All That Followed by Gabriel Urza

All That Followed by Gabriel UrzaThe broken up image on the cover of All That Followed perfectly captures how the story is told: In bits and pieces told from different points of view that will eventually fit together to reveal the whole story. That’s a narrative style I love because it reveals so much about the characters and leaves the reader feeling a little bit unsure – what’s going on? who can I trust?

The story of All That Followed is set in a small Basque town in the early 2000’s. It’s the kind of place where no one really has any secrets. The story recounts the events surrounding the Councilman’s kidnapping and death told from the points of view of his wife, an older American teacher and a young radical.

I loved the way the story unfolded in bits and pieces. With almost every character I alternated between loving them, feeling sorry for them, and hating them. Urza also weaves in some wonderful little details. The Councilman’s wife has had a kidney transplant from an unknown donor and she believes it is trying to speak to her. I loved that so much.

Who would like this book? Part of the reason I read All That Followed is because I’m going to Spain later this year, though not to the Basque region. I know very little about Spain’s recent past and Basque separatism movement and thought this book would give me some insight as it was inspired by true events. I’ve also heard that Urza is a writer to watch, and I believe that is true. He’s young, bright and has a strong voice. I will definitely watch out for more books by him.

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7 Comments

  1. I like books that are told from lots of points of view as well, although when I tried to think of good examples I’d read recently, I couldn’t – perhaps I should add this one?! (The most ‘recent’ was Vactionland by Sarah Stonich).

  2. I’d put this on a list of books to get some time ago after read review comparing it to Mohsin Hamed who I like, but also because it was set in Spain and have spent last couple of years trying to read Spanish authors or books set there. However until now this hadn’t gone further than ‘on a list’ but like sound of it – and that piecing together of fragmented views is also style I like a lot! Time to buy!!!

  3. Ah, this sounds so good! I also really enjoy stories revealed in bits and pieces from many perspectives. That storytelling style combined with the heavy subject matter reminds me of The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra, which is definitely a good association for me 🙂

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