviews from NPR

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