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All That Followed

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  418 ratings  ·  78 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
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)

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Average rating 3.69  · 
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May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015

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 cant help but feel underlying blame. All That Followed flashes back from the attack in 2004 to explore the months leading up to the councilmans assassination through the memories of three residents of Muriga.

The story is told by
Nancy Oakes
May 08, 2015 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
Oct 16, 2014 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
Barbara Matros
Sep 18, 2015 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
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
Diane S ☔
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 review too follow.
Jenny Shank
Aug 24, 2015 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 peoples DNA.

So it is for the characters in Gabriel Urzas sharp and melancholy debut novel, All That Followed, where Basque people in Spain are still fighting against the ideas of the Franco
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don't like to rate books below three stars unless I really really dislike them and I don't dislike this book, but in struggling for this rating, I went relied on the star hover-overs: 3 being "liked it" and 2 being "It was ok," I'm going with a 2-star rating.

This book was ok. That's about it.

What I liked: The history and observations about Spain and the Basque country, the small-town mentality of the book's location, and the national psyche of an area split by war and violence in recent past.

Aug 23, 2015 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.
Gregg Chadwick
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Author Gabriel Urza's family has roots in Spains 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
Jan 08, 2016 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
Kent District Library
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.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing 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.
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.
Dan Downing
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Few Americans are aware of the Basque region or peoples of Spain. As with so many pockets of dissent around the world, the majority crushes them almost absently mindedly, even when violence erupts, as it does periodically.
In the present novel, the violence is important but not central: the inner lives of the characters in the small town roil and writhe under the assaults of disease, depression, infidelity and loss.
As important as the story is the writing and organization of the novel. Mr. Urza
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic debut novel from Gabriel Urza. As somebody with an interest in Basque Culture and the Basque Language, it was refreshing to read a novel set in the Basque Country that captured the people, politics and weather accurately without the usual inaccuracies, myths and half-truths. Urza being of Basque Heritage obviously helped in this sense, and not only was the plot an interesting one, it came across as very well researched.
Pilar Grau Carles
A very interesting book that deals with the subject of terrorism but which is mostly a novel of a psychological nature, where the three main characters go growing throughout the novel, so that you finally get to understand them. The structure of the novel is original, with changes of characters and temporary structure, but in the end, you get to know the inside of each one of them, their yearnings, concerns and reasons. I highly recommend reading it, I think you will not be disappointed.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story of a few residents of the Basque region of Spain - a young mother with her child, a 70 year old American who has lived in Spain for most of his life as an English teacher, and young boys entwined in political moves and violence. I really enjoyed all the references to Spain and how the story is told, with the beautiful language describing tragic events. It was a slow-burner, but a great book
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely easy to read story set in Basque Country in Northern Spain. Engaging characters, compelling story and a good window into a part of the world and a political conflict (Basque separatists) that I knew little about.
Cat Gaa
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed not only learning more about Basque culture but also how the story is told by different perspectives here. Fast read and enjoyed immensely.
Bruce Rogie
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The stories of several people in a Basque village whose lives are interwoven with the residue of the Spanish Civil War.
Charles Kerns
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jumping back from character to character the haphazard crime is revealed. But I remember the characters more than the crime. As Urza wants us to.
Aug 10, 2015 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
Christine Zibas
Feb 14, 2016 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
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it
The book speaks about Basque history through fiction. The 3 main characters are 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 time - 1974 - a year before Franco
Zoe Liew
Jun 29, 2015 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 towns own
Laura Lacey
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
All That Followed explores the fallout after a local politicians 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
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I wish I lived in Europe or Asia or Africa, some place thats soaked in human history. North America has its history, of course. Its 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 its been around longer than the United States, with a history of good and bad events as it has been adapted over the years. ...more
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Through the first person narration of three characters, Gabriel Urzas 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 whats coming around the corner. Universal themes of belonging, of boredom, of aging, and of adultery are poignantly rendered.

Set in the Basque region of
Fred P
Feb 03, 2016 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
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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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