Dark Back of Time
Called by its author a false novel, Dark Back of Time begins with the tale of the odd effects of publishing All Souls, his witty and sardonic 1989 Oxford novel. All Souls is a book Marias swears to be fiction, but which its characters--the real-life dons and professors and bookshop owners who have recognized themselves--fiercely maintain to be a roman a clef. With the sleepy world of Oxford set into fretful motion by a world that never existed, Dark Back of Time begins an odyssey into the nature of identity (we do not know anyone entirely, not even ourselves) and of time. Marias weaves together autobiography (the brother who died as a child; the loss of his mother), a legendary kingdom, strange ghostly literary figures, halls of mirrors, a one-eyed pilot, a curse in Havana, and a bullet lost in Mexico. Dark Back of Time has been acclaimed here as superb (Review of Contemporary Fiction), fantastically original (Talk), brilliant (Virginia Quarterly Review), and a rare gift (The New York Times Book Review). In the best manner of Borges, The Hudson Review commented that this hybrid is lush and mysterious.
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Review: Dark Back of TimeUser Review - Justin Evans - Goodreads
Am I burning out on Marias? I hope not; 'The Infatuations' should be in my hands the day it comes out. But I found this much less gripping than his other works, for two connected reasons, that have a ... Read full review
Review: Dark Back of TimeUser Review - Joe Milazzo - Goodreads
Tone, tone, and more tone. Marías' dickhead Blanchot-isms totally trump Bolaño's sadsack machismo. Meaning: the mix of strutting bluntness and wink-wink subtlety here is less vaunting and so somehow more ambitious. Read full review