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This title in other editions

Shadow Without a Name

by

Shadow Without a Name Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1943, General Thadeus Dreyer, a WWI hero who trains doubles for Nazi leaders, disappears. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, a master chess player, is arrested in Buenos Aires, extradited to Israel, and hanged. Years later, a dying Polish count casts doubt on Eichmann's identity, leaving behind a manuscript with clues that tie the three men together. A gripping novel of imposture and identity, Shadow Without a Name is a harrowing parable of our century of chaos, where individual will is swamped by the cult of personality and destinies hang on a game of chess.

Review:

"There is a power of invention and an imaginative force here that mark Padilla as a writer of outstanding gifts. He is a novelist who can disarm our sense of likelihood, of the norms of behavior, and so extend our sense of human possibility....Vividly realized...His novel compels belief." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"An intricate and hypnotic novel...which, in its complexity and multiplicty of resonances about past, present, and future, suggest that modern Mexican literature, having produced an intellectual thriller of such high quality as this, has advanced to a new level." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"The brilliant young writer...spins an incredible web...gracefully and economically written." The Washington Post

Review:

"Proceeds at a feverish pace with a rush of secrets, revelations, mysterious documents, reversals of fortune, exchanges of identity." The Boston Globe

Synopsis:

In 1943, General Thadeus Dreyer, a WWI hero who trains doubles for Nazi leaders, disappears. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, a master chess player, is arrested in Buenos Aires, extradited to Israel, and hanged. Years later, a dying Polish count casts doubt on Eichmann's identity, leaving behind a manuscript with clues that tie the three men together. A gripping novel of imposture and identity, Shadow Without a Name is a harrowing parable of our century of chaos, where individual will is swamped by the cult of personality and destinies hang on a game of chess.

Ignacio Padilla was born in Mexico City, and is the author of several award-winning novels and short-story collections, including Antipodes. Formerly the cultural attache at the Mexican Embassy in London, he now writes full-time in Queretaro, Mexcio.

The winner of Spain's prestigious Premio Primavera Award, Shadow Without a Name is the English-language debut of one of Mexico's dazzling new young writers.

In 1916, on a train heading to the Austro-Hungarian Empire's disastrous Eastern Front, Viktor Kretzschmar and Thadeus Dreyer face each other over a chessboard. It is a game to the death: the winner will take Kretzschmar's identity as a railway signalman and live out the war in safety. The loser will go to the Front. When the game ends, a sequence of events that will span decades as well as continents has been set in motion.

In 1943, the decorated World War I hero and influential Nazi General Thadeus Dreyer is in charge of training doubles to stand in for leading Nazis at dangerous public events. But when the Amphitryon Project falls out of favor with Goering, Dreyer and his team of doubles vanish, and their disappearance remains unsolved.

In 1960, an escaped Nazi is uncovered in Buenos Aires, where he has been living under an assumed name. One of the few Nazis to be recaptured, he is extradited to Israel and executed. Only an old Polish count claims to know his true identity, but he dies before it can be revealed.

The clues that connect these men are concealed in an old encrypted manuscript that the count has left to his heirs--an unlikely trio of misfits who suddenly find themselves at the center of a dangerous game as they are compelled to decipher the deceits of decades past.

Mesmerizing and suspenseful, Shadow Without a Name explores questions of identity and history against the backdrop of the darkest periods of twentieth-century Europe, and stands as an impressive introduction to one of Mexico's most gifted contemporary writers.

Gracefully and economically written, it is a meditation on the nature of identity and, not incidentally, on the myriad unsuspected tragedies inflicted on people by the chaos of war.--Michael Kernan, The Washington Post

Ignacio Padilla . . . represents the continuation and reinvigoration of literature in our country.--Carlos Fuentes

Gracefully and economically written, it is a meditation on the nature of identity and, not incidentally, on the myriad unsuspected tragedies inflicted on people by the chaos of war.--Michael Kernan, The Washington Post

There is a power of invention and an imaginative force here that mark Padilla as a writer of outstanding gifts. He is a novelist who can disarm our sense of likelihood, of the norms of behavior, and so extend our sense of human possibility . . . Events are unfolded through the medium of four first-person narrators, voices of loss and fractured personality. They are not distinguished by variety of style or mode of utterance, and so they seem almost like a chorus, a collective expression of the quest for meaning and identity in a bleak and chaotic, morally trackless world. The way this collective voice is managed is one of the several triumphs of Shadow Without a Name, the first of Ignacio Padilla's novels to appear in English. Excellently translated, it ranges through the devices of rhetoric--speculative, ironic, elegiac--with a residue of sorrow that has nothing to do with rhetoric at all . . . The novel has the grip and pace of a detective story, managing to be at once somber and playful and at times wonderfully sinister . . . But the true strength of this novel does not lie in the games it plays with the reader . . . Like the group of young Mexican writers with whom he is associated, Padilla] apparently dislikes the term 'magic realism, ' linking it to the degeneration into facile gimmickry that came in the aftermath of writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes. These got their effects not by executing conjuring tricks or gravity-defying ploys but by pushing notions of reality to extremes and so establishing an intensely personal vision. Padilla belongs in this august company. His novel compels belief because it corresponds to a world we feel to be essentially true.--Barry Unsworth, The New York Times Book Review

An intricate and hypnotic novel . . . Writing in his own voice in the final section of the novel, Padilla suggests that certain novels 'don't emerge from history . . . They come from the generous spaces left in its wake.' Such is his own book, which, in its complexity and 0multiplicity of resonances about the past, present, and future, suggests that modern Mexican literature, having produced an intellectual thriller of such high quality as this, has advanced to a new level of maturity.--Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

History as a complex, confusing, and ultimately arbitrary game of chess is the metaphor that controls this dense novel, which] proceeds at a feverish pace with a rush of secrets, revelations, mysterious documents, reversals of fortune, exchanges of identity.--The Boston Globe

A blitzkrieg upon the mind . . . the novel makes great claims upon our detective, fathoming powers . . . Shadow Without a Name reads like a historical ghost story, its characters moving like protean Phantoms across our bleared visions--shades glimpsed askanc

Synopsis:

In 1943, General Thadeus Dreyer, a WWI hero who trains doubles for Nazi leaders, disappears. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, a master chess player, is arrested in Buenos Aires, extradited to Israel, and hanged. Years later, a dying Polish count casts doubt on Eichmann's identity, leaving behind a manuscript with clues that tie the three men together. A gripping novel of imposture and identity, Shadow Without a Name is a harrowing parable of our century of chaos, where individual will is swamped by the cult of personality and destinies hang on a game of chess.

Ignacio Padilla was born in Mexico City, and is the author of several award-winning novels and short-story collections, including Antipodes. Formerly the cultural attaché at the Mexican Embassy in London, he now writes full-time in Queretaro, Mexcio.

The winner of Spain's prestigious Premio Primavera Award, Shadow Without a Name is the English-language debut of one of Mexico's dazzling new young writers.

In 1916, on a train heading to the Austro-Hungarian Empire's disastrous Eastern Front, Viktor Kretzschmar and Thadeus Dreyer face each other over a chessboard. It is a game to the death: the winner will take Kretzschmar's identity as a railway signalman and live out the war in safety. The loser will go to the Front. When the game ends, a sequence of events that will span decades as well as continents has been set in motion.

In 1943, the decorated World War I hero and influential Nazi General Thadeus Dreyer is in charge of training doubles to stand in for leading Nazis at dangerous public events. But when the Amphitryon Project falls out of favor with Goering, Dreyer and his team of doubles vanish, and their disappearance remains unsolved.

In 1960, an escaped Nazi is uncovered in Buenos Aires, where he has been living under an assumed name. One of the few Nazis to be recaptured, he is extradited to Israel and executed. Only an old Polish count claims to know his true identity, but he dies before it can be revealed.

The clues that connect these men are concealed in an old encrypted manuscript that the count has left to his heirsan unlikely trio of misfits who suddenly find themselves at the center of a dangerous game as they are compelled to decipher the deceits of decades past.

Mesmerizing and suspenseful, Shadow Without a Name explores questions of identity and history against the backdrop of the darkest periods of twentieth-century Europe, and stands as an impressive introduction to one of Mexico's most gifted contemporary writers.

"Gracefully and economically written, it is a meditation on the nature of identity and, not incidentally, on the myriad unsuspected tragedies inflicted on people by the chaos of war."Michael Kernan, The Washington Post

"Ignacio Padilla . . . represents the continuation and reinvigoration of literature in our country."Carlos Fuentes

"Gracefully and economically written, it is a meditation on the nature of identity and, not incidentally, on the myriad unsuspected tragedies inflicted on people by the chaos of war."Michael Kernan, The Washington Post

"There is a power of invention and an imaginative force here that mark Padilla as a writer of outstanding gifts. He is a novelist who can disarm our sense of likelihood, of the norms of behavior, and so extend our sense of human possibility . . . Events are unfolded through the medium of four first-person narrators, voices of loss and fractured personality. They are not distinguished by variety of style or mode of utterance, and so they seem almost like a chorus, a collective expression of the quest for meaning and identity in a bleak and chaotic, morally trackless world. The way this collective voice is managed is one of the several triumphs of Shadow Without a Name, the first of Ignacio Padilla's novels to appear in English. Excellently translated, it ranges through the devices of rhetoricspeculative, ironic, elegiacwith a residue of sorrow that has nothing to do with rhetoric at all . . . The novel has the grip and pace of a detective story, managing to be at once somber and playful and at times wonderfully sinister . . . But the true strength of this novel does not lie in the games it plays with the reader . . . Like the group of young Mexican writers with whom he is associated, [Padilla] apparently dislikes the term 'magic realism,' linking it to the degeneration into facile gimmickry that came in the aftermath of writers like Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. These got their effects not by executing conjuring tricks or gravity-defying ploys but by pushing notions of reality to extremes and so establishing an intensely personal vision. Padilla belongs in this august company. His novel compels belief because it corresponds to a world we feel to be essentially true."Barry Unsworth, The New York Times Book Review

"An intricate and hypnotic novel . . . Writing in his own voice in the final section of the novel, Padilla suggests that certain novels 'don't emerge from history . . . They come from the generous spaces left in its wake.' Such is his own book, which, in its complexity and 0multiplicity of resonances about the past, present, and future, suggests that modern Mexican literature, having produced an intellectual thriller of such high quality as this, has advanced to a new level of maturity."Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

"History as a complex, confusing, and ultimately arbitrary game of chess is the metaphor that controls this dense novel, [which] proceeds at a feverish pace with a rush of secrets, revelations, mysterious documents, reversals of fortune, exchanges of identity."The Boston Globe

"A blitzkrieg upon the mind . . . the novel makes great claims upon our detective, fathoming powers . . . Shadow Without a Name reads like a historical ghost story, its characters moving like protean Phantoms across our bleared visionsshades glimpsed askance, or through a glass darkly."Houston Chronicle

"Complex, intriguing . . . Part thriller, part mystery, part historical fiction, this is really a meditation on guilt . . . By staying on top of a convoluted plot and then fashioning a group of characters that cleanly mesh with it, he shows himself to be thoroughly in control of his fiction, [giving] profound questions [that] are certainly worth asking, and they linger far beyond the end of the book."Chicago Tribune

"Padilla's masterful tale of shifting identities and lurking shadows [is a] dark parable of twentieth-century chaos . . . A lucid piece of work which fuses the power of cinematic storytelling with a labyrinthine imagination that only a superior writer can bring to life."Martin, Tierney, The Herald (Glasgow)

"Playful and provocative . . . A gleefully tricksy book . . . This ingenious fictional chessboard full of gambits, feints, exchanges and sacrifices is leading up to a final puzzle."Boyd Tonkin, The Independent (London)

"A magic box of a novel, brilliantly playing with European history and the dark world of the Nazis."Libération (Paris)

"Written with perfect mastery."Le Figaro (Paris)

"Intrigue and suspense from start to finish . . . History and fiction handled with a masterful hand."Crítica Literaria (Madrid)

"Impersonation, mistaken identity, and subterfuge are the elements juggled with hellish precision in this dizzyingly intricate historical, the first of its prizewinning Mexican author's to appear in English translation . . . Extraordinarily clever, and quite moving. A brilliant U.S. debut."Kirkus Reviews

“This novel begins around the outset of World War I and ends some time after the fall of communism. Yet its not really a historical work but a tale of swapped identities and multiple viewpoints explored over different eras . . . The story begins with two men headed for the Austro-Hungarian eastern front who agree to exchange identities after one wins a game of chess; the winner will become a railroad signal man and sit out the war in relative peace. As the plot progresses . . . a succession of exchanged identities eventually builds to a cast of characters that include a Bogart look-alike and none other than Adolf Eichmannor is it his double? Mexican writer Padillo, winner of Spains Premio Primavero Award in 2002 and here making his English-language debut, offers writing that is atmospheric, tricky, hallucinatory, and engaging. Libraries whose patrons appreciate first-rate, challenging writing will definitely want to add this estimable work to their shelves.”Library Journal

"Once immersed in this sophisticated novel by a young Mexican writer, readers may feel they have been conducted by a sardonic host into a labyrinth and left to find their way out . . . Padilla handles the question with marvelous dexterity and invests it with great suspense."Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Ignacio Padilla is the author of several award-winning novels and short story collections, and is currently the cultural attache at the Mexican Embassy in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312422707
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Padilla, Ignacio
Translator:
Bush, Peter
Translator:
McLean, Anne
Translator:
Bush, Peter; McLean, Anne
Author:
McLean, Anne
Author:
Bush, Peter
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Mystery
Subject:
Detective / General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20040401
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Shadow Without a Name Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Picador USA - English 9780312422707 Reviews:
"Review" by , "There is a power of invention and an imaginative force here that mark Padilla as a writer of outstanding gifts. He is a novelist who can disarm our sense of likelihood, of the norms of behavior, and so extend our sense of human possibility....Vividly realized...His novel compels belief."
"Review" by , "An intricate and hypnotic novel...which, in its complexity and multiplicty of resonances about past, present, and future, suggest that modern Mexican literature, having produced an intellectual thriller of such high quality as this, has advanced to a new level."
"Review" by , "The brilliant young writer...spins an incredible web...gracefully and economically written."
"Review" by , "Proceeds at a feverish pace with a rush of secrets, revelations, mysterious documents, reversals of fortune, exchanges of identity."
"Synopsis" by , In 1943, General Thadeus Dreyer, a WWI hero who trains doubles for Nazi leaders, disappears. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, a master chess player, is arrested in Buenos Aires, extradited to Israel, and hanged. Years later, a dying Polish count casts doubt on Eichmann's identity, leaving behind a manuscript with clues that tie the three men together. A gripping novel of imposture and identity, Shadow Without a Name is a harrowing parable of our century of chaos, where individual will is swamped by the cult of personality and destinies hang on a game of chess.

Ignacio Padilla was born in Mexico City, and is the author of several award-winning novels and short-story collections, including Antipodes. Formerly the cultural attache at the Mexican Embassy in London, he now writes full-time in Queretaro, Mexcio.

The winner of Spain's prestigious Premio Primavera Award, Shadow Without a Name is the English-language debut of one of Mexico's dazzling new young writers.

In 1916, on a train heading to the Austro-Hungarian Empire's disastrous Eastern Front, Viktor Kretzschmar and Thadeus Dreyer face each other over a chessboard. It is a game to the death: the winner will take Kretzschmar's identity as a railway signalman and live out the war in safety. The loser will go to the Front. When the game ends, a sequence of events that will span decades as well as continents has been set in motion.

In 1943, the decorated World War I hero and influential Nazi General Thadeus Dreyer is in charge of training doubles to stand in for leading Nazis at dangerous public events. But when the Amphitryon Project falls out of favor with Goering, Dreyer and his team of doubles vanish, and their disappearance remains unsolved.

In 1960, an escaped Nazi is uncovered in Buenos Aires, where he has been living under an assumed name. One of the few Nazis to be recaptured, he is extradited to Israel and executed. Only an old Polish count claims to know his true identity, but he dies before it can be revealed.

The clues that connect these men are concealed in an old encrypted manuscript that the count has left to his heirs--an unlikely trio of misfits who suddenly find themselves at the center of a dangerous game as they are compelled to decipher the deceits of decades past.

Mesmerizing and suspenseful, Shadow Without a Name explores questions of identity and history against the backdrop of the darkest periods of twentieth-century Europe, and stands as an impressive introduction to one of Mexico's most gifted contemporary writers.

Gracefully and economically written, it is a meditation on the nature of identity and, not incidentally, on the myriad unsuspected tragedies inflicted on people by the chaos of war.--Michael Kernan, The Washington Post

Ignacio Padilla . . . represents the continuation and reinvigoration of literature in our country.--Carlos Fuentes

Gracefully and economically written, it is a meditation on the nature of identity and, not incidentally, on the myriad unsuspected tragedies inflicted on people by the chaos of war.--Michael Kernan, The Washington Post

There is a power of invention and an imaginative force here that mark Padilla as a writer of outstanding gifts. He is a novelist who can disarm our sense of likelihood, of the norms of behavior, and so extend our sense of human possibility . . . Events are unfolded through the medium of four first-person narrators, voices of loss and fractured personality. They are not distinguished by variety of style or mode of utterance, and so they seem almost like a chorus, a collective expression of the quest for meaning and identity in a bleak and chaotic, morally trackless world. The way this collective voice is managed is one of the several triumphs of Shadow Without a Name, the first of Ignacio Padilla's novels to appear in English. Excellently translated, it ranges through the devices of rhetoric--speculative, ironic, elegiac--with a residue of sorrow that has nothing to do with rhetoric at all . . . The novel has the grip and pace of a detective story, managing to be at once somber and playful and at times wonderfully sinister . . . But the true strength of this novel does not lie in the games it plays with the reader . . . Like the group of young Mexican writers with whom he is associated, Padilla] apparently dislikes the term 'magic realism, ' linking it to the degeneration into facile gimmickry that came in the aftermath of writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes. These got their effects not by executing conjuring tricks or gravity-defying ploys but by pushing notions of reality to extremes and so establishing an intensely personal vision. Padilla belongs in this august company. His novel compels belief because it corresponds to a world we feel to be essentially true.--Barry Unsworth, The New York Times Book Review

An intricate and hypnotic novel . . . Writing in his own voice in the final section of the novel, Padilla suggests that certain novels 'don't emerge from history . . . They come from the generous spaces left in its wake.' Such is his own book, which, in its complexity and 0multiplicity of resonances about the past, present, and future, suggests that modern Mexican literature, having produced an intellectual thriller of such high quality as this, has advanced to a new level of maturity.--Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

History as a complex, confusing, and ultimately arbitrary game of chess is the metaphor that controls this dense novel, which] proceeds at a feverish pace with a rush of secrets, revelations, mysterious documents, reversals of fortune, exchanges of identity.--The Boston Globe

A blitzkrieg upon the mind . . . the novel makes great claims upon our detective, fathoming powers . . . Shadow Without a Name reads like a historical ghost story, its characters moving like protean Phantoms across our bleared visions--shades glimpsed askanc

"Synopsis" by ,
In 1943, General Thadeus Dreyer, a WWI hero who trains doubles for Nazi leaders, disappears. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, a master chess player, is arrested in Buenos Aires, extradited to Israel, and hanged. Years later, a dying Polish count casts doubt on Eichmann's identity, leaving behind a manuscript with clues that tie the three men together. A gripping novel of imposture and identity, Shadow Without a Name is a harrowing parable of our century of chaos, where individual will is swamped by the cult of personality and destinies hang on a game of chess.

Ignacio Padilla was born in Mexico City, and is the author of several award-winning novels and short-story collections, including Antipodes. Formerly the cultural attaché at the Mexican Embassy in London, he now writes full-time in Queretaro, Mexcio.

The winner of Spain's prestigious Premio Primavera Award, Shadow Without a Name is the English-language debut of one of Mexico's dazzling new young writers.

In 1916, on a train heading to the Austro-Hungarian Empire's disastrous Eastern Front, Viktor Kretzschmar and Thadeus Dreyer face each other over a chessboard. It is a game to the death: the winner will take Kretzschmar's identity as a railway signalman and live out the war in safety. The loser will go to the Front. When the game ends, a sequence of events that will span decades as well as continents has been set in motion.

In 1943, the decorated World War I hero and influential Nazi General Thadeus Dreyer is in charge of training doubles to stand in for leading Nazis at dangerous public events. But when the Amphitryon Project falls out of favor with Goering, Dreyer and his team of doubles vanish, and their disappearance remains unsolved.

In 1960, an escaped Nazi is uncovered in Buenos Aires, where he has been living under an assumed name. One of the few Nazis to be recaptured, he is extradited to Israel and executed. Only an old Polish count claims to know his true identity, but he dies before it can be revealed.

The clues that connect these men are concealed in an old encrypted manuscript that the count has left to his heirsan unlikely trio of misfits who suddenly find themselves at the center of a dangerous game as they are compelled to decipher the deceits of decades past.

Mesmerizing and suspenseful, Shadow Without a Name explores questions of identity and history against the backdrop of the darkest periods of twentieth-century Europe, and stands as an impressive introduction to one of Mexico's most gifted contemporary writers.

"Gracefully and economically written, it is a meditation on the nature of identity and, not incidentally, on the myriad unsuspected tragedies inflicted on people by the chaos of war."Michael Kernan, The Washington Post

"Ignacio Padilla . . . represents the continuation and reinvigoration of literature in our country."Carlos Fuentes

"Gracefully and economically written, it is a meditation on the nature of identity and, not incidentally, on the myriad unsuspected tragedies inflicted on people by the chaos of war."Michael Kernan, The Washington Post

"There is a power of invention and an imaginative force here that mark Padilla as a writer of outstanding gifts. He is a novelist who can disarm our sense of likelihood, of the norms of behavior, and so extend our sense of human possibility . . . Events are unfolded through the medium of four first-person narrators, voices of loss and fractured personality. They are not distinguished by variety of style or mode of utterance, and so they seem almost like a chorus, a collective expression of the quest for meaning and identity in a bleak and chaotic, morally trackless world. The way this collective voice is managed is one of the several triumphs of Shadow Without a Name, the first of Ignacio Padilla's novels to appear in English. Excellently translated, it ranges through the devices of rhetoricspeculative, ironic, elegiacwith a residue of sorrow that has nothing to do with rhetoric at all . . . The novel has the grip and pace of a detective story, managing to be at once somber and playful and at times wonderfully sinister . . . But the true strength of this novel does not lie in the games it plays with the reader . . . Like the group of young Mexican writers with whom he is associated, [Padilla] apparently dislikes the term 'magic realism,' linking it to the degeneration into facile gimmickry that came in the aftermath of writers like Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. These got their effects not by executing conjuring tricks or gravity-defying ploys but by pushing notions of reality to extremes and so establishing an intensely personal vision. Padilla belongs in this august company. His novel compels belief because it corresponds to a world we feel to be essentially true."Barry Unsworth, The New York Times Book Review

"An intricate and hypnotic novel . . . Writing in his own voice in the final section of the novel, Padilla suggests that certain novels 'don't emerge from history . . . They come from the generous spaces left in its wake.' Such is his own book, which, in its complexity and 0multiplicity of resonances about the past, present, and future, suggests that modern Mexican literature, having produced an intellectual thriller of such high quality as this, has advanced to a new level of maturity."Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

"History as a complex, confusing, and ultimately arbitrary game of chess is the metaphor that controls this dense novel, [which] proceeds at a feverish pace with a rush of secrets, revelations, mysterious documents, reversals of fortune, exchanges of identity."The Boston Globe

"A blitzkrieg upon the mind . . . the novel makes great claims upon our detective, fathoming powers . . . Shadow Without a Name reads like a historical ghost story, its characters moving like protean Phantoms across our bleared visionsshades glimpsed askance, or through a glass darkly."Houston Chronicle

"Complex, intriguing . . . Part thriller, part mystery, part historical fiction, this is really a meditation on guilt . . . By staying on top of a convoluted plot and then fashioning a group of characters that cleanly mesh with it, he shows himself to be thoroughly in control of his fiction, [giving] profound questions [that] are certainly worth asking, and they linger far beyond the end of the book."Chicago Tribune

"Padilla's masterful tale of shifting identities and lurking shadows [is a] dark parable of twentieth-century chaos . . . A lucid piece of work which fuses the power of cinematic storytelling with a labyrinthine imagination that only a superior writer can bring to life."Martin, Tierney, The Herald (Glasgow)

"Playful and provocative . . . A gleefully tricksy book . . . This ingenious fictional chessboard full of gambits, feints, exchanges and sacrifices is leading up to a final puzzle."Boyd Tonkin, The Independent (London)

"A magic box of a novel, brilliantly playing with European history and the dark world of the Nazis."Libération (Paris)

"Written with perfect mastery."Le Figaro (Paris)

"Intrigue and suspense from start to finish . . . History and fiction handled with a masterful hand."Crítica Literaria (Madrid)

"Impersonation, mistaken identity, and subterfuge are the elements juggled with hellish precision in this dizzyingly intricate historical, the first of its prizewinning Mexican author's to appear in English translation . . . Extraordinarily clever, and quite moving. A brilliant U.S. debut."Kirkus Reviews

“This novel begins around the outset of World War I and ends some time after the fall of communism. Yet its not really a historical work but a tale of swapped identities and multiple viewpoints explored over different eras . . . The story begins with two men headed for the Austro-Hungarian eastern front who agree to exchange identities after one wins a game of chess; the winner will become a railroad signal man and sit out the war in relative peace. As the plot progresses . . . a succession of exchanged identities eventually builds to a cast of characters that include a Bogart look-alike and none other than Adolf Eichmannor is it his double? Mexican writer Padillo, winner of Spains Premio Primavero Award in 2002 and here making his English-language debut, offers writing that is atmospheric, tricky, hallucinatory, and engaging. Libraries whose patrons appreciate first-rate, challenging writing will definitely want to add this estimable work to their shelves.”Library Journal

"Once immersed in this sophisticated novel by a young Mexican writer, readers may feel they have been conducted by a sardonic host into a labyrinth and left to find their way out . . . Padilla handles the question with marvelous dexterity and invests it with great suspense."Publishers Weekly

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