Dani is a successful singer who is taking his father’s body from Madrid to be buried in the village where he was brought up. For the forty-year-old, it’s a trip to a Spain he doesn’t know. It’s tempting to describe this as a journey from big-city modernity back to the family’s roots in rural tradition, but this is not quite right, for the village, different as it is, is also part of the modern globalised world. David Trueba’s novel interweaves the trip in the hearse, driven by a talkative Ecuadorian, with crucial episodes from Dani’s life up to this point. His is a normally painful, often hilarious modern life, and Dani narrates it in all its contradictions.
Trueba is a well-known Spanish film director, scriptwriter and journalist, as well as the author of six novels to date (not to be confused with his Oscar-winning elder brother Fernando, an even more successful film director). This is the second of his novels to be translated into English, following Learning