Javier Marías writes stories that are playful and macabre – he’s a sort of mid-point between Borges and Roald Dahl. In the title story, a couple, on holiday in Minorca, spend their days gawping at another couple, a fat man and his beautiful girlfriend. The fat man spends his whole time filming the woman’s perfect, near-naked body. Later, he explains his reason for doing so; it’s chilling and sick. In another story, a man tells us about the only time his wife satisfied him sexually; it coincided with a period when he was under pressure to disinter, and then cremate, his dead father.
London Evening Standard, November 10, 2011