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THUS BAD BEGINS (Javier Marias)

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Thus Bad Begins: A novel Cover Image
By Javier Marias, Margaret Jull Costa (Translated by)
Currently Unavailable
ISBN: 9781101946084
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf - November 1st, 2016

Javier Marías’s THUS BAD BEGINS questions whether there are some secrets that we are better off not knowing. The novel is narrated by Juan, personal assistant to a respected Spanish filmmaker, who soon realizes that his employer holds a deep resentment toward his own wife, spurring Juan’s to discover why. At the same time, Juan is tasked to uncover a different secret -- one related to a family friend’s rumored blackmail and political exploitation. Marias braids Juan’s and the filmmaker’s narratives into a taut loop. This suspense, along with the brilliance of Marías’s writing (and Margaret Jull Costa’s translation), makes for a truly exceptional read. The book’s title is taken from a quote in Hamlet, “Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.” An admonition to leave the ugly truths about the past, in the past because it is the knowing that irrevocably changes everything. This book made me want to read all of Marias’ previous novels of which, happily, there are many.