The Color of A Dog Running Away
By Richard Gwyn
Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385518550, 320pp.
Publication Date: March 20, 2007
List Price: $21.95*
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Lucas, a musician and translator living in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, comes home one day to find a cryptic invitation to a local art gallery slipped under his door. When he appears at the appointed time, he sets in motion a series of improbable, seemingly interconnected events that disrupt his previously passive existence. He meets the alluring Nuria and they begin an intense love affair. He is approached by a band of Barcelona’s mythic roof dwellers and has a run-in with a fire-eating prophet. But when he and Nuria are kidnapped by a religious cult with roots stretching back to the thirteenth century, Lucas realizes that his life is spinning out of control.
The cult’s megalomaniac leader, Ponteuf, maintains that Nuria and Lucas are essential to his plan to revive the religion. While Nuria is surprisingly open to Ponteuf and his theories, Lucas is outraged and makes his escape. Back in Barcelona, Lucas wanders the streets in a drug-and-alcohol-induced haze, pining for Nuria and struggling to make sense of what happened to him. He recounts his improbable adventures to his friends, who are wholly entertained by the story and deeply doubtful of its truth, a skepticism that is exacerbated by Lucas’s tendency to use the third person and flaunt different narrative styles.
A love story, tale of adventure, historical thriller, and evocative tour of Barcelona, THE COLOR OF A DOG RUNNING AWAY is a dazzling blend of the surreal and the ordinary, a novel that beguiles and disturbs in equal measure.
Praise for THE COLOR OF A DOG RUNNING AWAY
“Gywn has written a shadow book, a story that flies from rooftops and burrows into dungeons, as byzantine as Spanish history, as sensuous and unpredictable as a design by Gaudi.”
—Keith Donohue, author of THE STOLEN CHILD
"It had me gripped from the first page. That clear resonant prose has an hypnotic effect. An entertaining story which draws the reader into a startling range of moods—meditative, comic, sexy, suspenseful, always enigmatic—and won't let go precisely because it is so well-written. There's so little fiction about that excites me these days that it's a joy to find a book I couldn't put down."
—Lindsay Clarke, Whitbread Prizewinner, author of THE CHYMICAL WEDDING, THE WAR AT TROY, THE RETURN TO TROY
“Clever, stylish and supremely entertaining . . . this novel offers a feast of sophisticated pleasures and a taste of deeper passions too.”
“The simple, lilting prose…draws the reader deeper and deeper into the story and before you realize, you’re lost in the narrow streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter with only the author’s evocative descriptive prowess to guide you. And guide you he does, with an effortless charm, through a maze of mystery, love, and lies.”—Book and Magazine Collector
“Superior lifestyle porn.”
—The Times (London)
“The best novel of the year.”