Chilean/ Spanish lit. · Short Stories

While the Women are Sleeping by Javier Marias.

A collection of short stories. I believe they are a collection of stories he wrote, but then again I only picked the book up because I liked the blurb.

A collection of short stories written by Javier Marias around 1970-1990. Plenty about doppelgangers and ghosts, obsessions and murder to whet the appetite. A quick read, I read the book in about a day or so. The endings were always unxpected but left comfortably open-ended.

Maybe one day I’ll read more of Marias’s work but at the time I borrowed the book just because I wanted to read something different. The stories are good enough knowing that they were written when Marias was about 14. If I had to put my finger on which story I liked from this collection, that would be a difficult choice. The Life and Death of Marcelino Iturriaga is good because it gives the story from the dead man’s POV. But ‘Gualta’, the story of a man meeting his doppelganger at a business dinner is probably my favourite because the man becomes convinced that he must change his ways to make the doppelganger go away.
Joint first favourite with that would have to be ‘A Kind of Nostalgia Perhaps’ about a girl who stays to read in a house so that Emiliano Zapata’s ghost can turn up and listen to her reading. It reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode where a boy had to read to his grandfather to keep him alive.

MY RATING: 3 / 5.


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