Friday, February 13, 2009

Antonio Muñoz Molina: A Manuscript Of Ashes

Colin Fleming reviews Antonio Muñoz Molina's A Manuscript Of Ashes

Riddle, sham, requiem, detective story - Antonio Muñoz Molina's novel "A Manuscript of Ashes" is one nasty revenge tale, bound to trip up readers as mercilessly as it flogs its characters. Simply, this is an exercise in psychological horror, a study of how far one man and his accomplice will go to crush the literary ideals of another - for sport, spite and inspiration.

The story begins in a darkened bedroom, in Mágina, Spain, where an unknown first-person narrator commands his lover, Inés, to leave. We have no idea who this narrator is, nor will we until 300 pages later, after he has made his horrible revelation plain to Minaya, a young man who has come to Mágina to escape the police for his role in the Madrid student protests of 1969. In Mágina, he boards with his uncle, Manuel, under the pretense of writing a dissertation about Jacinto Solana, an agitprop poet who had lived in the house and was later assassinated. Both Solana and Manuel were in love with Mariana, a temptress who married Manuel and was ostensibly killed on her wedding night by a stray bullet from a rooftop exchange of gunfire. Determined to find Solana's lost novel, Minaya instead enters into the role of civilian detective, convincing himself that either his literary hero or his uncle was a murderer.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:44 AM

    thanks for the information....

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