cover image The Same City

The Same City

Luisge Martin, trans. from the Spanish by Tomasz Dukanovich. Hispabooks (hispabooks­ .com), $14.95 trade paper (138p) ISBN 978-84-943496-8-3

In this slim novel, prolific Spanish writer Martin’s unnamed narrator tells the melancholy story of a man dissatisfied with his life in New York City, who impulsively seizes a chance to reinvent himself and create a new life from the chaos of the horrific terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. At age 41, Brandon Moy hates his job, is bored with his family, and has lost interest in everything. He is overwhelmed by middle age, believing that “happiness becomes an issue that only pertains to other people.” With his office destroyed and all his coworkers killed in the collapse of the Twin Towers, he sees this as his opportunity to disappear, then reappear as someone else, to pursue all the excitement and adventures he thinks will make him happy. Brandon is a pampered, soft attorney, ill-equipped to start from scratch, but he hitchhikes to Boston and gets a job as a waiter in a diner—he also commits crimes to survive. He’s handsome, charming, and a skilled liar, and soon he is involved with numerous women, using them for pleasure, shelter, and money. As the years go by and Brandon travels internationally, Martin continues to peel back the layers of his persona—his fears and the elusive dream of happiness—resulting in a fascinating, vivid portrayal of a midlife crisis that threatens to turn into a perpetual crisis. (Sept.)