As an adolescent Alberto Manguel had the privilege of reading aloud to Jorge Luis Borges, who was by now blind, on a weekly basis. Judging from this new novel, Borges not only imbued Manguel with a great love of reading, which has informed the latter’s oeuvre, but also with a gift for mischief. In All Men Are Liars, the author has written a meticulously constructed and brilliantly executed discourse on the nature of truth and writing. Moreover, he has managed to create a work that is expertly weighted: at once Latin American in spirit and yet universal in its reach.
Divided into five parts, All Men Are Liars opens with a witty conceit: Alberto Manguel, ‘flabby and scruffy’, recalls his acquaintanceship with an Argentine exile, Alejandro Bevilacqua, who fell to his death from Manguel’s balcony after the publication of a first novel, In Praise of Lying,