The Color of a Dog Running Away

Richard Gwyn, Author . Doubleday $21.95 (305p) ISBN 978-0-385-51855-0

The love story in Gwyn's debut novel isn't so much between Rhys Lucas, the narrator, and Nuria Rasavall, the mysterious object of his desire, but between the author and Barcelona, the city where Lucas, a 33-year-old grad school dropout, has found his expat niche. After receiving an unsigned postcard inviting him to a rendezvous at a museum, Lucas decides to go, and though the sender is a no-show, Lucas meets Nuria, "who moved with the proprietorial elegance of Barcelona women." The two are later kidnapped and taken to a remote rural area by cult followers of Pontneuf, an ex-priest who believes that he is the reincarnation of a medieval heretic Cathar and that Lucas is the reincarnation of his betrayer. Pontneuf wants revenge, and while he interrogates Lucas over a period of days, Lucas begins to suspect Nuria set him up. He escapes and returns to Barcelona, where he goes on a drug-fueled fugue. Gwyn is not wholly successful in giving Lucas's contemporary life occult resonance, but the glamour of expatriate bohemia is seductively realized. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/18/2006
Release date: 03/01/2007
Ebook - 199 pages - 978-0-385-52147-5
Paperback - 361 pages - 978-1-902638-54-6
Paperback - 305 pages - 978-0-307-27687-2
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