The Low Voices

The Low Voices

3.46 (99 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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The Low Voices is a novel about life, it is life itself telling stories, it is the memory of the quiet voices of the people I got to know.

The Low Voices draws on a patchwork of memories from Rivas's early life under Franco. There's his beloved elder sister, Maria; his mother, the verbivore; his father, a construction worker with vertigo; and a supporting cast of local priests, chatty hairdressers, wolf hunters and monstrous carnival effigies.

The book is full of wonderful personal stories, set against a background of the ravages of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath at home, and the wider world as Coca-Cola sets up a factory nearby and news comes in of men landing on the moon.

A brilliant coming-of-age novel from one of Spain's greatest storytellers, The Low Voices is a humorous and philosophical take on memory, belonging, and the nature of storytelling itself.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 21mm | 339g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1846558670
  • 9781846558672
  • 1,121,475

Review Text

"One of Spain's best-known novelists... Rivas's imagery sparkles like dew in the morning sun"
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Review quote

"Beautiful... It resonates with memory, love and palpable grief... Rivas is special - funny, benign, opinionated. He tells wonderful stories because he learned early in life how to listen, and he listened to the soft, wise voices around him. Rivas misses nothing, and it is fascinating to see how, in The Low Voices, he does not tell us how he became a writer but shows us the people, such as his quiet, unassuming, determined mother, who helped make him one" -- Eileen Battersby * Irish Times, Books of the Year * "One of Spain's best-known novelists... Rivas's imagery sparkles like dew in the morning sun" -- Michael Eaude * Literary Review * "Rivas has an appealing lyrical style, an offbeat humour and a translator well attuned to both." * Times Literary Supplement * "The nature of this book means it can be enjoyed as a single straight story or as individual chapters. It's one to leave by the bedside, to dip into every now and then, and enjoy over and over. Something, I think, I'll be doing a lot." -- Jim Dempsey * Bookmunch * "An affecting, impressionistic novel-cum-memoir. Like all great autobiographical writing, it pulls the magic trick of making the specific and personal universally appealing." -- Juanita Coulson * Lady *
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About Manuel Rivas

Manuel Rivas was born in Coruna in 1957, and writes in the Galician language of north-west Spain. He is well known for his journalism, as well as for his prizewinning short stories and novels, which include the internationally acclaimed The Carpenter's Pencil and Books Burn Badly. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.
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Rating details

99 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 19% (19)
4 32% (32)
3 29% (29)
2 14% (14)
1 5% (5)
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