Manuel ASTUR

San, el libro de los milagros

Acantilado, 2020 | San, the Book of Miracles


UK/Peirene Press; US/New Vessel Press


“An unusual crime novel. San and the crime it conceals inside, like a precious stone, transcends all known periods and grants the reader the opportunity to judge an instant, paradoxically, through its insignificance. It is not a traditional crime novel, but rather an homage to Nature with a capital N, that Nature that is the nucleus of Astur’s work. With a sensuous style that produces an almost physical effect, Astur plays with time, earth, and violence, weaving together a plot that finds its logic in disorder, like every real tragedy, and reminds us of something we had forgotten, enveloped in false security: namely that it is absurd to believe we are better simply because we are alive.” Mariana Sanmartín, ABC Cultural

“Brings together in a single work the harshest rural drama and the marvels of Magic Realism, and adds brushstrokes of the most recent tendencies in nature writing. The novel has the dimensions of a puzzle, with mythological and legendary beings and magical episodes. Manuel Astur’s verbal creativity combines freedom of imagination and avant-garde techniques. His prose is fluid and ductile, and his flair for the word allows him to pack dozens of verbs into a single paragraph. All this is in the service of a free observation of nature with hints of parable. This literary novel has the seal of determined originality, and is the admirable work of an author worth following.” Santos Sanz Villanueva, El Cultural

“Manuel Astur’s voice brings back ancient songs, with this novel that is a wild and beautiful tale, both lyric and raw, alarmist and delicate.” Víctor M. Amela, La Vanguardia

“We will need miracles, and novels like this are precisely that, miracles. It will have a spot in the History of World Literature” Juan Soto Ivars, El Cultural

“It is a pleasure to be surprised by the beautiful images found during the reading of this little mythology. Brutality and scorn are mixed together with tenderness and innocence.” S. Fernández-Prieto, La Razón

“The author is calling out to a society that has lost its course and points out through the pages a way back to innocence. I cannot describe the beauty of this prose without spoiling it.” Juan Soto Ivars, El Periódico

“After a couple of pages of this miraculous book I feel myself immersed in the fresh atmosphere of good literature (…) A story about the loneliness of those that are different, the defeat of the weak, the dramatic landscapes of those places on earth that no longer matter. (…) This beautiful novel smells like a literary miracle that will save us all.” Fulgencio Argüelles, El Comercio

“One of the most exquisite writers of the Spanish literature” Anna María Iglesia, The Objective.


“There is a moment during those tranquil summer sunsets when a person would see things shimmer, as if they were giving back something of that generous light they received throughout the day. That was when Marcelino stopped whatever he was doing, got up, wiped the back of his hand across his forehead, and looked down into the valley at his feet. Everything shone and echoed like a bell of golden light. On that July sunset, too, Marcelino stopped and looked. The house, the granary, the carriage… everything glowed, profiled against the deep blue sky where the first bright star announced the coming of a new era. Everything but the big spot of blood in the sawdust and his brother’s body… He hadn’t meant to do him harm.” This beautiful and surprising novel is like a mirror that reflects us all. Whether readers are from the country or the city, they will be able to glimpse a mythic world in which history is just another story told by the campfire, and in it, they will file their gaze until it is as sharp as that of the protagonist.