Samuel Riba, a 60-year-old Catalan publisher and alcoholic, is in despair. He believes the digital era spells the end of the book and so he travels to Dublin with friends to hold, on Bloomsday, a funeral for ‘the age of print’. Once there, in the cemetery where Paddy Dignam is buried in Ulysses, he realises he is being followed by a man who looks unnervingly like a youthful Samuel Beckett.
Vila-Matas is obsessed by writers and writing: all his books are full of literary allusions and many real-life writers wander through their pages. Witty, irreverent, and wearing its keen intelligence lightly, reading Dublinesque is like being in the company of a highly entertaining, exceptionally well-read friend, whose passion for books and literature can only reinforce and enrich your own.
Five of the Best Spanish Books
Often voted one of the greatest novels of all time, the world’s first modern novel is as funny and tragic as ever, centuries on. Follow Spain’s beloved knight-errant and his faithful servant Sancho Panza in Edith Grossman’s superb translation.
Marías’s delicate portrait of marriage and all its secrets and betrayals, gives unstinting insight into what makes us human.
The majestic novels The Savage Detectives and 2666 brought the late Chilean author universal acclaim and this story collection shows him to be a master of the short form too.
A literary thriller of the highest order: a tale of smuggling, corruption, and childhood friendship from Galicia’s best-known contemporary writer.
David and his friend spend their days collecting detachable lizards’ tails in suburban Barcelona in this unforgettable evocation of adolescence in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.