Book Review: El Excluido [‘The Excluded’] by David San Jose Martinez

El Excluido’ [‘The Excluded’] by the great Spanish writer, David San Jose Martinez.

This book is a wonderful literary achievement, beautifully written with a very rich language, a veil of nostalgia and profound emotional sensitivity. It is a novel but its form – the collection of vignettes, somewhat separated, somewhat connected, is very innovative.

El Excluido is a nuanced character study, exploring the complexity of multilayered relationships, human nature and all the emotions accompanying people while they navigate the alleys of love, friendships and deeper mutual understanding. We witness the protagonists dealing with overwhelming feelings of loss, self-worth, self-doubt, anguish, emptiness, selfishness, jealousy, affection, finding one’s place in the world among others. El Excluido also constitutes the meditation on the identity and its importance on how we relate ourselves to others and how it affects our behaviour.

El Excluido is a demanding and ambitious book that requires a full attention on the reader’s part. In return, the reader can experience a magnificent, compelling and delightful literary feast.


David San Jose is undoubtedly a very thoughtful and extremely sensitive writer, a remarkable observer of complex relationships as well as of human condition. His writing reminds me of Anita Brookner’s and Patrick Modiano’s prose; delicate, but profound with the multitude of meanings and interpretations.

If you can read Spanish, I would highly recommend you to get a copy of El Excluido.

I hope this book will be translated into English one day so that it could gain a wider readership and more people could admire the artistry of David San Jose’s stunning emphatic witting.


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El Excluido b David San Jose Martinez

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