The Barcelona Brothers by Carlos Zanon

Information taken from: Other Press. Translated by John Cullen will be released 28 August 2012. Format: Trade Paperback. 304 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59051-518-1

Carlos Zanón is the author of four volumes of poetry and three novels, which have received wide critical acclaim in Spain. The Barcelona Brothers is his first novel to be published in English. A literary critic and screenwriter, he has also collaborated as a lyricist for rock bands. He lives in Barcelona. Visit him at

John Cullen is the translator of many books from Spanish, French, German, and Italian, including Yasmina Khadra’s Middle East Trilogy (The Swallows of Kabul, The Attack, and The Sirens of Baghdad), Christa Wolf’s Medea, Manuel de Lope’s The Wrong Blood (Other Press), and Eduardo Sacheri’s The Secret in Their Eyes (Other Press). He lives in upstate New York.

The Barcelona Brothers original title in Spanish is Tarde, mal y nunca (direct translation: Late, Evil and Never, is equivalent to Better Late than Never) and it was the winner of the 2010 Premio Brigada 21 Award for best first novel (Shotmag, Mystery Fanfare, The Game’s Afoot). Tarde, mal y nunca is on my TBR pile. I’m looking forward to reading it soon. Stay tuned. RBA Libros.


Book Description: Epi Dalmau is a desperate man. Early one morning, he carries a duffle bag into a dingy bar in a rough neighborhood of Barcelona. Four other people are in the bar: his brother Alex, his good friend Tanveer, the bartender, and a Pakistani man who wandered in to use the restroom. Epi grabs a hammer out of his duffle bag and attacks Tanveer. After a brief struggle and a couple of blows, Tanveer lies dead on the floor and Epi flees the bar.

Alex and the bartender plan to find and protect Epi, while blaming the murder on the unfortunate Pakistani man, who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Meanwhile, Epi is hunting for Tiffany, the woman of his dreams and the reason behind the murder. What he’ll do when he finds her, and what drove him to brutal violence are the subjects of Carlos Zanón’s gritty, unflinching novel, set in a city tourists never see.

The Barcelona Brothers is a hard look at what people are capable of when they have no other options, and a portrait of a modern, multicultural Barcelona.

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

As I previously announced HERE The Prisoner of Heaven (Orion, 2012) has been released today 21 June 2012 in the UK. If you’ve read The Shadow of the Wind and you have enjoyed it, I understand that this one, the third instalment in his trilogy after The Angel’s Game, is as good as his first one. FWIW I’m not particular keen in reading it at this moment, but this is only a matter of taste and time constraints from my side.

Review: Ishmael Toffee by Roger Smith

Esta entrada es bilingüe. Desplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión en castellano

Kindle Edition. 481 KB. Tin Town (22 Feb 2012) ASIN: B007CLETKW.

Ishmael Toffee is a powerful story despite its length. The action is set in the slums of post-apartheid Cape Town. Ismael Toffee, a professional murderer, has killed more men than he can remember. His knife has put him behind bars most part of his life. On parole, after having lost his taste for blood, he finds the way to make a living working as a gardener, and he starts as such in the house of a prominent lawyer. The lawyer is a widower and he has a small daughter, Cindy. She finds a friend in Ishmael Toffee. When he discovers Cindy’s secret he must take a decision, either run away or do what he does best.

This is the second book by Roger Smith I’ve read this year. Since I discovered this author I’m pretty much interested to read his books. On this occasion I had the opportunity to get free through one of his last books, his novella Ishmael Toffee. It has not disappointed me at all. Besides being very well written, I would like to highlight the way he handles a very difficult subject, child abuse. Sometimes it is pure poetry. Outstanding. Highly recommended.

My rating: 4/5.

Reseña: Ishmael Toffee de Roger Smith

Ishmael Toffee es una poderosa historia a pesar de su longitud. La acción se sitúa en los suburbios de Ciudad del Cabo después del apartheid. Ishmael Toffee, un asesino profesional, ha matado a más hombres de los que puede recordar. Su cuchillo le ha puesto entre rejas la mayor parte de su vida. En libertad condicional, después de haber perdido el gusto por la sangre, se encuentra con el medio de ganarse la vida trabajando como jardinero, y comienza como tal en casa de un prominente abogado. El abogado es viudo y tiene una hija pequeña hija, Cindy. Ella encuentra en Ishmael Toffee un amigo. Cuando descubre el secreto de Cindy, tendrá que tomar una decisión, salir corriendo o hacer lo que mejor sabe hacer.

Este es el segundo libro de Roger Smith, que he leído este año. Desde que descubrí a este autor estoy bastante interesado en leer sus libros. En esta ocasión tuve la oportunidad de conseguir gratis a través de uno de sus últimos libros, su novela corta Ishmael Toffee. No me ha decepcionado en absoluto. Además de estar  muy bien escrita, me gustaría destacar la forma en que trata un tema tan difícil como el abuso infantil. A veces es pura poesía. Sobresaliente. Altamente recomendado.

Mi puntuación: 4/5.

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