Thus Bad Begins

  • by Javier Marias, Margaret Jull Costa
  • Narrated by Robert Fass
  • 16 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Madrid, 1980. Juan de Vere, nearly finished with his university degree, takes a job as personal assistant to Eduardo Muriel, an eccentric, once-successful film director. Urbane, discreet, irreproachable, Muriel is an irresistible idol to the young man. But Muriel's voluptuous wife, Beatriz, inhabits their home like an unwanted ghost, and on the periphery of their lives is Dr. Jorge Van Vechten, a family friend implicated in unsavory rumors that Muriel now asks Juan to investigate. As Juan draws closer to the truth, he uncovers only more questions. What is at the root of Muriel's hostility toward his wife? How did Beatriz meet Van Vechten? What happened during the war?
Marías leads us deep into the intrigues of these characters, through a daring exploration of rancor, suspicion, loyalty, trust, and the infinitely permeable boundaries between the deceptions perpetrated on us by others and those we inflict upon ourselves.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating plot, superb performance, psychological depth

The narrator has an excellent Spanish accent that lends authenticity when pronouncing Spanish names. He has a rich, full-bodied voice that adds drama with differing inflections for each character. The plot is a classic Javier Marias intricate character-driven psychological mystery with satisfying revelations throughout. For those who like an earthy, long and complex story and who have the patience to wait for those revelations as they emerge from the detailed narrative.
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- Doctor George

Takes a while to get going but so worth it

A fairly compact story by Marías' standards. Fans will recognize themes from many of his past books but it doesn't feel redundant. Builds slow with details and background but the payoffs are chilling. Excellent performance by the reader who skillfully distinguishes between narrator's always rambling internal monologue and characters' dialogue within scenes--something that can be difficult even when reading Marías off paper.
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- k8880

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-01-2016
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books