Javier Cercas' third and most ambitious novel has already been heralded in Spain as "daring," "magnificent, complex, and intense," and "a master class in invention and truth."As a young writer, the novel's protagonist--perhaps an apocryphal version of Cercas himself--accepts a post at a Midwestern university and soon he is in the United States, living a simple life, working and writing. It will be years before he understands that his burgeoning friendship with the Vietnam vet Rodney Falk, a strange and solitary man, will reshape his life, or that he will become obsessed with Rodney's mysterious past.
Why does Rodney shun the world? Why does he accept and befriend the narrator? And what really happened at the mysterious 'My Khe' incident? Many years pass with these questions unanswered; the two friends drift apart. But as the narrator's literary career takes off, his personal life collapses. Suddenly, impossibly, the novelist finds that Rodney's fate and his own are linked, and the story spirals towards its fascinating, surreal conclusion. Twisting together his own regrets with those of America, Cercas weaves the profound and personal story of a ghostly past.