Lord of All the Dead: Book summary and reviews of Lord of All the Dead by Javier Cercas

Lord of All the Dead

A nonfiction novel

by Javier Cercas

Lord of All the Dead by Javier Cercas X
Lord of All the Dead by Javier Cercas
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2020
    288 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

From the internationally renowned author of The Impostor, a courageous journey into his own family history and that of a country collapsing from a fratricidal war--his most moving, most personal book, one he has spent his entire life preparing to write.

Javier Cercas grew up hearing the legend of his adored great-uncle Manuel Mena, who died at nineteen in the bloodiest battle of the Spanish Civil War--while fighting for Franco's army. Who was this young man? A fascist hero whose memory is an embarrassment or a committed idealist who happened to fall on the wrong side of history? Is it possible to be a moral person defending an immoral cause? Through visits back to his parents' village in southern Spain, interviews with survivors, and research into the murkiest corners of the war, the author pieces together the life of this enigmatic figure and of an entire generation.

This sui generis work combines intimate family history, investigative scholarship, personal confession, war stories, and road trips, finally becoming a transcendent portrait of a country's indelible scars--a book about heroism, death, the persistence of the past, and the meaning of an individual life against the tapestry of history.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Cercas is a marvelous writer, and his character studies of the elusive Mena are masterly...A beautiful, moving story that must have been extremely difficult for the author to write. Thankfully for readers, he persisted." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"While reflecting on his own life and family, Cercas vividly portrays a complex figure." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Moving...Beautifully achieved...There is no one writing in English like this: engaged humanity achieving a hard-won wisdom. It is powerful stuff." - David Mills, The Sunday Times (UK)

"A lucid and immensely human study not only of the pity and futility of war but also of the enduring wounds it leaves in a society...Lord of All the Dead is a virtuoso performance from a writer who is able to be both a historian and novelist simultaneously...A powerful and strikingly original portrait of a country whose history is a nightmare from which it cannot wake." - Annie McDermott, Times Literary Supplement (UK)

"A remarkable act of personal history: brave, revelatory and unflinchingly honest." - William Boyd

This information about Lord of All the Dead shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Javier Cercas

Javier Cercas was born in 1962. He is a novelist and columnist, and he has received numerous international awards. His books include Soldiers of Salamis (which sold more than a million copies worldwide), The Anatomy of a Moment, The Tenant and The Motive, The Speed of Light, and The Impostor. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Barcelona.

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