In the most simple description of the book, multiple narrators recount the story of a murder in a small town in Spain’s Basque Country and the moments leading up to and following from it. The narrative is segmented and positions a murder mystery at the core, slowly unpacking the cultural and political elements that led to the killing. However, this short summary doesn’t account for the lyrical and immersive qualities of Urza’s composition. It’s really a story about the ways individuals experience and recollect moments—and it’s really, really wonderful to read.
As someone with a pre-existing interest in Basque culture, All That Followed fed those interests with its travelogue moments and off-hand mentions of patxaran and pintxos and characters with names like Iker and Iñaki. (I mean, after all, my dog is named Ekhi…) And despite the use of a fictional town as the primary setting, the Basque landscape is described perfectly, elegiacally. More importantly, the novel stands on its own as a captivating debut novel.
Read reviews of All That Followed and learn more about Gabriel Urza:
- Reno Gazette-Journal feature on Gabriel Urza
- New York Times Sunday Book Review
- Kirkus Review
- Slant Magazine Review
- Short fiction and nonfiction by Gabriel Urza
This post is part of #MySummerOfMysteries, a project to immerse myself in mysteries, thrillers, crime writing, and whodunits. For each book I finish, I’m posting brief thoughts and reflections here. Please note that these are not intended as full reviews. To view my reading progress throughout the summer, click here.