I’m still reading the horrible new Almudena Grandes. The subject of this endless novel is an effort to find and bring to justice the Nazis who had committed war crimes during the Holocaust and managed to evade justice after the defeat of Germany.
I’m on page 600, and so far there has been a single Jewish character in the novel who has been given a few lines. Unsurprisingly, he’s dishonest, scheming, and willing to risk absolutely nothing to avenge his slaughtered family. All of the hard work and the terrible risk of hunting down the escaped Nazis falls on the brave Spaniards and Spanish-speaking Americans. This makes a lot of sense within the framework that the novel has proposed: since Jews allowed themselves to be exterminated without as much as a whispered protest, it stands to reason that they would do nothing after the end of the war. It’s just the way they are in this novel, passive and kind of sleazy.
Leaving the anti-Semitic aspects of the novel aside, it really drags out. The brave Republican protagonists are sexual deviants and very boring fellows. They change their aliases every couple of pages and it’s impossible to figure out who’s who 600 pages in.
In short – although nothing is ever short in this very long-winded book – Lord have mercy on me and make this novel end sooner rather than later.
I’m overdue for a good reading experience at this point.