Daniel Sanchez Pardos’ most recent novel, G (la novela de Gaudí), traces the fascinating personality of Antoni Gaudí, the internationaly celebrated architect of such iconic masterpieces as the Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia, during his mostly unknown and somewhat misterious years as a young student in the Barcelona of the 1870’s.
The book tries to imagine the roots of the future genius that we all know (his recurrent obsessions, the unique imagery of his works, the complexities of his personal life) in the context of a convulsed historical moment, the last months of the spanish First Republic and the triumph of the monarchic restoration, and against the backdrop of the extremely complex Barcelona of 1874, a dark industrial city full of social tensions and deep inequalities that very much resembles the contemporary London of the late victorian era.
G (la novela de Gaudí) depicts all the different ambiences of this lively city, from its overcrowded slums and its docks full of foreign sailors to such elegant places as the Liceo, the cafés of Las Ramblas or the luxurius mansions of the burgeoisie. The book also plays with the idea of a young Gaudí proud of his own deductive skills, and in this way paints him as a kind of pre-sherlockian amateur detective who, as the novel evolves, will need to apply all his ability in order to prevent a deadly anarchist attack in one of the most iconic buildings of Barcelona.
In this way, Daniel Sánchez Pardos’ novel provides a unique take on one of the most celebrated artists in the world, and does so by locating him in the core of an ambitious plot that includes murder, political conspiracy, social commentary and romance.
The novel also depicts a convulsed city, Barcelona, that was not yet the cosmopolitan city that we all know today, but whose famous landmarks international readers will recognize. And its historical backdrop, the later part of the XIX century, ties the story to the beloved tradition of the victorian novel. In fact, the Barcelona of G (la novela de Gaudí) consciously resembles the London of Charles Dickens and the Sherlock Holmes stories, just as the characterization of the young Gaudí plays with some of the most popular traits of the detective created by Conan Doyle, including a very british sense of humour and the complex relation that Gaudí develops in the novel with an independent english woman, Fiona Begg, who will become one of the most powerful characters in the book.
Translation rights sold to Italy (Corbaccio); France (Presses de la Cité); Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Piper Verlag); Denmark (Rosinante); China (Shanghai 99); Portugal (Planeta Manuscrito); and Romania (RAO).
Catalan edition by Columna.