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.

2 thoughts on “The Barcelona Brothers by Carlos Zanon”

  1. José Ignacio – This looks like a very uncompromising portrait of Barcelona and most definitely a side of the city that the tourists don’t see. I’ll be interested to see what it’s like when it comes out.

  2. Looks interesting but not for sale in UK! Books4Spain will list and sell it but not in UK. Cant find a UK “version” on Nielsens so I wonder who has the rights? The joys of territorial rights!

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