Tag Archive: author


Ok. This is going to be different. This blog post is like a sneak preview…

It is about interviews I did, need to edit and need to put up here. Unfortunately, time has become an important factor. Here we go.

I did one interview with the autor / singer / actor and truly enigmatic Chris Martos in castellano. Here is someone who published his first book, had a multimedial book trailer , and actually went the whole hog with all the media presence he could come up with. For simplicity’s sake, I will simply post it here in Castellano (or cast/eng). Chris Martos is an author of “El Codigo”. I interviewed him during the presentation of his book he published with circulo rojo. The date of the interview was June 14th 2013. Please trust me, it will also go online soon. Whenever I have the time!

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Another interview I have pending is the one I did with the cool-cat, wisecrack, rockabilly fan 😉 CAT, Cristina Amanda Tur (this one is already online, in Spanish), her interview is in the making since the technical problems made me re-do the interview… so here is a little sneak preview of things to come on this blog. Her interview was recorded on June 19th 2013

Quite recently I also did one interview/conversation with the enormously high-energy, wise and nice guy Salvador Macip, who is murderously creative, deadly funny, and who I devirtualized on this occasion. As this interview was carried out in English, it needs to go online either here or with a Catalan translation on the Catalan blog. That was on July 11th. Please keep the faith. It will soon go online too!

Another very interesting interview I did was with the infamous Rhyan Paul who is making sure that people in the UK get hypnotized by his charm and his wit. This was May 1st.

Right now, I am kind of trying to coordinate the many projects and the many things that occupy me. But I will get around to do it. So just trust me.

There are a couple of other authors and poets I would really like to interview here on this island or also on the mainland.

But you are also invited to give me ideas, and to mention names of people you would like me to interview. Please give me ideas who to ask and who not to forget. Be kind. Don’t be mean. Don’t ever ask me to interview someone whose book you know I hate. Like e.g. the 50 shades of grey or whatever abismal literature.

So, you can contact me through the comment box. Thanks for your suggestions! 😉

Keep watching this space. Things are always tricky in the temporada when everyone is rushing, trying to be in two places at one time… and basically trying to make the most of his time.

Take care. Have breaks. Go to the beach. Don’t get stung by jellyfish. Enjoy life.

And hey remember:

Don’t cry. Work. 🙂

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I read this book in the finals days of July I think and I must admit I have been wanting to write a review about it for quite some time. It is not a book one can read and just put away. This book gets you hooked. But at the same time, the book really defies being typecast, it is hard to place your finger on what it is. It is a very unusual book, quite different to anything I have read in quite a while. I picked it up again and again and really immersed myself in its otherwordly charme and recently re-read it.

First of all, it really contains ingredients for a pretty rough ride, and that’s what the story really is, at least for its protagonist, well, I would say for the reader as well. But that’s a good thing. It is a fast paced story, full of twists and turns, and it does not let you breathe properly until you know what the end is like. No spoiler alert here. To me, this is a mixture of genres, a horror story, set in present day, containing social criticism clad in the institutionalisation of “difficult teenagers” as well as a classical drama. On the surface, we are introduced into these summer camps, which are basically the cheap way out for rich parents not able or not interested in facing up to their own educational failures.  Here are a handful of teenagers locked up in the outward idyllic of a secluded college for socalled juvenile delinquents. But that is just the surface and the setting.

The author is particularly strong with dialogues. They are pretty short but very poignant. When you read passages like in the beginning the discussions between father and son, you get the idea that inspite of being set in an affluent family, this youngster Vicent has not so much he could laugh about. Of course, he is rebellious and you (as a reader) wish for this dialogue to continue in spite of the youngster being sent away. There is an undercurrent of father-son relationship gone really bad, there is a huge conflict going on there. That to me was a shame that this dramatic potential was kind of wasted. All the reader was left with is a sort of background information. But nevertheless, since the speed keeps you on the edge of your seat, this is not a major set back at all. The book is just really well written and you kind of wonder why the authors would not dig a little deeper here to make the character a little more emphatic and a little more three dimensional.

The central conflict of the book is the fight between the owner of this institution and Vincent’s daily trials he has too undergo which get more cruel, wicked and grim as the story progresses. Little by little the reader gets to understand that an escape may be the only possible solution left for him. There is a deep sense of enclosure in this book which I found amazing. Trapped in the woods with some ego tripping headmaster? But what can you do when even the inmates start to disappear and you hear howling sounds and inexplicable noises and see weird things that make you guess you must have dreamt.

Ullals (Fangs) is a book that teases the reader into believing it is very easygoing, it starts pretty offhand, almost lightly, it welcomes you, it offers you a chair, but then as the chapters progress, you feel that the climate gets rougher and rougher. This is a very clever thing I never saw before in a book. The way the book is written also reflects the situation of the protagonist at the same time. The story quite literally straps you onto the chair while you try to stand up and search the exit door. But hey, it does not exist. You are trapped as well. The reader gets to peak into a scenario that has pretty dark shades and sometimes Kafkaesque touches. It gives you access to a world unknown to most of us. The sheer physical violence of some scenes lets your adrenaline rush. A very clever thing is that the reader feels quite involved through the immediacy of the dialogues and that there is not so much in between left that could clear up or free you from the menace of the damocles sword, which is not only inside the instition personified through the headmaster but also outside, in the woods, through something else, something more ferocious even.

There is this trait in the book where you feel quite uncomfortable that you are witnessing something that really could have been avoided.

Even at the end when you think you already know the end, the author manages to insert an unexpected turn and you are left with eyes wide open, your pulse racing and possibly a hand clapped over your mouth.

The book won a Youth book prize in 2010. Absolutely deserved, I think. Ullals moves you. And it does a lot more than that. An intelligent, fast and furious book, a tour de force, lots of cinematic images, very well written. If you haven’t read it so far, go and buy it. It is a modern classic.

 As far as I know, the book Ullals is being turned into a movie and is currently in pre-production.

31 noches is good. That is the Spanish title of a book of some 150 pages that is an easy afternoon read. It was previously published as a weekly (?) read in some Madrid newspaper in 2009. Now it has come out in book form. Well. Not easy, but it is a fast read. And you won’t be disappointed. Apart from a lightning fast pace, the author shows insight in the social, political and sociocultural realities in Spain. The plot is set in Madrid. Since I hardly know Madrid, the book was difficult for me in as much I had to mostly imagine the places he was talking about since he merely stated the name of a certain district but took it as read that people will know the place. But it does not do the book and its understanding any harm. The book is full of insider knowledge, but also full of allusions. But the later ones are hidden in the things that some of the characters say or the way they speak or think. Mind you, this is not a read for children, neither for adolescents. This is an adult read. It is painfully adult at times. But nevertheless a good book.

How did I come across this book? I virtually stumbled upon it. It popped up in casa del libro when I was looking online. Since I write something that may be called similar in terms of topic (but only very roughly) I thought this would be an interesting read. And it was. However, it struck me how few expressions colloquial terms /frases fetes/ I know in Spanish and which therefore I had to guess… and how many I know by now in Catalan. But I digress…

Read the book. It is definitely worth it. It is a mix of crime, film noir, but also a bit of a belated coming of age novel. And at the end the book has a mean twist, something quite unexpected happens.

PS: One question remains to be answered. When a serious journalist like Escolar writes fictional books, they are never just fiction

… Are they?

31 noches de Ignacio Escolar

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