Alberto Manguel writes with such entrancing authority about the role of books and reading in our lives that it is easy to forget his own prowess as an author of fiction. .
This playful, ingenious but finally tragic novel invites us, in the finest Manguel manner, into a labyrinth of rival narratives with an all-too-real monster at its heart. In the mid-1970s, Bevilacqua, a would-be author exiled from the murderous dictatorship in Argentina, dies enigmatically in Paris.
A quarrelling patchwork of voices give alternative versions of his murky life and death – and of the lost masterpiece he may have composed, "In Praise of Lying". Behind all the literary trickery, in Miranda France's fast-flowing translation, rages the enduring battle between art and power