On the Edge

On the Edge


The acclaimed novel of Spain's economic crisis - a timely masterpiece.

Under a weak winter sun in small-town Spain, a man discovers a rotting corpse in a marsh. It’s a despairing town filled with half-finished housing developments and unemployment, a place defeated by the burst of the economic bubble.

Stuck in the same town is Esteban, his small factory bankrupt, his investments gone, the sole carer to his mute, invalid father. As Esteban’s disappointment and fury lead him to form a dramatic plan to reverse financial ruin, other voices float up from the wreckage. Stories of loss twist together to form a kaleidoscopic image of Spain’s crisis. And the corpse in the marsh is just one.

Chirbes’s rhythmic, torrential style creates a Spanish masterpiece for our age.


  • Utterly convincing in its psychological details, but also memorable for the beauty of its writing and rhythms
    Colm Tóibín

About the author

Rafael Chirbes

Rafael Chirbes (1949–2015) wrote nine novels and received the National Prize for Literature and the Critics Prize for On the Edge. ABC named him 'the best writer of the twenty-first century in Spain'.
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