Books Burn Badly (Paperback)
On August 19, 1936 Hercules the boxer stands on the quayside at Coruña and watches Fascist soldiers piling up books and setting them alight. It is a moment which transforms a young group of friends, who just weeks before had spent their days sunbathing beneath the lighthouse, into a broken generation.
Out of this incident during the early months of Spain's tragic civil war, Manuel Rivas weaves a colourful tapestry of stories and unforgettable characters to create a panorama of twentieth-century Spanish history. For it is not only the lives of Hercules the boxer and his friends that are tainted by the unending conflict, but also those of a young washerwoman who sees souls in the clouded river water and the stammering son of a judge who uncovers his father's hidden library.
As the singed pages fly away on the breeze, their stories live on in the minds of their readers.
About the Author
Manuel Rivas was born in Galicia, in Spain, in 1957, and has worked for many years as a journalist as well as a prize-winning novelist. One his short stories formed the basis for José Luis Cuerda's award-winning film "Butterfly," which Gabriel Garciá Márquez said was "a perfect marriage of film and literature."
Jonathan writes black comedies and his books are the black sheep on the bookshelf. Balloon Animals was his debut novel in 2012, followed by Living Dead Lovers in 2013. The Nobody Show, Jonathan's third novel is expected late 2014. Admittedly, Jonathan has done things arse-ways most of his life, from completing a BA in Literature in his thirties to fitting teeth brackets (30's, porcelain). During this general confusion, Jonathan has written and published a variety of short stories. Jonathan realized that he had a penchant for scribbling when, as a child, he would join the items on his mother's shopping list: the carrots were soon blaming the cabbage for the murder. Jonathan suffers from photophobia though has a tendency towards fireworks. Originally from Limerick, Ireland, he now lives the reclusive life in Toledo Spain, as a bearded hermit, with his wife and two daughters. Jonathan can be found strolling the local cemetery in Toledo of a Saturday afternoon with his Vietnamese pot-belly pig.
"It's time for reviewers and sundry pundits to quit the flattering comparisons with Lorca, Joyce and Garcia Marquez. Manuel Rivas reads like no-one else on the planet... one of those novels to lavish on friends... Manuel Rivas' sweeping novel, translated into English for the first time, is an undoubted classic."
"His boldest take yet on the war's repercussions in his native Galicia... a work of unusual beauty."
--Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times