“Dear Jacobo, now you are dead, and I am sitting in your apartment, in near darkness, while a few blocks from here, at my place, no one is waiting up for me. Dear Jacobo, now you are dead, I ought to be thinking about who killed you, and yet I think only about who might kill me. . . . Dear Jacobo, you’ve been murdered and I’m thinking about my life. And this hurts, for it has not escaped my attention that it is selfish, when all is said and done, much like when you would try to get things off your chest and I’d simply bide my time, waiting for the chance to butt in and get things off mine. . . . Sometimes death. . . illuminates everything. And it is precisely beneath that light when it becomes clear that there is nothing to see.”
After both their marriages collapse, two old friends take to sharing their lives again as they used to. They go out for drinks, have long conversations, and try, all in all, to hide away from the world. One day, one of them is stabbed to death in his apartment. His friend will then seek out the truth. An engaging combination of literary fiction and psychological thriller, Bad Light is the debut novel of the most prestigious short-story writer in Spain. A ruthless reflection on life and the human condition.
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"Castán’s intense literary style reflects his advanced studies in philosophy; his prose is dense with serious reflection, poetry, weaving his words with those of writers and thinkers such as Primo Levi, Marguerite Duras, Emil Cioran, and Paul Celan. Bad Light is chock-full of lines to be underlined about love, literature, art, loneliness, friendship, death, and old age."
"The first novel by a distinguished Spanish writer mainly known for his short stories turns out to be a primer in existential thinking about death and dying. . . Much of the action of the novel is internal and psychological and plays out against the intellectual background of writers like Marguerite Duras, whose book The War is freely alluded to and provides a pattern for the triangle of narrator, the deceased Jacobo, and Nadia. . . A meditative and philosophical 'thriller'."
“An heir to Javier Marías . . . An outstanding stylistic narrative. A joyful discovery.”
—J. M. Pozuelo Yvancos, ABC Cultural
“Everything in this great novel has a meaning and a sense of purpose . . . The anonymous narrator, through loss and death, attains true grandeur.”
—J. A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia
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