The Boys

Toni Sala, trans. from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem. Two Lines Press (PGW, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-931883-49-8
In a fatal car crash in the small Catalan town of Vidreres, two young men have died, leaving the entire town afflicted with a powerful grief. The story homes in on four of those townspeople, both directly and indirectly related to the dead: Ernest, a banker; Miqui, a coarse truck driver; Iona, the fiancée of one of the dead boys; and Nil, an unhinged artist in pursuit of Iona. In the days that follow the accident, these four make the dark, interconnected narrative: Miqui introduces Ernest to prostitutes, even while taking a fancy to Iona, and Nil tries to introduce the grieving Iona to a form of pyromania especially cruel to animals. “The dead gave life shape,” the book states, and indeed, readers witness how the four lives are suspended and altered in the wake of the accident. Sala is a master of meditation, and the excitement and intrigue are never sacrificed despite digressive passages on Internet alienation, art, violence, phrases of grief, the Spanish recession, and love. One hopes this tremendous novel, already an award-winner overseas, will receive the attention it deserves here. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/2015
Release date: 11/10/2015
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