The Impostor

The Impostor

3.62 (1,786 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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But who is Enric Marco? A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, a fighter against fascism, an impassioned campaigner for justice, and a survivor of the Nazi death camps? Or, is he simply an old man with delusions of grandeur, a charlatan who fabricated his heroic war record, who was never a prisoner in the Third Reich and never opposed Franco; a charming, beguiling and compulsive liar who refashioned himself as a defender of liberty and who was unmasked in 2005 at the height of his influence and renown?

In this extraordinary novel - part narrative, part history, part essay, part biography, part autobiography - Javier Cercas unravels the enigma of the man and delves with passion and honesty into the most ambiguous aspects of what makes us human - our infinite capacity for self-deception, our need for conformity, our thirst for affection and our conflicting needs for fiction and for truth.

Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 151 x 214 x 37mm | 568g
  • MacLehose Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0857056506
  • 9780857056504
  • 319,665

Review quote

The Impostor is a humane, artistically responsible and civilised book, one that you finish feeling heartened that such a serious-minded writer as Cercas is at work. -- David Mills * Sunday Times * No Spanish writer has probed the unhealed wounds of the country's history with more subtlety and rigour than Mr Cercas * Economist * A fascinating, highly charged, scalpel-sharp dissection. -- Siobhan Murphy * The Times * Besides being a piece of nifty journalistic detective work, Cercas' book is an insightful psychological study . . . Both convincing and compelling -- Daniel Hahn * Spectator * Truth and fiction blend in an outstanding novel about a Holocaust impostor * Sunday Times "Must Reads" * [Cercas] goes about telling Marco's story with great skill, some impressive detective work and an irony that's sometimes amused and sometimes appalled -- Christopher Tayler * London Review of Books * A very rich text, a true textile of interlinked threads of thought, of history and of stories . . . The Impostor is fiction dealing with the value of history; and it is a history about the vital value of fiction as a guarantor of reality -- Mika Provata-Carlone * Bookanista * Javier Cercas is one of Europe's most serious and attractive writers . . . Cercas is not content with the easy story, in this case the unmasking of a false hero. He boldly searches for the hidden truths of his elusive subject and his times. -- Michael Eaude * Literary Review * Masterly . . . Cercas probes this mysterious and extraordinary life with uncommon patience, uncommon skill and uncommon sympathy. -- Allan Massie * Scotsman * Cercas as added another literary page-turner to his unique oeuvre. He is a master at combining historical truth and fictional viewpoint. * Big Issue * A fascinating book, very much of our time in this era of fake news and what is called 'historical memories'. * Catholic Herald Books of the Year. * [A] mesmerizing biography of a fraud . . . This rigorous work shines a light not only on the methods of the deceiver but the willingness of the deceived to accept such falsehoods * Publishers Weekly * [The Impostor] vibrates with an insomniac energy . . . it has the hot, charged energy of sitting through a trial . . . The language is precise, distinctive and delicious. -- Parul Seghal * New York Times * One of the most accomplished
books I've ever read -- David Mills * The Times * Without doubt, his best novel. -- J M Pouzel Yvancos * ABC. * Swift and captivating prose, yet calibrated to the millimetre and?as obsessively rhythmical as ravel's Bolero. -- Jose-Carlo Mainer * El Pais. *
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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.
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Rating details

1,786 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 20% (355)
4 38% (680)
3 29% (522)
2 10% (172)
1 3% (57)
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