Cabré, Jaume "Confessions" (Catalan: Jo Confesso) - 2011
After reading "Les veus del Pamano" by the same author, I was eagerly awaiting his next book. I thought it was completely different form the first one. Not worse, not better, just extremely different. This book always plays on different levels, different times and stories run alongise each other. The life of a Nazi henchman is interwoven with that of a Spanish inquisitor from the middle ages. And that way you find a lot of similarities. Not a bad thought. But also not an easy book to read, he jumps from one thought to the next, from the third person to the first and back again within one sentence and talking about the same person. He jumps between centuries and locations, you really have to pay attention to his train of thoughts. His style is unique.
This novel is as well the story of Adrià Ardèvol and his tumultous life, starting with his earliest memories as a boy until his memories vanish in old age as well as that of a violin whose life is even more exciting.
Apparently, the novel makes reference to Emile Zola's famous "J'accuse" which I haven't read, yet. Should probably go on my wishlist.
From the back cover:
"Jaume Cabré is currently the Catalan author par excellence for reasons of prizes, number of readers, and international impact.
An instant bestseller in nine languages, Confessions is an astonishing story of one man's life, interwoven with a narrative that stretches across centuries to create an addictive and unforgettable literary symphony. At 60 and with a diagnosis of early Alzheimer's, Adrià Ardèvol re-examines his life before his memory is systematically deleted. He recalls a loveless childhood where the family antique business and his father s study become the centre of his world; where a treasured Storioni violin retains the shadows of a crime committed many years earlier. His mother, a cold, distant and pragmatic woman leaves him to his solitary games, full of unwanted questions. An accident ends the life of his enigmatic father, filling Adrià s world with guilt, secrets and deeply troubling mysteries that take him years to uncover. Ambitious, powerful and deeply moving, with an overwhelming theme of guilt and redemption, Confessions is a consummate masterpiece in any language, with an ending that will not just leave you thinking, but probably change the way you think forever."