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Fever and Spear (Tu rostro mañana / Your Face Tomorrow #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,747 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
Part spy novel, part romance, part Henry James, Your Face Tomorrow is a wholly remarkable display of the immense gifts of Javier Marias. With Fever and Spear, Volume One of his unfolding novel Your Face Tomorrow, he returns us to the rarified world of Oxford (the delightful setting of All Souls and Dark Back of Time), while introducing us to territory entirely new--espiona ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 17th 2005 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 2002)
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K.D. Absolutely
Sep 25, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2008-2012)
A difficult yet very rewarding read. It took me so many days to finish this. I thought it would only take me around 10 days to finish this book but it dragged on to almost a month. The reason? The frequent appearance of beautiful passages that I have to stop reading and think through them. Pause. Think of what Marias is saying. Do a self-reflection. More often than not, whenever I do a self-reflection at night, I have to close my tired eyes. Then because I've been reading a lot, it is very hard ...more
Eddie Watkins
May 01, 2008 Eddie Watkins rated it liked it
Shelves: spanish-fiction
I can’t help it, Javier Marias’ voice seduces me. It’s a purely cerebral seduction, but still sexy in its smooth (& feverish) unspooling of its own explorations of itself inside my head. Admittedly, to actually read the whole of this book requires a seduction, and a willingness on the part of the reader to cede control of his/her own reading experience to the overwhelming, unrelenting voice; for this voice's self-love (a self-love that is also selfless) to be loved by another.

It’s all in th
Dec 12, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
So yeah, I suppose that if you write an actionless, multi-volume novel with a vulgarly high comma-to-period ratio and no actual events save a party and stuffy rich erudite people yakking, you must be consciously placing yourself in a specific European literary tradition, and inviting certain comparisons to some celebrated, endless plotlessness that has come before. So yes, to answer the question blazing in everyone's mind: if Marcel Proust were Spanish and writing a twenty-first-century spy nove ...more
Jan 04, 2017 BlackOxford rated it really liked it
Shelves: spanish
Not Smiley's People

Four themes in different keys. The question is whether there is harmony or discord.

Opening with an over-scrupulous Proustian introduction, the protagonist, Deza considers the disintegration of his marriage. He tries to formulate a theory of the case, to name the cause, as it were. He declares that "things only exist once they have been named." But names, particularly proper names, are an issue for him. Deza is variously Jaime, Jacobo, Jacques, and Jack depending on the company
Mike Puma
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Your Face Tomorrow--which is not to say it's a title easily recommended. I had the luxury of reading all three volumes one after the other and over a relatively short period of time (I think my enjoyment was enhanced by this opportunity). The individual volumes are not episodic or self-contained. I suspect readers who picked up these volumes as they were translated/published were probably left wondering what what they had got themselves into. The books are not volume ...more
Stephen P
Jan 05, 2014 Stephen P rated it it was ok
Shelves: latin-american
The need for a Marias book is a physical uncompromising yearning, . A novel 1,200 pages long broken down into three volumes. Can you imagine, three volumes of Marias magic to quell the need. A magic carpet ride for a month or more.

Marias jumps in right away through his main character Deza, can the truth be derived at from the gathering of facts rather than the circumlocutions of impressions. Does one, after memorizing all the detail and facts of a painting, aware of each brushstroke and its assi
Luís C.
Nov 10, 2016 Luís C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novel in which the narrator analysed-himself with a sharpness and honesty that are a feast for the soul. Such a book can probably not be written at the age of 25, he must have lived and suffered out such a masterpiece.
Mar 24, 2011 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 16 pages or so I found rough sledding because they contain almost no concrete detail. These pages are all about not trusting others, keeping your mouth shut, how readily others will betray you and so forth. Though this opening passage sets the tone for the novel well — it is a cerebral, highly digressive, novel of ideas, obsessed with history, its retention and denial, its wholesale manufacture and dissemination — it is not what you would call a boffo opening. It’s rather dead, actuall ...more
Ted Mooney
Mar 04, 2009 Ted Mooney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe Marias will be the next European writer of my generation (after Orhan Pamuk) to win the Nobel Prize. This novel comes in three volumes, but Javier insists it is a single text. How can you not be intrigued by a 1,000-page novel that begins with the sentence: "One should never tell anyone anything or give information or pass on stories or make people remember beings who have never existed or trodden the earth or traversed the world, or who, having done so, are now almost safe in uncertai ...more
Deniz Balcı
Henüz çok başındayım ama şunu söyleyebilirim ki son senelerde okuduğum en güzel, en yoğun ve en muntazam edebiyat metini bu. Anlatım dili insanı heyecanlandıran kusursuzlukta. Elbette bunun en önemli sebeplerinden biri kitabı çeviren Roza Hakmen'in sınırlar ötesi çevirisi. 'Kayıp Zamanın İzinde' çevirisiyle, alt edilemeyecek bir rüşt ispatı yapan Hakmen'in Proust'dan sonra okuduğum, en az onun kadar çarpıcı eşsiz çevirisi estetik zevkin doruğu.
Jan 05, 2012 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Myriad readers of the Essays by Montaigne have remarked, how'd he know? This implies some spooky insight into our interior motivations that the Mayor of Bordeaux anticipated 400 years ago. It translates into vanity. That said, I felt often over the last few days that Javier Marias was privy to many of my own streams of though. This is an astonishing treatise on language, memory and history.
Un día Javier Marías se dijo, al parecer, que le gustaría, o le hubiese gustado, ser filósofo como su padre, Julián Marías, pero como no debe tener la paciencia o la disciplina para escribir tratados de filosofía, se le ocurrió que podría incluir en sus novelas todo ese fárrago de ideas y contraideas que le rondaban y le siguen rondando (véase su última novela, si no) por la cabeza, y es así que por los últimos quince años más o menos tenemos los que admiramos su anterior novelística, que leer s ...more
Jul 11, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: spanish, top-10-2012
I am a spy. (Who knew?)

Not for country or a cause, though causes abound. Just an observer of the passing panoply of life. And there are others: ‘interpreters of people’, ‘translators of lives’, ‘anticipators of histories’. And might we prove useful to you? A fee, perhaps, for our art.

The woman is desperate for attention, she’d invent the craziest fantasies just to be noticed. . .

The guy has principles and would definitely never succumb to a bribe, I’d stake my life on it. . .

I wouldn’t even cro
Sep 02, 2011 Jafar rated it it was amazing
Not much of a plot development so far. A Spanish intellectual named Jaime Deza has separated from his wife and moved to London to work for the BBC. His father was imprisoned by the Franco regime for a period after the Spanish Civil War. He’s getting involved with a group within the British intelligence service who is in charge of “reading the character” of various individuals. That’s pretty much it so far. But who cares for plots. Plots are for those who can’t write. Deza knows some old intellec ...more
Dec 03, 2009 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lit-fiction
Volume 1 of the Your Face Tomorrow trilogy, which apparently isn't a trilogy at all but is meant to be read as one long novel. Which means that there was a long wait in between volumes for the people who were buying and reading these as they came out, as the first one was published in English in 2005 and the third one in 2009. Luckily I didn't start reading volume one until I had all three of them.

Having said that, it probably doesn't matter all that much as (in volume 1 anyway), there is very l
Nov 26, 2016 Marc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not for everyone, this novel, and I don’t mean this in a denigrating way. This novel is 400 pages long and yet there’s hardly any action in it; almost all of the time we are in the head of the Spanish emigré Deza, finding our way through his observations and thoughts, in sentences of sometimes over half a page. Curious coincidence: the main character bears the same French first name (Jacques) as that of W.G. Sebald in 'Austerlitz', and it happens that after a few dozen pages I spontaneou ...more
Nov 01, 2009 Allycks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
At what point does daring become excess? When exactly does the courage of persistence become nothing more than a hopeless snape-hunt? These are not really the themes facing the characters in Javier Marias' "Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear" but the questions that intrepid readers of this unique novel will consider if they choose to read it to its (completely open) end. Is Marias a genius or just an intellectual asshole? The truth has got to be somewhere inbetween, or maybe it's actually both ...more
Sep 18, 2010 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jaime Deza, the protagonist of this novel, has this power of reading people. His mentor, an old man, is the same. They can know people's history and psychology and what they're capable of just by observing them and hearing them talk. Nothing happens much in this the first volume of the story. What is certain is that by the end of the third volume, someone will be betrayed and will pay the price for "careless talk." This is ultimately a spy story, but it's James Bond in the role of a psychologist ...more
Sep 11, 2007 brian rated it liked it
i'm torn: marias is an original, he's spanish, and he very much loves books and people... but, no. i cannot commit. his prose and thoughts are just too unfocused. he digresses (and digresses and digresses and digresses) on a subject and it feels a mere jumble of breezy pontifications -- does it stick in the brain? in the guts? how much of himself does he truly invest? how much is on the line? (a marias/n. mailer hybrid would be interesting) these two books contain lots of virtuoso scenes and i'm ...more
Dec 10, 2012 virgodura rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who like faux-deep meditations on the significance of armpit hair
I'm on a bit of a Tolkien thing (and this book mentions Tolkien!) but I haven't seen The Hobbit yet so let's imagine for the moment that Peter Jackson sets out the first Hobbit movie like this:

Gandalf comes into Bilbo's humdrum life and arranges for Bilbo to be present at a party with dwarves. He tells Bilbo to pay close attention to a dwarf named Thorin. Bilbo spends most of his time being annoyed by the antics of the other dwarves, but he does manage to meet Thorin for a minute in which Thorin
Nov 21, 2015 jeremy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: translation, fiction
while not much (speaking of action, that is) happens in the fiction of javier marías, his gifted prose, resplendent style, and philosophical inquests combine to make him a novelist of great import. fever and spear (fiebre y lanza), the first volume of his ambitious masterwork, your face tomorrow (tu rostro mañana), revisits characters from previous books and quickly sets a ruminative tone. concerning the nature of communication, loyalty, verisimilitude, observation, and deduction, fever and spea ...more
Justin Evans
Nov 25, 2011 Justin Evans rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I read a review of this years ago, and vaguely thought about reading it, then opted not to. When I read a review of the third volume I finally caved in and decided to buy it. I only got round to reading it when Philip Roth had made me so disgusted with writers of English that I felt the need to clean out my brain.

I originally thought I wouldn't read it because people said it was like Sebald. Well yes, inasmuch as Marias is concerned with style and ideas. The difference is that Marias' ideas and
Sep 12, 2016 Arzu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman
kişisel hikayelerden yapılan toplumsal çıkarımları, derin analizleri ile beni yakalayan, zaman zaman uzun diyalogları ile sıkan, hiçbir karakterine yakınlık hissedemediğim ama bir şekilde elimden de bırakamadığım bi’ okuma deneyimi oldu..
yine de, ikinci cilde başlamak için sabırsızlanıyorum..
Nov 01, 2011 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, europe, uk, iberia
marias is a great writer. proustian is an obvious and deserved comparison. he has the insight, the intelligence and the confidence to take his time setting it all down. i've only read this, the first of a three-part novel. it is cerebral, uncontrollably digressive. it is smoothly translated. the plot so far involves madrid, london, oxford, WW2, the spanish civil war, intelligence agencies. but to my regret, to some extent to my shame, i found it boring and a chore to get through.

partly it is th
Charlotte Fairbairn
Apr 17, 2008 Charlotte Fairbairn rated it liked it
On the cover of this novel, the publisher boldly states that Marias should be the next winner of the Nobel prize. Hmmmm. On the strength of reading this, the first of a 3-volume work, I'm not at all convinced. Marias writes in a labyrinthine, highly ponderous style which already demands a great deal of patience from the reader. In addition, the ideas he presents are tangled and it is not often clear where one idea begins and another ends. The premise of the novel is that the main character can s ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Sonia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
La lectura de Tu rostro mañana me ha servido para confirmar que las novelas de Javier Marías no son para mí. Reconozco su calidad literaria, la riqueza de vocabulario de la que el autor hace alarde, su perfecta construcción de las frases, pero me irrita la falta de argumento, de acción, de auténtica historia. Sus novelas son un compendio de disquisiones, reflexiones sobre lo divino y lo humano, remembranzas y opiniones, muchas de un tono excesivamente pedante y que muestran un desprecio absoluto ...more
Johan Thilander
Oct 26, 2015 Johan Thilander rated it really liked it
Väldigt träffsäker och välskriven "spionroman" som jag hoppas blir översatt till svenska. Marías har gjort sig känd som en essayist, och här blir det väldigt tydligt varför: ämnen broderas ut i oändlighet, ältas och upprepas, utan att fördenskull kännas långdragna. Jag stryker den femte stjärnan dock, eftersom jag tycker att Mariás kvinnoporträtt bitvis är platta på ett sätt som inte kan förlåtas en modern författare.

OBS: huvudkaraktären är densamme som i Alla själar, så läs den först om du vil
Syzygous Zygote
Jul 04, 2012 Syzygous Zygote rated it it was amazing
This is a book nerd's book, and not in that irritating meta writing-about-books way, but in that dreamy-and-languorous-language way. This is a book you read for the prose and the character development rather than for the plotline (although the plotline isn't bad).

What's really interesting is that this book was originally written in Spanish, and the narrator is by trade a translator who is fluent in both Spanish and English. The narrative weaves in thoughts from both Spanish and English, making
pierlapo  quimby
Tanto per cominciare sarebbe un errore affrontare il libro come fosse la prima parte di una trilogia (queste trilogie poi ci hanno annoiato, non le sopportiamo più, ci fanno persino usare la prima persona plurale tanto grande è il fastidio che ci provocano, grande al punto da non poter essere confinato nel sentimento di una sola persona, no, ce ne vogliono almeno due, per l'appunto); in realtà Il tuo volto domani è un unico romanzo diviso in tre parti, e questa è la prima.
Credo sia una cosa da m
Emma Bailey
Jun 19, 2015 Emma Bailey rated it did not like it
There's only so much time I can dedicate to a book. Granted, this is beautifully written but a month in and I still have 100 pages to read. This is way too boring for me. Time to call quits.
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Javier Marías was born in Madrid. His father was the philosopher Julián Marías, who was briefly imprisoned and then banned from teaching for opposing Franco. Parts of his childhood were spent in the United States, where his father taught at various institutions, including Yale University and Wellesley College. His mother died when Javier was 26 years old. He was educated at the Colegio Estudio in ...more
More about Javier Marías...

Other Books in the Series

Tu rostro mañana / Your Face Tomorrow (3 books)
  • Dance and Dream (Your Face Tomorrow, #2)
  • Poison, Shadow, and Farewell (Your Face Tomorrow, #3)

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“One should never tell anyone anything or give information or pass on stories or make people remember beings who have never existed or trodden the earth or traversed the world or who, having done so, are now almost safe in uncertain, one-eyed oblivion. Telling is almost always done as a gift, even when the story contains and injects some poison, it is also a bond, a granting of trust, and rare is the trust or confidence that is not sooner or later betrayed, rare is the close bond that does not grow twisted or knotted and, in the end become so tangled that a razor or knife is needed to cut it.” 11 likes
“We live, I suppose, in the unconfessed hope that the rules will at some point be broken, along with the normal course of things and custom and history, and that this will happen to us, that we will experience it, that we — that is, I alone — will be the ones to see it. We always aspire, I suppose, to being the chosen ones, and it is unlikely otherwise that we would be prepared to live out the entire course of an entire life, which, however short or long, gradually gets the better of us.” 9 likes
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