Jump to content
sirinrob

Your Face Tomorrow 1: Fever and Spear Javier Mar

Recommended Posts

This novel is the first part of a trilogy. Written from a first person point of view, it follows Jacques Devas as he becomes involved with a mysterious group whose aims are unstated but whose day-to-day activities involve the careful observation of people's character and the prediction of their future behaviour.

 

By nature he is admirably suited for this task as he instinctively watches listens and analyses other people. He is estranged from his wife; a theme that runs throughout the novel. He meets up with an old friend of his Wheeler, a retired Oxford don. Various conversations with Wheeler reveal information that Jacques never suspected and starts him pondering on truth and deception, trust and betrayal. This exploration of human nature is the main theme of the novel and is explored using inner monologues.

 

The style is on the academic side and the prose is concentrated. One feature of the writing is that the author uses very long, complicated sentences, in a similar fashion to Antonio Flores, Roberto Bolano, Gunter Grass. I liked this, but some may find this off putting.

 

The depth of the thoughts and associated analysis I enjoyed. The ending is mysterious and haunting.

 

On the look out for the remaining books in this intriguing trilogy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terrific overview of a very mysterious and unique novel I also enjoyed. Vol 2 is due any moment from UPS. I've fallen behind in the conversationalreading.com group read, which has been a terrific resource, an essential podcast of a Marias interview, and an online interview with the incredible translator, if you haven't been following.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see some activity for this series.

 

I have all three volumes and have finished Vol 1. Considered as backdrop for what might come, I found it reasonably interesting but requiring patience to read.

 

I immediately went on to Vol 2, but almost as quickly put it into my Deferred pile when it did not pick up on the obvious "hook" at the end of Vol 1 but, instead, continued with the diffuse and wandering style that characterized Vol 1, meaning many words for relatively little and slow plot development.

 

However, if a few here are interested in reading and discussing the book as we go along, I'll join the crew. Mutual encouragement may be a good way for all of us to get all the way through the trilogy.

 

But all is not bleak, because the person who recommended it said I would enjoy it, and I'm relying on that eventually coming true.

 

Shall we?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started Vol 2 Dance and Dream a couple of nights ago. Had a difficult time getting going, the long sentences, the qualifiers, the digressions. 300 pages more?

 

But then one of the digressions struck me as absolutely brilliant (the dirt poor Romanian emigre mother begging for money with her two little ones, and Luisa's benevolent reaction) it may not lead anywhere, but like the unexplained drop of blood on the floor of Wheeler's hallway in Vol 1, I can't seem to shake it.

 

Also I keep remembering Marias exhorting his readers to read his prose quickly, don't pause, catch the musical current. So I'm hooked again.

Edited by ethan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ethan, your post is enough to get me to give Vol 2 another try. And, ah yes, that drop of blood.

I have the feeling there may be a (gripping) story behind all the words we are reading, and eventually it will be made clear that we have been sleeping along while listening to what the narrator has been telling us. I can hope, can't I? :D

There has to be a culprit in the series someplace, doesn't there? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished Vol 2 this morning. I urge you guys to stick with this, a great reading experience, everything in Vol 1 is ratcheted up a notch, I'll have more thoughts on my blog after I've absorbed it more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the first volume sitting on my shelf, and have access to the other two as well.....I'm certainly tempted to start at least Volume one.

Maybe later this month I can start it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I finished Vol 2 this morning. I urge you guys to stick with this, a great reading experience, everything in Vol 1 is ratcheted up a notch, I'll have more thoughts on my blog after I've absorbed it more.

 

Oh-kay, Ethan! Here we go! Volume two is back down off the library shelf and into the reading pile. :blush:

 

And, Pontalba, I hope to stay ahead of you, but if you read fast you might yet catch me, I hope not.

Edited by Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well good luck, Paul. I hope I haven't oversold it. The last part of Dream struck me as some of the finest contemporary writing I've come across, described elsewhere as "aesthetic bliss". Once you get into the long nightclub scene, that is the centerpiece of this volume, hopefully you'll be hooked. Tupra may really surprise you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well good luck, Paul. I hope I haven't oversold it. The last part of Dream struck me as some of the finest contemporary writing I've come across, described elsewhere as "aesthetic bliss". Once you get into the long nightclub scene, that is the centerpiece of this volume, hopefully you'll be hooked. Tupra may really surprise you.

 

Nope, Ethan. I don't think you have oversold it -- quite the contrary. If you can find "aesthetic bliss" in the midst of a narratorial style as wandering, dense and involuted as Marias's, then that is something I really want to see also! So, no stopping now.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×