Monday 4 December 2023

Book Review: Hidden Faces by Salvador Dalí (Fiction)

Title: Hidden Faces
Author: Salvador Dalí
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication Date: 7 May 2024
Pages: 352
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Fiction
Source: ARC via Edelweiss

The only novel by the twentieth century's most acclaimed surrealist painter, a richly visual depiction of a group of eccentric aristocrats in the years preceding World War II

“The book is so full of visual invention, so witty, so charged with an almost Dickensian energy that it's difficult not to accept its author's own arrogant evaluation of himself as a genius.” — Observer

In swirling, surreal prose, the iconic artist Salvador Dalí portrays the intrigues and love affairs of a group of eccentric aristocrats who, in their luxury and extravagance, symbolize decadent Europe in the 1930s. In the shadow of encroaching war, their tangled lives provide a thrilling vehicle for Dalí's uniquely spirited imagination and artistic vision.

Hidden Faces beckons readers to enter the bizarre world already familiar to us from Dali's paintings. The story unfolds in vividly visual terms, beginning in the Paris riots of February 1934. The journey leading to the closing days of the Second World War constitutes a brilliant and dramatic vehicle for Dali's unique vision.


It's extremely rare for me to DNF a book, so much so I can count on one hand the number of times I have done so. I tend to persevere to the end as that's the way my mindset works, and I like to give every book a fair chance to improve and grow on me. However, I confess I had to give up on this one around 80 pages in. A book by Dalí sounded intriguing, but there is a clear reason he is famous as a painter and not an author. The prose was dense throughout with verbose, unnecessary descriptions. The characters were so numerous and unmemorable I struggled to keep track of them, and their dialogue was cringe-worthy and mundane. Even 80 pages in, I was also already sick of hearing about the "lost forest". I have a lot on my plate, both at work and at home, at present and am super tired by the time I read at night. That coupled with the way I was struggling through the text led me to make the extreme decision to just give up on it. If you are a huge fan of Dalí's paintings, perhaps you'd take a look at this book out of interest, but it wasn't for me, so I have to give it one star.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

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