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Books

Javier Marías's Thus Bad Begins: A touch of Vertigo in post-Franco Madrid

The lure of evil — even for the well-intentioned — is the subject of this Hitchcockian nove

27 February 2016

9:00 AM

27 February 2016

9:00 AM

Thus Bad Begins Javier Marías, translated by Margaret Jull Costa

Hamish Hamilton, pp.503, £18.99, ISBN: 9780241972809

The title comes from Hamlet but the spirit that hovers over the pages of Javier Marías’s new novel is — as ever — that of Proust. The visiting and revisiting of the past; the dwelling on the minutiae of memory; the attention to social hierarchy, the demands of lust and the force of cruelty — not to mention the labyrinthine sentences weighted with subordinate clauses… Marcel would breathe easily here.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £18.99 Tel: 08430 600033.  Lee Langley’s novels include Changes of Address, A House in Pondicherry and Distant Music.

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