Tuesday, July 9, 2013

El enredo de la bolsa y la vida - by Eduardo Mendoza

My rating:   

The second novel I read for my upcoming Spanish class was El enredo de la bolsa y la vida, which I didn't enjoy nearly as much as Marina... Or at all really... And reading it in while still in France may have made me dread my upcoming trip to Barcelona...

This book, by Eduardo Mendoza, is narrated by an anonymous amateur detective investigating his friend's disappearance. The narrator is a former criminal / mental patient who now 'works' as a hairdresser (who has no clients). He learns about the disappearance of his friend Rómulo el Guapo, who was also a criminal / mental patient, from Quesito, a teenage girl who knew Rómulo because he spent time with her mother. The plot involved the detective searching for his friend with a host of various other bizarre characters while supporting himself by borrowing money from the friendly Chinese family with a shop across the street from his hair salon. In my opinion the book was pretty boring (I fell asleep every time I read it, no matter what time of day it was) and by the end became pretty ridiculous. 

This was the last book I had to read before arriving in Barcelona, and I was really put off by the long and frequent descriptions of how miserable Barcelona is in the summer and how, because of the heat, the narrator spends most of his working day laying in the hair salon naked covered in sweat and flies. Luckily the heat is just starting to get bad here in Spain and I will be heading back to the US on Monday, missing the worst of the Barcelona summer. 

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