4.636 Stars—rounded up (forget that BS debate over the worth of ½ stars—what we need are 1/10th stars or 1/100th stars, but then even with those some won’t be content, and anyway my credibility, given the way I dole out 5 stars means less and less by the day. So be it.
This is not your father’s Javier Marías. At least, this is not the Javier Marías you’ve encountered if you’ve read other books by him. Except, that it is. Sorta. The humor’s there; the facility with language is there; the twisted, convoluted, contortionist ploting… but in this one, things happen. There are events. You know—people do things and don’t simply know them. Well, sorta. There’s action, BIG action—murder, deceit, repentant and unrepentant criminality, lying, kidnapping, seduction. But only, again, sorta.
You see, Voyage along the Horizon isn’t really Voyage along the Horizon. It is, but not really. Voyage along the Horizon can’t be Voyage along the Horizon because it contains Voyage along the Horizon.The part is not the whole. The whole contains the part. The whole is not the part. It contains the part, and then some. The part is not the whole part, because we never know if we get the whole part, we only know we get the whole whole. Voyage along the Horizon includes Voyage along the Horizon rendering Voyage along the Horizon, in its entirety, well, Voyage along the Horizon. Sorta. Having cleared that up we can move on.
An unnamed narrator becomes aware of a text, Voyage along the Horizon, and mysterious events surrounding several of its characters—characters who are, or were real. As he pursues more information about those characters, the fictive Voyage along the Horizon, is read to him. The narration slides into and out of the narrated text; information about the characters is conveyed inside and out of the fictive Voyage along the Horizon. And it’s all great fun.This is one of the author’s earliest texts. Some think/feel that an immaturity shows. My opinion—screw ‘em! Or, So what? Or, Are we really surprised when/if authors get better at what they do or start doing things differently? Aren’t we more disappointed when authors don’t show some sort of growth, or maturity as they publish newer, and hopefully, better novels? There’s another early and, as yet, untranslated Marías: Los Dominios del Lobo. It, along with La Asesina Ilustrada by Enrique Vila-Matas, according to Roberto Bolaño ([b:Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003|9550623|Between Parentheses Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003|Roberto Bolaño|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41YogrOZDFL._SL75_.jpg|1332036]) “marks the departure point for our generation” with regard to the relationship of contemporary readers and literature. The obvious question—posed to New Directions Publishing, as all three authors are primarily published here by NDP, is: WTF? Where are they? And, How soon can you have them here, in my own grubby hands, for my own personal betterment and well-being?