The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbol

65%

11 Critic Reviews

The narratives eventually plausibly interconnect, but the frequent brutal assaults on women will be distasteful to many.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

A betrayal and a murder in pro-Nazi Spain spark a struggle for power that grips a family for generations in this sweeping historical thriller

Fierce, edgy, brisk, and enthralling, this brilliant novel by Victor del Árbol pushes the boundaries of the traditional historical novel and in doing so creates a work of incredible power that resonates long after the last page has been turned.

When Isabel, a Spanish aristocrat living in the pro-Nazi Spain of 1941, becomes involved in a plot to kill her Fascist husband, she finds herself betrayed by her mysterious lover. The effects of her betrayal play out in a violent struggle for power in both family and government over three generations, intertwining her story with that of a young lawyer named Maria forty years later. During the attempted Fascist coup of 1981, Maria is accused of plotting the prison escape of a man she successfully prosecuted for murder. As Maria's and Isabel's narratives unfold they encircle each other, creating a page-turning literary thriller firmly rooted in history.


 

About Victor del Arbol

See more books from this Author
Victor del Árbol holds a degree in history from the University of Barcelona. He has worked for Catalonia's police force since 1992. In 2006, he won the Tiflos de Novela Award for The Weight of the Dead. The Sadness of the Samurai is his first novel to be translated into English.
 
Published May 22, 2012 by Henry Holt and Co.. 400 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, History, Education & Reference, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Sadness of the Samurai
All: 11 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 15 2012

A deftly plotted thriller that combines narrative momentum with literary ambition.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Mar 05 2012

The narratives eventually plausibly interconnect, but the frequent brutal assaults on women will be distasteful to many.

Read Full Review of The Sadness of the Samurai | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Dallas News

Excellent
Reviewed by Alan Cheuse on Jul 30 2012

...the thrills and chills in this novel proliferate, no, they cascade, through time.

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Historical Novel Society

Excellent
Reviewed by Alana White on Aug 01 2012

This is award-winning Spanish author Víctor del Árbol’s first novel translated into English, and I can only hope it will not be the last.

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Shelf Awareness

Excellent
Reviewed by Cherie Parker on May 29 2012

...fans of Larsson's novels will recognize a familiar thrill as Maria races against time to save Marta Alcala--as well as her own soul.

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Bookpleasures.com

Below average
Reviewed by Lavanya Karthik on Jul 13 2012

Things are helped not at all by the annoying and wordy interior monologues Arbol’s psychopaths constantly segue into, the contrived end awaiting the book’s most sinister baddie, or the rather brusque and hurried way in which the book ends.

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Seeing the World Through Books

Good
Reviewed by Mary Whipple on May 10 2012

Complex and challenging in its plotting, the novel is a real thriller, energetic and fast-paced.

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Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Below average
May 15 2012

The Sadness of the Samurai is the first of this author's books to be translated into English, and is a difficult thriller and will require the reader to be patient to avoid being confused.

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Axe for the Frozen Sea

Good
Reviewed by Lila Swistek-Gustavus on Jun 10 2012

Really, I could go on for hours about how well Del Arbol builds up his characters, but that's one of the reasons why you may want to read the book and judge for yourself.

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Tea Time with Marce

Below average
Reviewed by Marce on May 27 2012

I do think for those that love suspense would think this thriller was a bit convoluted...

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Girls Just Reading

Good
Reviewed by Julie on Jun 11 2012

Mr. Del Arbol brings these periods to life with vivid descriptions. It's very obvious that he has done his research about Spain's complex political history.

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Reader Rating for The Sadness of the Samurai
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 10 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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