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All That Followed

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3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  310 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
A psychologically twisting novel about a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town; a dazzling debut in the tradition of Daniel Alarcón and Mohsin Hamid

It's 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain's northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants. Five years have passed since the kidnapping and murder of a young local po
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Fred P Not violent in a graphic sense, but the plot is centered around issues of terrorism and insurgency, and involves a murder. That being, said, the…moreNot violent in a graphic sense, but the plot is centered around issues of terrorism and insurgency, and involves a murder. That being, said, the violence is never sensationalized, and the book conveys an anti-violence message. Characters affected by tragedy display some cynicism, but they are redeemed in the plot through compassionate action.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Shannon
Aug 12, 2015 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
3.5

When terrorists attack trains traveling through Madrid in 2004, the small Basque town of Muriga is reminded of its own brush with extreme politics. Five years earlier, the politically motivated murder of a rising councilman was easily solved, but the people of Muriga can’t help but feel underlying blame. All That Followed flashes back from the attack in 2004 to explore the months leading up to the councilman’s assassination through the memories of three residents of Muriga.

The story is told
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Kara
Jul 12, 2016 Kara rated it really liked it
I just finished All That Followed earlier today, and I'm still trying to get my bearings. What just happened to me? Whatever it was, I sure liked it. Knowing this was a work of literary fiction, I expected stylized prose and sophisticated technique that would make me inclined to pause and ponder as I read, regardless of how exciting the storyline turned out to be. I am a very slow reader for one so avid.

However, I finished this in just two sittings. The short chapters that jettisoned the reader
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Diane S ☔
Sep 15, 2015 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
3.5 review too follow.
Chaitra
The Goodreads classification of the book as a Mystery is misleading. So is the blurb, which asks the question if the man convicted for it was the only one responsible for the Councilman's death. I spent a long time theorizing about a number of possible culprits who could have masterminded the plot and why, but I needn't have. This apportioning of blame is for indirect slights, not for the direct act of his murder. The book is more a, I want to say character study, but I didn't feel very ...more
William
Jan 09, 2015 William rated it it was amazing
wow...wow. ..wow. an amazing book of differing viewpoints on the Basque civil war and terrorism *is it terrorism or patriotism? ) A moving book I'd compare to Captain Correll I'm Mandolin or Beautiful Ruins. I loved it.
Jenny Shank
Aug 24, 2015 Jenny Shank rated it really liked it
Dallas Morning News, 14 August 2015 10:56 PM

Forest fires in the wilderness can burn all winter, deep under the cover of snow. Old wars, too, can smolder for decades, even centuries, after a truce. The sorrowful memories passed to each successive generation can be so robust they may well be encoded into people’s DNA.

So it is for the characters in Gabriel Urza’s sharp and melancholy debut novel, All That Followed, where Basque people in Spain are still fighting against the ideas of the Franco regi
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Kent District Library
Oct 03, 2016 Kent District Library is currently reading it
Join us for a friendly and fun book discussion based upon All that Followed by Gabriel Urza. Event will take place at Kent District Library's Nelson Township/ Sand Lake Branch on October 24, 2016 from 6:30-7:30 pm.
Patricia
Sep 27, 2015 Patricia rated it really liked it
A haunting novel by a talented Spanish author. The tragedies and sorrow throughout this book are interwoven across the characters.
Set in Muriga, Spain this tale unfolds based on the death of Jose Antonio Torres, a man running for councilman, who was murdered by a political faction of young people tired of the government and politics and base their political actions off the ETA terrorists. Mariana Zelaia is the wife of Jose. She needs a kidney transplant after the birth of their daughter, Elena.
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Laura Lacey
Apr 24, 2015 Laura Lacey rated it really liked it
All That Followed explores the fallout after a local politician’s brutal kidnapping and murder. The author follows three characters to reveal the real lives, passions and tragedies behind the news stories. It is the story of a small village where gossip is rife but inhabitants only confront one another when their hands are forced and it is usually too late.

It took me a while to get into this novel. I found that there were too many protagonists and too much jumping around in time (perhaps a clear
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Gregg Chadwick
Jul 27, 2015 Gregg Chadwick rated it it was amazing
Author Gabriel Urza's family has roots in Spain’s Basque region. His new novel "All That Followed" shows us the faces of civil wars - the Spanish Civil War of the 1930's, the Basque separatist movement, and the small wars that families and couples often find themselves fighting. Urza recounts a fictional tale based on real events that explores the kidnapping and killing of a young politician by even younger separatists in the late 1990s. Urza limns a town where everyone knows where bullet holes ...more
Leah
Jan 08, 2016 Leah rated it liked it
i thought the writing was really lovely but the disjointed timeline was tough to follow at first and the female characters were completely unbelievable to me. i wish the author had told it only from the men's point of view, that writing was very good
Tuck
good atmospherics of small basque town life (and weather) , eta violence and atocha bombing blame, and how truth and justice are always better, if very painful.
Roberta
Sep 08, 2015 Roberta rated it liked it
Originally posted on Roberta's Literary Ramblings

Overall Impression: A decent book that I kind of expected a little more out of, but not a total disappointment.

Recommend for: Fans of literary fiction and character-center stories.

The book ended up not being what I expected, which disappointed me a little. I thought that there was going to be a little more intrigue than there was. Instead the book focuses more on the lives of the people that have to do with the tragedy, both directly and indirectl
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Q
Jul 18, 2016 Q rated it really liked it
The book is very well written. It speaks about Basque history through fiction. The 3 main characters well developed. Each from a different generation and different way of seeing things. The story is quite compelling at times. It's set in a small fictional Basque town and characters interact and know each other - as it is in many small towns. It's also about language. One of the characters teaches English and he is taught Basque. And there is also Spanish spoken.

I traveled in Spain in Franco's t
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Christine Zibas
Feb 14, 2016 Christine Zibas rated it it was amazing
Memories lend a powerful force to life, whether they be individual or collective memories. In this novel, never was that truer than in the case of Muriga, a small town in the Basque region of Spain. Ravaged by memories of Franco and the Civil War and haunted by the treatment of its people, ties to separatists run deep, if hidden. It's little surprise that young people are atrracted to separatist political movements, like ETA, as they seek to imprint their mark on the world.

However, such youthful
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Zoe Liew
Jul 01, 2015 Zoe Liew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A digital galley was provided in exchange for a review.

At first I didn't quite know what to think. The chronology was fragmented, disjointed, and confusing. But upon a reread, I realised you can't just rush through All That Followed, it's meant to be read slowly, it's meant to be absorbed, it's meant to be savoured and thought about over and over again.

When Madrid is rocked by terrorist bombings of its Atocha train station in 2004, the people of Muriga are forced to relive the town’s own violent
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Barbara Matros
Sep 18, 2015 Barbara Matros rated it liked it
This is the first novel I have ever read about the Basque separatists, even though I have studied in Spain and read in both Spanish and English. I remember the bombings in Atocha Station and the initial conclusion that Basque separatists were to blame. My Spanish friends didn't believe the accusation for a minute, describing the Basques as hooligans, not terrorists. It turns out of course they were right. This novel dissects this hooliganism, examining its roots, demonstrating its growth in the ...more
Annie
Jul 07, 2015 Annie rated it really liked it
Sometimes I wish I lived in Europe or Asia or Africa, some place that’s soaked in human history. North America has its history, of course. It’s just not my history; my ancestors came from thousands of miles. I often wonder what it would be like to live somewhere where my family has lived for centuries. I wonder what it would be like to point to an old building and know that it’s been around longer than the United States, with a history of good and bad events as it has been adapted over the ...more
Linda
Sep 21, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
“I TOLD A LIE AT HOME AND IT WAS IN THE STREET BEFORE ME.”
Through the first person narration of three characters, Gabriel Urza’s novel, All That Followed, weaves a complex tale of love, loss, lies, political intrigue, and history. The writing is vivid and sensory. Each character shares just enough to be sympathetic, but not enough that you can see what’s coming around the corner. Universal themes of belonging, of boredom, of aging, and of adultery are poignantly rendered.

Set in the Basque region
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Katie
Aug 10, 2015 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books, 2015
[3.5 stars]

Inspired by true events, this tells the story of an unspeakably violent act, the kidnapping and murder of a young politician, in a small town in northern Spain. It spans the events leading up to and the aftermath, told from three different distinct voices.

This is one of those books I enjoyed while reading, it held my interest adequately well, and then I promptly forgot it fairly soon after finishing. Nothing was overly special or memorable, and it had little staying power or ability
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Fred P
Mar 14, 2016 Fred P rated it really liked it
This is a good read; the author's debut novel, with an Ohio connection. At its core, this book is about national identity, as three Americans, one with Basque heritage, interact with Spanish and Basque inhabitants of a rural village. The Basque struggle for independence is the backdrop, interwoven with a teacher's attempt to redeem a personal tragedy by helping others. You could see this as existentialist, in that the region's problems seem timeless and eternal, but the author switches that up ...more
Lunamoth
Aug 31, 2015 Lunamoth rated it liked it
This was based on a true story, which would have been nice if it were, say, interesting.

Its not a bad book for those who enjoy the genre but for me it was a bit of a bore. I read the entire thing in a month which is VERY slow for me since it just did not hold my attention.

The world built up by the author was a nice, quaint town in Spain but thats really all there was. Description wise i wished for more. The characters were alright. The story switched between three of them: The american Joni, his
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Huntleybrinkley
Jun 02, 2015 Huntleybrinkley rated it really liked it
This is my first ER from Librarything and hopefully not my last. I chose this book because of the setting in Spain (Hey maybe more cheese talk i.e. [The Telling Room]). But no; this is a novel set in the Basque region of Spain and uses as its centerpiece the death of a candidate for the local council position. While the politics of Spain and the division with the Basques is the backdrop, this is really a character study concerning the various townspeople and the secrets they keep and share and ...more
Reading Fool
May 27, 2015 Reading Fool rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2015
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book.

This is an intriguing novel set in Muriga, a town in the Basque Country of Spain. The story is told in alternating chapters through the perspectives of the various characters: Joni, an American teacher who is nearing retirement; Robert, a young American teacher who may be taking Joni's place; Jose Antonio, a young councilman; his wife Mariana; Iker, one of Joni's students. Jose Antonio is kidnapped and murdered, and this book unravels the events t
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Kay
Sep 01, 2015 Kay rated it liked it
A very interesting book told by several different people who live in a small town in the Basque region of Spain. I felt if the timeline had been more defined to start I would have rated this book more highly. Each chapter was headed by the name of the person "speaking". Even so there was much confusion in my mind.

I chose this book because we were in San Sebastion in the end of October 2010 where we accidentally became enmeshed in a huge demonstration against Spain imprisoning supposed ETA membe
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Tim
Jan 06, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing
I loved the point of view vignettes and how they very quickly created deep and interesting characters. The writing is crisp, not flowery. I wouldn't call it writing by omission, but I felt like I understood each character's thoughts and motivations while consuming an economical amount of text.

The romance of youth and far away places juxtapose a current of melancholy throughout the story that left me feeling, well, sad. I found the novel very engaging and thoughtful, but don't read it if you're l
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Karen Brown
Oct 25, 2015 Karen Brown rated it it was amazing
When I look back at my ratings of the books I've read I am always giving four and five stars, and maybe I am too generous. But honestly, maybe I just know how to pick a good book. Urza's novel is gorgeous and sneaky. The reader moves back and forth between characters and hears their voices and learns of their struggles, and it all unfolds in a very cleverly designed system of revelation--from past to present to past. Muriga is beautifully detailed, and I felt the novel's close was perfectly ...more
Karla
Feb 06, 2016 Karla rated it really liked it
Very glad to receive this fascinating book as part of an early readers program. It was not immediately engaging to follow the author's nuances and rhythms as he establishes three characters' first-person narratives, told in turn by alternating chapters. But the story evolves masterfully and the character's lives in the setting of a small Basque town are engrossing and complex. Of the three, a councilman’s young widow, the teenager jailed for the councilman's murder, and an aging American ...more
David
In Aristotelian terms this novel educates more than it entertains. Now I know a little bit more about Basque culture and nationalism than I did before listening to this audiobook. Maybe I would have enjoyed the book more had I read it with my eyes instead of my ears. Though none of the three narrators commanded my full attention, Mariana did so more than the two male narrators (why are we fascinated by adulteresses?). The Basque-American character introduced me to an American ethnicity I hadn't ...more
Nancy Oakes
May 30, 2015 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, lter
Thanks to LT's early reviewer program I was fortunate to have received a copy of this novel. More about the book closer to its release date, but this turned out to be a really good read. It starts several years after a kidnapping and death; the story weaves in and out of time until it gets to what actually happened, the circumstances that made it possible, as well as the aftermath, all from the points of view of three different people. Specifics forthcoming, but for now, if you've been ...more
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Review 2 4 Nov 02, 2015 08:05AM  
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Gabriel Urza received his MFA from the Ohio State University. His family is from the Basque region of Spain where he lived for several years. He is a grant recipient from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and his short fiction and essays have been published in Riverteeth, Hobart, Erlea, The Kenyon Review, West Branch, Slate and other publications. He also has a degree in law from the ...more
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