I have this book but have not read it yet. And now after reading your excellent review, I am concerned about the translation. It really can make or break a read. And I am so quick to put a book aside for awkward prose whereas I will read beautiful prose that goes nowhere with much more patience. Will still read but perhaps with lowered expectations.
I saw this in your sidebar and have been looking forward to hearing what you think about it. I’m exactly the same way–beautiful writing will make me very forgiving, whereas the opposite… I also find the most frustrating part can be that you don’t know whose style it really is that you’re liking or not liking, the translator’s or the author’s.
On the other hand, while I struggled with some awkward sentences during my read, I’ve thought about this book quite a bit after putting it down, which is always a bonus.
"As is quite clear, the enchanter interests me more than the yarn spinner or the teacher."—Vladimir Nabokov
Your Face Tomorrow volume 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewell by Javier Marías