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The Fallen Reviews

The Fallen by Carlos Manuel Alvarez, Frank Wynne

The Fallen

Carlos Manuel Alvarez, Frank Wynne

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1 review

Imprint: Fitzcarraldo Editions
Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
Publication date: 4 Sep 2019
ISBN: 9781910695951

A powerful, unsettling portrait of ordinary family life in Cuba, Carlos Manuel Alvarez's debut novel THE FALLEN is a masterful portrayal of a society in free fall.

4 stars out of 5
Jake Kerridge
10 Sep 2019

"Álvarez does a neat job in this very short but nutritious novel of establishing the personalities of his characters firmly"

Álvarez does a neat job in this very short but nutritious novel of establishing the personalities of his characters firmly enough that it comes as a real shock when he upends our expectations of how they might behave. They all have secrets, and when family relations are further frazzled by a series of anonymous phone calls of almost supernatural sinisterness (in a way that recalls Muriel Spark’s Memento Mori), they start to spill. The implication is that there is a disconnect between the people they are and the people they would have been if they hadn’t had to live through hardship. But there is also a sense that history with a capital H is only part of the problem; here is a family that would in any case have found, pace Tolstoy, its own way of being unhappy.

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