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The Lonely Hearts Club (Five Star Paperback) [Paperback]

Raul Nunez , Kevin Sampson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 July 2002 Five Star Paperback
A night porter in a sleazy Barcelona hotel, the only thing the forty-year-old Antonio Castro has going for him is his resemblance to Frank Sinatra. Thinking he has nothing to lose, Antonio joins a lonely hearts club and into his life come a Perez Galdos widow, a dwarf poet, a gay barman. The Lonely Hearts Club is a novel of Barcelona. Its people and its places, the Ramblas, the Plaza Real, the Barrio Chino, are brought to life in a book that is outrageously funny but never loses sympathy with its characters.


Product details

  • Paperback: 151 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; New Ed edition (11 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852427523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852427528
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 889,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'The singles scene of Barcelona's lonely low life. Sweet and seedy' Elle 'This tough and funny story of low life in Barcelona manages to convey the immense charm of that city without once mentioning Gaudi' The Independent 'One of the few books this year that had me laughing aloud' Patrick Gale 'It's funny, dirty, sporadically grotesque and set in Barcelona. What more do you want?' The Face

About the Author

Raul Nuñez was born in Buenos Aires and lived in Barcelona from 1975 until his death in 1988.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Antonio bore a striking resemblance to Frank Sinatra. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down and out fun in Barcelona 30 Jan 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Antonio doesn't have much going for him except that he has more than a passing resemblence to Frank Sinatra. His wife has left him. He is working as a night porter in a seedy hotel. He decides to join a lonely heart's club. The fun starts.
This book is similar to those of Bukowski, and the Fante's father and son. It gives a low-life's view of the city, the drinkers, the prostitutes, the characters that exist on the outskirts of society.
The book is funny. Antonio is an absurd hero. Things happen to him. He gets himself in situations he appears to have no control of - he meets a fat drag queen, a Jewish dwarf, a lonely widow and her psycho son.
I read this book in one sitting. It should be a classis. It should be a book that everybody buys. Do so.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frankie doesn't go to Hollywood... 23 Jan 2007
By GRBD
Format:Paperback
Set in the seedy underbelly of pre-Olympic Barcelona, Nuñez's enduring tale of love, lust and loneliness centres on Antonio `Frankie' Castro, night porter in a run down hotel, as he searches for someone to love through the ads in a lonely hearts brochure. When the contacts become more and more bizarre, from a frumpy housewife with a psychotic son to a poetry-writing dwarf looking to lose her virginity, Frankie's life starts to spiral out of his control, until one moment of happiness brings him out of his funk. Of course, disaster is never far away. With crisp, punchy prose and a truly absurd but somehow endearing fool at the heart of it, `The Lonely Hearts Club' is a study in macho pride - or the lack thereof - and human eccentricity, in a vivid cinematic landscape. Frankie is a Bukowski-esque character straight from the Trees Lounge bar. It's frighteningly simple, and simply good!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Spanish John Fante 29 April 2004
By C M Magee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Before my trip to Barcelona last summer, I went looking for a novel, set in that city, to read while I was there. I found Lonely Hearts Club and read it in the "sweaty" apartment I was staying in. Here's what I wrote about the book when I got back to the states:
Before I left Barcelona I read The Lonely Hearts Club by Raul Nunez, which took only about a day. First and formost, the book suffers from a poor translation by a gentleman named Ed Emery. The text is littered with annoying British drivel like "he wondered what colour knickers she wore" and "I'm also very fond of this girl with a squint." To be more precise, it wasn't just a regular BBC British but more of an in your face Guy Ritchie movie British. I had to make an effort to keep the British accent from creeping into my head while I was reading, which was annoying because I was trying to relish the experience of reading this little novel set in the sweaty apartments of Barcelona while I was sitting in a sweaty apartment in Barcelona. The whiny British voice in my head just didn't fit the scene. To be fair, Serpent's Tail, the publisher, is a British press so I guess they're just serving their audience. The book itself is very brief and somewhat derivative in a John Fante or Charles Bukowski sort of way in both style and theme. There are especially parallels to Fante's Ask the Dust. Nunez's hero, Antonio aka Frankie, shares with Fante's Arturo Bandini a rooming house lifestyle, girl troubles, and a drinking problem. Bandini, though, is a noble character. He is struggling to be a writer, and he wants to find love. Frankie is just down on his luck, and this little book merely recounts a bizarre episode in his life. With spare prose, Fante manages to go deep into the psyche of his character. Nunez substitutes shock value for depth of character with predictable results. For a book that can be read in an afternoon, though, I'd say it's worth a look, if only because it is entertaining in an enjoyable voyueristic sort of way.
1.0 out of 5 stars An English Term paper as written by a Spaniard 26 Aug 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I can imagine this book starting out as an English 101 paper: Write 7 memorable characters in the setting of your choice. Nunez chose a guy who looks like Sinatra, a runaway, a prostitute, a transvestite, a midget, a religious kook, and a criminal. He chose the most excellent of cities, Barcelona. What he forgot about was a plot and a mechanism by which we should care about any of them. My coffee house friends would love this book, but for the rest of us who might want to be informed or entertained or educated - do yourself a favor and skip it.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfecto! 13 Jan 1999
By xxalsa@yahoo.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is great book about life in the inner city. The setting: Barcelona Spain. The time: Late 80's. Bars, woman,gays, loss of wife, loss of jobs, peer presure, resindence hotel, singles club. If the internet was popular back then, it would have made this book even better.
This book touches your heart and makes you appreciate city life. Read it!
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