The moment in question is February 23, 1981—bullets fly through the air in the Spanish Parliament during an attempted military coup. Three men refuse to take cover and remain upright as they face the gunfire. With a novelist’s eye for truth and meaningful symmetry, Cercas structures his broad non-fictional narrative around the film footage of the coup and examines the histories and motivations that lay behind these gestures of apparent courage. Along with exhaustive research, he pays close attention to the complex human elements of politics as he illuminates the larger moment of Spain’s fragile and contested transition from fascism to democracy. -Casey O.
BOOKNOTES, the book review of THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published and forthcoming books that we have enjoyed reading. We appreciate every opportunity to assist in finding books to meet your interests.