3.75 (1,057 ratings by Goodreads)
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In the late 1970s, as Spain was adrift between the death of Franco and the rebirth of democracy, people were moving from the poor south to the cities of the north in search of a better life. But the work, when there was any, was poorly paid and the housing squalid. Out of this world of limited opportunities a generation of delinquents arose whose prospects were stifled and whose rebellion would be brief and violent...One summer's day in Gerona a bespectacled, sixteen-year-old Ignacio Canas, known to his few friends as Gafitas, is working in an amusement arcade, when a charismatic teenager walks in with the most beautiful girl Canas has ever seen. Zarco and Tere take over his pinball machine and his life. Thirty years on and now a successful criminal defence lawyer, Canas has tried to put that long, hot summer of drugs, yearning and delinquency behind him. But when Tere appears in his office and asks him to represent El Zarco, who has been in prison all this time, what else can Gafitas do but accept.
A powerful novel of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of true integrity and the prison celebrity can become, Outlaws confirms Javier Cercas as one of the most thrilling novelists writing anywhere in the world today.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 34mm | 713g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1408850451
  • 9781408850459
  • 1,090,834

Review quote

A moving meditation on youth, love, betrayal and the media, as well as an uncompromising political novel. Cercas has yet again expanded our idea of what fiction can do Juan Gabriel Vasquez, author of The Secret History of Costaguana His novels probe the sore spots and raw wounds of contemporary Spain, their cunning and complexity leavened by a light touch and an easy, graceful style in which captivating dialogue becomes a genuinely dialect pursuit of truth ... The facets glint and the light forever changes - as always with Cercas's work Boyd Tonkin, Independent on Sunday An uncompromisingly literary take on what has generally been a sensationalist popular genre, Outlaws is nevertheless gripping. Social commentary here comes with a lyric thoughtfulness; history with personal reflection; high adventure with existential fear TLS Javier Cercas has written two outstanding books ... Outlaws is in the same class and maintains his reputation as one of the best contemporary European novelists ... The beauty of this intelligently probing novel is that one is left wondering if we ever truly know anything about anybody - that anybody including ourselves Scotsman Compelling ... Though the novel moves towards a suite of surprising and unsettling revelations about the characters, the real strengths of the book are in Cercas's unadorned prose, once again deftly translated by Anne McLean, and in his ear for the rhythms of everyday speech Guardian Cercas adroitly balances the earlier criminal thrills with the later moral and emotional complexities New Statesman Evocative and mellifluous Glasgow Herald
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About Javier Cercas

Javier Cercas was born in 1962. He is a novelist, short-story writer and columnist, whose books include Soldiers of Salamis (which sold more than a million copies worldwide, won six literary awards in Spain and was filmed by David Trueba), The Tenant and The Motive, The Speed of Light and The Anatomy of a Moment. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Barcelona. Anne McLean is the translator of works by Julio Cortazar, Hector Abad, Ignacio Martinez de Pison, Enrique Vila-Matas and Juan Gabriel Vasquez among others. She has twice won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: in 2004 for Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas and in 2009 for The Armies by Evelio Rosero. She lives in Toronto.
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Rating details

1,057 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 21% (221)
4 43% (452)
3 28% (299)
2 7% (72)
1 1% (13)
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