“It’s a subversive and disenchanted view of war in general and the Spanish conflict in particular, in a fine translation by Anne McLean . . . It can be moving, unexpectedly funny,
racy, demotic or deadpan.”


Just finished Lord of All The Dead by Javier Cercas. The author calls this book A Non- Fiction Novel but in my opinion it reads strictly as non-Fiction
This is the story of the authors great uncle, Manuel Mena who died at the age of nineteen fighting for the Franco forces during the Spanish Civil War
The authors mother talked of her deceased uncle all the time as she considered him a big brother to her, so the author heard about Manuel his whole life. As a writer the author began to research Manuel’s life, and finally decided to write this book.

The book itself is a semi-biography of the author and a short history of the Civil War. His visits back and forth to his childhood town to interview the few living family members and friends who knew Manuel are very interesting and gives you an excellent view of what it was like at the time of the war in his town, and what it was like to have a family that supported Franco, which today is looked down upon
The story of the life of Manuel, what little information that could be found, is a fine study of what any civil war does to a family and their neighbors.
I enjoyed the book very much, but it took a little while to really start being absorbed in the story. Stick with it and I believe you will find it worth you while. Also, when you learn about the title of the book, it adds a true moment of reflection on the aftermath of any war, and the lives lost fighting it. Recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 8th October 2020

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Richard Franco