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Your Face Tomorrow, Vol. 1: Fever and Spear
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Your Face Tomorrow, Vol. 1: Fever and Spear (Your Face Tomorrow #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,179 ratings  ·  141 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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The Rings of Saturn by W.G. SebaldLabyrinths by Jorge Luis BorgesA Heart So White by Javier MaríasThe Hour of the Star by Clarice LispectorJourney to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Best New Directions Books
33rd out of 95 books — 84 voters
War and Peace by Leo TolstoyThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraThe Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaLes Misérables by Victor Hugo
English Translated Fiction
77th out of 207 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
Feb 11, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Justin Evans
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
Charlotte Fairbairn
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
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
Из архивите - рецензия за в. "Гласове".

За четене между редовете
Хавиер Мариас, "Лицето ти утре", прев. Людмила Илиева-Сивкова, "Прозорец", 2006 г.

Хавиер Мариас пише като човек, който гледа на собствения си език като на нечакана, чудотворна придобивка. В многословието му има радост, не педантичност; в пределно изчерпателните му описания, които затрупват съществителните с прилагателни и нижат пълни синонимни серии в подчинени изречения по 17-20 реда, личи филологическо намерение, не разказваческа б
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
Syzygous Zygote
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
Es difícil empezar a hablar de un libro cuya historia se puede resumir fácilmente pero cuya riqueza está en mucho más que eso. Marías logra de forma magistral llevarnos a través de los monólogos internos de Jacques Deza, de la forma en que piensa, del modo en el que percibe a las personas. ¿La trama? no digo que se pueda omitir, que sea irrelevante o que sea una excusa, pero casi que parece accesoria (al menos de momento) a esta genial construcción de la mente de Deza que es la novela.

Es increí
Dec 18, 2012 Linda rated it 1 of 5 stars
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
Darshan Elena
This book is smart, requiring some effort on the part of the reader. What I most love about Marias' writing is how he captures emotions and tensions between people. His protagonists tend to be men and their struggles are those of men whose cultural training - to be strong, independent, resourceful, resolute, etc - makes them vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. Other reviewers nailed it by stating that Marias is a master of digression and rumination. He is. The question for readers is do you ...more
This novel was amazing, but I don't know if I'd recommend it to everyone. Imagine a sort of punk Proust writing a spy novel. I wasn't sure I was going to like it but it's terrific; he had me from the opening monologue. Many long and oddly fascinating digressions from the "plot," which moves slower than molasses in January, but the deigressions are so interesting and well-written I don't mind at all. It ends a bit abruptly -- there are two more volumes in this trilogy, I have no real idea what's ...more
While published as a separate novel, YFT volume 1 is actually a piece of a 1200 page continuous work. Plan accordingly while budgeting your reading time. Luckily, volume one does end with a small cliffhanger, although a more perspicacious reader would probably already know the identity of the woman with the dog.

In terms of style, the volume includes little action or plot, but Marias examines much with his use of long luxurious sentences. A very beguiling start, although I will have to put it do
Ante todo un libro justo, un libro que se toma su tiempo, deliberadamente, con el lenguaje, con una propuesta estetica y narrativa muy hispanoaméricana.
La historia que narra bien puede parcer simple, no así sus implicaciones. Los primeros momentos de un español que se pone al servicio de un grupo sin nombre adscrito a los servicios de inteligencia Britanicos, y que a fin de cuentas no sabe ni para que ni a quienes sirve, sólo sabe que sus impresiones son necesarias...
Infada Spain
ένα βιβλίο που έρχεται να επιβεβαιώσει την άποψη που είχα για όσους σπεύδουν να εκφέρουν
εντελώς απόλυτα τη γνώμη τους για τους άλλους και αφήνουν αυτή τους τη γνώμη να γίνει βεβαιότητα...
ένα βιβλίο που διαβάζοντάς το πλημύρισα από σκέψεις πολύ προσωπικές για να μπορέσω να τις μοιραστώ...αυτό που μπορώ να πω είναι ότι το συνιστώ ανεπιφύλακτα σε όσους πολυαμφιβάλλουν...για τα πάντα!
Μεγάλο κρίμα που δεν έχουν μεταφραστεί και τ' άλλα δυο βιβλία της σειράς!
Gabriel Oak
The first Javier Marías novel I've read, and it's doozy. Marías's prose is beautiful, characterized by long, digressive, syntactically complex sentences (think Faulkner in Spanish), and long, digressive, structurally complex paragraphs. Probably not for everyone, but I loved immersing myself in the language. Also, there's a spy thriller (or the beginnings of a spy thriller--this is volume one of a trilogy) hidden beneath all that digression and complexity. The narrator, Jaime or Jacobo or Jacque ...more
questa volta sarà difficile che marías si rialzi. l'ho iniziato nel ricordo dell'entusiasmo per un cuore così bianco e domani nella battaglia pensa a me, ma non è altro che il seguito di tutte le anime, e per giunta venuto parecchio male. nelle prime 150 pagine è involuto, lento, gira intorno a un centro indefinito, si perde nei meandri di ragionamenti e di mille rivoli che si seccano nel mezzo della narrazione, portando fuori strada la lettura e abbandonandola nel deserto. anche il traduttore n ...more
It may be a little hasty, as I'm only part way through this, but I'd say Marias is the best writer I've recently come across. The blurb that come with the book is a good indication of his style. The narration, with it's internal monologues, reminds me a little of Beckett. The observations of people's expressions and the possible alternatives to actual stuations and chosen dialogue by the characters are wonderful.
Ned Rifle
I'll give this four stars only as a stop-gap, having been reliably informed that the three books form a cohesive whole. t could be amended in either direction, depending, but at the very least it beckons me onward.
lyell bark
my face tomorrow is going to be fat and haggard
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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...
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“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.” 5 likes
“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.” 5 likes
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