Fever and Spear
I am not sure what to tell you about this one. I was seriously worried when I got started because I bought the first two volumes of this trilogy/long novel because I found the third one for free and didn’t know once I got started if I was going to hack it or not. The opening section of this involves the narrator/protagonist making a series of observations about himself and the world. The first few pages show him watching a neighbor dance across the courtyard of his living space and ruminating on the others in the complex who might very well be watching the same thing. This sets up the idea that he is a keen observer who seems to have a more ready understanding of the world around him. In part, this is a literary trick allowing him to do that, he is the mouthpiece of the novel (if not necessarily the author) and so giving him unlimited powers of observation help him to drive the novel forward. That said, this then leads to the more plot side of the novel. There’s not a lot of plot, but there’s a lot of conversation that happens. The narrator is a Spanish national living and working in London as an academic and his own family history involving anti-fascist radicals puts him in a position to weigh in on same kind of radicalism in the world. This is the early 2000s and his this position is an interesting one for a lot of reasons. 1) The lines are not so clearly drawn in the world as they might have been in 1930s Spain. The partisans might still be partisan, but is the state of Venezuela equal to and abhorrent as the state apparatus of any Northen/Western European power? Is the leftist, but absolutely violent Chavez regime actually worse than the more peacefully toned UK? Well, our protagonist gets himself involved anyway. I will conclude here with one or two long passages. As I review the whole series, given that I anticipate my remarks hear already covering what I might feel about the whole, I will stick to some closer passage analysis. I don’t anticipate much changing from 400 pages to 1200, but I will check in if needed on that one.