Review: Victus, Albert Sánchez Piñol

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review*
Victus, Albert Sánchez Piñol
Why do the weak fight against the strong? At 98, Martí Zuviría ponders this question as he begins to tell the extraordinary tale of Catalonia and its annexation in 1714. No one knows the truth of the story better, for Martí was the very villain who betrayed the city he was commended to keep.
The story of Catalonia and Barcelona is also Martí’s story. A prestigious military engineer in the early 1700s, he fought on both sides of the long War of the Spanish Succession between the Two Crowns—France and Spain—and aided an Allied enemy in resisting the consolidation of those two powers. Politically ambitious yet morally weak, Martí carefully navigates a sea of Machiavellian intrigue, eventually rising to a position of power that he will use for his own mercenary ends.

Albert Sánchez Piñol was born in Barcelona in 1965 and is an anthropologist and writer. His writing has appeared in several journals, and Cold Skin is his first novel. Already translated into fifteen languages, it won the Ojo Critico Narrativa prize on its original publication in Catalan in 2003.

On twitter you have been able to follow my struggle with this book. I loved it and hated it at the same time.
I will start with explaining what I hated as that is something personal and I know a lot of people who can handle it perfectly well. There are a LOT of characters. I always have trouble keep people in their correct place and if names look alike I easily start to wonder why that person suddenly pops up in this situation distracting me from the story only to find out three pages later that I had the wrong character in mind and need to replace the whole scene in a different perspective. And yes this results in it taking ages for me to read this book.
BUT BUT.... I just had to know the end. Early in the story Marti is asked a question which he cannot answer. In his search for the rest of the answer the rest of the story develops. As reader you simply have to know what that answer is and if Marti is ever going to find it out.

Author: Albert Sánchez Piñol
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
ISBN-10: 0062323962
ISBN-13: 9780062323965
Original title: Victus
Harper: eBook | Hardcover

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1 reacties:

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15 September, 2014 delete

I haven't started this one yet! I have the same problem with too many characters, especially if they have similar names. Thanks to your review I now know to have some notebook ready when I pick this one up! :)