Two Great Fictions I've Been Reading in One Week

When the Doves Disappeared, Sofi Oksanen - this is the story about two men of Estonia...spanning a time from 1941 to 1963. A story about the fiercely principled  freedom fighter Roland, and his slippery cousin Edgar, who always stays close to those in power.

In 1941 they've deserted the Red Army, When the Nazi regime occupied Estonia, Roland goes into hiding and Edgar took a new identity as their loyal supporter. 1963 Estonia is again under control…Edgar is now a Soviet apparatchik…

This is an artistically written book about a dark time.  It's a historic novel, a crime story, a romance, a war story...

I read all books of the  Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen.

Outlaws, Javier Cercas - the story of the 16 years-old disaffected middle-class youth Ignacio who falls in with the gang of the teenage criminal El Zarco and his gorgeous girl, Tere. He crosses the border into their dangerous world, joining their crimes that escalate swiftly.

25  years later, Ignacio became a successful defense lawyer, he was asked by Tere to defend Zarco…

The setting is the Catalan City of Girona in the late 70s, after Franco's death. Ignacio described all this 30 years later in a series of interview with an unnamed writer.

This book surveys the borders between right and wrong. respectability and crime…its take is brilliantly plotted and I love the style.

It's on the favorite fiction of 2014 picks of the economist Tyler Cowen, who's blog I read frequently. I agree.

Before Outlaws, I read Soldiers of Salamis. Both books make Javier Cercas one of my favorite fiction writers.

Both books reviewed here are on my best-ever list.