Books: Mixed Fiction, Apr. 18, 1955

THE CYPRESSES BELIEVE IN GOD, by José María Gironella (2 vols., 1,010 pp.; Knopf; $10), is the first installment of a vastly ambitious novel by a Spaniard who fought on the Franco side in the Spanish civil war and has set out to tell his country's tragic story from the beginning of the republic (1931) to the present. Cypresses covers the first five years of political unrest, ends twelve days after the beginning of civil war. Gironella tries to mirror every segment of Spanish society, from wild-eyed anarchists to stuffy professors, "from the bishop...

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