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The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura

The Man Who Loved Dogs

Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

A significant departure for the Cuban creator of the wonderful Mario Conde Havana mysteries, this sweeping historical novel about the assassination of Leon Trotsky alternates its points of view between the communist leader, his killer Ramon Mercader and a writer now revisiting the case. Under cover of a crime investigation, Padura manages to summon an injection of fresh breath into the winds of history in a well-known tale and slice of history, with a clear and unprejudiced survey of the struggles between Stalin and Trotsky, the political background of the Spanish civil war (with a cameo by George Orwell...) and a host of actual events and turns the dry bones of history into a blazing unputdownable read. A lengthy book but well worth the effort.

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The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura

Cuban writer Ivan Cardenas Maturell meets a mysterious foreigner on a Havana beach who is always in the company of two Russian wolfhounds. Ivan quickly names him the man who loved dogs . The man eventually confesses that he is actually Ramon Mercader, the man who killed Leon Trotsky in Mexico City in 1940, and that he is now living in a secret exile in Cuba after being released from jail in Mexico. Moving seamlessly between Ivan's life in Cuba, Mercader's early years in Spain and France, and Trotsky's long years of exile, The Man Who Loved Dogs is Leonardo Padura's most ambitious and brilliantly executed novel yet. It is the story of revolutions fought and betrayed, the ways in which men's political convictions are continually tested and manipulated, and a powerful critique of the role of fear in consolidating political power.


'Breathtaking narrative, a masterpiece' Le Figaro

'Best historical novel of the year. The assassination of Trotsky with an ice axe as the starting point of one of the best romans noirs about the 20th century.' Lire

'Behind its title taken from a Raymond Chandler short story hides a magnificent novel, a hymn to lost illusions and an indictment of Stalinism, that deadliest utopia of the last century.' Livres-Hebdo

'An excellent novel, rich in suggestions about the human condition and about our world that go beyond straight narrative history.' El Mundo

About the Author

Leonardo Padura

Leonardo Padura was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1955. A novelist, journalist, and critic, he is the author of several novels, one collection of essays, and a volume of short stories. His novels featuring the detective Mario Conde have been translated into many languages and have won literary prizes around the world. The Man Who Loved Dogs was a finalist for Book of the Year in Spain.

Author photo © Ivan Giménez Tusquets Editores 2006

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Book Info

Publication date

31st January 2014


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Bitter Lemon Press




Historical Fiction
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