- Paperback: 172 pages
- Publisher: Virago (8 Aug. 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1853812641
- ISBN-13: 978-1853812644
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 1.1 x 12.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,317,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Gaudi Afternoon Paperback – 8 Aug 1991
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Top Customer Reviews
A Cassandra Reilly Mystery.
Spanish translator and amateur detective Cassandra is called up by femme fatale Frankie Stevens, to locate her husband Ben, who has vanished.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Gaudi Afternoon" is written with style, wit and flair. I loved every single page of it. It made me laugh outloud, and kept me guessing.
Set in Barcelona, Spain, the environment is so well reflected in the book, Ms. Wilson definitely is either familiar with the area and it's people, or did extensive research.
The narrator, Cassandra, is kept guessing as much as we are, as the plot twists and turns--but never loses it's reader.
No one is really as they initially seem, from the character, Frankie, who hires Cassandra to find her husband Ben, right through to a surprise about Ben's girlfriend, April!
One of the things that makes this mystery unique is the fact it doesn't revolve around the usual murder.
Everything about "Gaudi Afternoon" is refreshing and unique.
Frankie's ex-husband Ben has absconded to Barcelona and Frankie needs to see him to sign some urgent paperwork, but she doesn't speak a word of Spanish. Cassandra is reluctant at first, but the money Frankie offers is too good to be true and it would be no hardship for Cassandra to finish the translation of the book in Spain.
But as it turns out, Frankie didn't tell her the whole truth and Cassandra, like the reader takes a while to figure it all out.
The pages just flew by, Ms. Wilson's writing flowed so well. It's not a murder mystery, but more asking the questions - who are we? And do how other people see us define who we are or who we would like to be? There is genderbending aplenty in this novel, with mistaken identies and mistaken genders galore, which lost a bit of its sparkle after the third of fourth time it happened.
Some things were a bit dated, such as cameras with film which needed to be devoloped rather than digital, which most people would use nowadays. I suppose professional photographers might still use film for some things, but Cassandra was definitely not a photographer.
I've never been to Barcelona, but the author described it so well that I almost think I have been. It was a fun, light-hearted read despite some of the subject matter and the parts of the other novel Cassandra was translating were hilarious. I was very disappointed though near the end, when the secret of Raoul's black bag was about to be revealed, and Cassandra's briefcase got stolen so we never found out and neither did Cassandra.
An enjoyable jaunt with a very likeable narrator and I just adored Carmen, the Spanish hairdresser who is Cassandra's on-again/off-again lover, she was just so vivid and vivacious.
Review copy from Netgalley courtesy of the publisher.
This is a unique and enlightening mystery - and partly what all human beings encounter at some point in lives - who are we? Do our gender roles define us? If so, need they?