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 A Coruña in 1957. He writes in the Galician language of north-west Spain. He is well known in Spain for his journalism, as well as for his prize-winning short stories and novels, which include the internationally acclaimed The Carpenter's Pencil. His works have been translated into twenty languages.
Praise for Books Burn Badly…
"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