cornflakes and Barcelona


Another T. C. Boyle book – this time about the man who invented the cornflake and another fascinating read. Mr Boyle certainly picks interesting topics: madness in rich, mother-dominated men in the early 20th century (Riven Rock), the women in the life of a self-obsessed architect (The Women), hippies and hunters (Drop City) the comfortable rich and the uncomfortable poor (The Tortilla Curtain), environmental terrorists (When the Killing’s Done), life on barren islands off the coast of California (San Miguel) and identity theft (Talk talk). Only a few more to read.

I liked The Road to Wellville – partly because of the humorous fun-poking style but also because of the insights we gain on the health/vegetarian movements (so to speak) of the early 20th century and the characterisation of an obsessive, colon-obsessed, self-righteous man (Kellogg).

zafonI’ve also been reading The Angel’s Game another by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Set in Barcelona it reworks the Faustian myth with a literary turn. While in The Shadow of the Wind we see Gothic Barcelona, in this we pass by Gaudi’s buildings and the tram for the 1929 exhibition. The book got a bit complex for my small brain and at times I lost track of who was who and why the latest death had occurred. I was not convinced that Cristina was his great love and vice-versa.

Other satisfying recent reads set in Barcelona have been Antonio Hill’s The Summer of the Dead Toys an exciting detective story that takes in the unsavoury aspects of Spain and its proximity to the African continent and we meet the likeable Argentinian inspector Hector Salgado.

Javier Marias’ A Heart so White partially takes place in Barcelona too.


Of the Spanish related ones? Mi gusta The Summer of the Dead Toys.

And another small note on the round-up: I’m catching up on Extras and find myself laughing out loud at the self-parodies (Orlando Bloom, young Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Dame Diana Rigg, Kate Winslett, Germaine Greer, Ian Mc Kellan and Gervais himself of course).


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