All Men Are Liars

Translated by Miranda France


  • Paperback | 288 pp.
  • Genre: Novels
  • ISBN: 9781846881329
  • Published: September 2010

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Where can you find truth in a world that is so thoroughly ruled by lies? That is the question tackled by the investigation of a French journalist who endeavours to shed light on the enigma of an unexplained death: that of the Argentinian writer Alejandro Bevilacqua, found lying on the pavement underneath his balcony in Madrid in the mid-1970s. The few accounts of those who knew him – which include those of his last lover, a former fellow prison inmate, a sworn enemy and even the author Alberto Manguel himself – are contradictory and unreliable.

Poor devil with a troubled childhood, literary genius and irresistible seducer, ordinary man masquerading as hero, pure and simple impostor – these are but a few facets of a mysterious figure in this tribute to falsehood. Between the lines, the reader must discover the only worthwhile truth: the fascinating homage Alberto Manguel pays to literature and its shape-shifting creations, which give infinite expressions to the objects of our desires.


"[Manguel’s fiction] works from the human core outwards, and is in fact elaborately though unpretentiously constructed." – The Guardian

"If Paul Auster wore a friendly beard and had more of a Latin temperament, he might produce something like this richly hued, melancholy and funny puzzle of a novel."- The Guardian

"All Men are Liars is interesting as an exercise in storytelling... but is lifted to excellence by more traditional values: in its sense of place... in its love of characters... in the colloquial roll of its gossip-spun action." - The Guardian

"Clever, witty and entertaining; and very timely in a society increasingly accustomed to living in a blizzard of lies." - The Times

"All Men Are Liars is a remarkable novel — richly textured, ingeniously constructed and deeply unsettling." - The Spectator

"The novel... aims to shed light on the circumstances surrounding [Bevilacqua]'s death, but what it actually achieves is broader and more interesting. The predominant pleasure, as we pass from one narrator to another, is a growing impression (an illusion, perhaps, but a pleasing one) of a man's life coming into focus." - TLS

"A meticulously constructed and brilliantly executed discourse on the nature of truth and writing... [the author] has managed to create a work that is expertly weighted: at once Latin American in spirit and yet universal in its reach." - The literary Review

"A moving paean to the power of the written word and a condemnation of the repressive powers that so often seek to subvert it." - The Tablet

"This playful, ingenious but finally tragic novel invites us... into a labyrinth of rival narratives with an all-too-real monster at its heart." - The Independent


Read an excerpt from All Men Are Liars

This book is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Born in Buenos Aires in 1948, Alberto Manguel is a Canadian Argentine-born writer, translator and editor. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980) and A History of Reading (1996) The Library at Night (2007) and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008), and novels such as News from a Foreign Country Came (1991), for which he won the McKitterick Prize.

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