Thus Bad Begins by Javier (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa) Marias

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“Thus Bad Begins” is a book for Marías lovers, a secretive novel, chock-full of fear and betrayal, but the stakes do only go so high. Classic Marías novels revolve around death, murder and violence, and perhaps it’s for that reason I found myself sometimes comparing it to his others.
-LA Times

Synopsis

In Madrid, 1980, five years after Franco's death, Juan de Vere takes a job assisting Eduardo Muriel, a film director in the twilight of his career. Muriel is eccentric but charming, an irresistible idol for Juan. But certain people, and forces, loom, among them Beatriz, Muriel's difficult wife; and Dr. Jorge Van Vechten, a mysterious figure implicated in unsavory rumors involving Muriel. As Juan digs deeper into all three of their lives, the deceptions and loyalties he begins to uncover will change the course of his young life. Thus Bad Begins is an ambitious, sweeping novel of a young man and his country, and of life in the wake of a dictator's reign.
 

About Javier (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa) Marias

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Published November 1, 2016 by Vintage. 466 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Thus Bad Begins
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Karan Mahajan on Nov 25 2016

...an instance of love and pity gone haywire. It made my hackles rise...I was reminded too that Marías is a master of a kind of suspense that is rare in the modern novel. He saves the best for the last. The question is whether you can get through the bad marriage first.

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Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by Claire Hopley on Nov 13 2016

As a writer of formidable skills and achievement, Javier Marias — still not very well-known in this country — is regularly tipped to win the Nobel prize. His work is dense, rich, enticing, and absolutely addictive.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Scott Cheshire on Nov 04 2016

“Thus Bad Begins” is a book for Marías lovers, a secretive novel, chock-full of fear and betrayal, but the stakes do only go so high. Classic Marías novels revolve around death, murder and violence, and perhaps it’s for that reason I found myself sometimes comparing it to his others.

Read Full Review of Thus Bad Begins | See more reviews from LA Times
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