Stephen Burgen Walking the Lions

ISBN 13: 9781841197210

Walking the Lions

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9781841197210: Walking the Lions

When Alex Nadal unexpectedly inherits his aunt's farm near Barcelona he has two problems, the first being that he is a piano player from New York with no knowledge of matters agricultural, and secondly, his aunt appears to have died twice: once at the end of the Spanish Civil War - or so Alex's father had always led him to believe - and again sixty years later, from a mysterious fall. Very soon after landing on Spanish soil it soon becomes apparent that Alex's is not a prodigal's return. From the moment he steps off the plane he is under pressure to go back to where he came from, but Alex is not a quitter and to him any problem can be solved if people are willing to discuss it. And sure enough, people are happy to talk - but not about Alex's immediate problem: anything but that. Yet Alex is not without allies, among them Carmen, the dark-eyed arts correspondent of the Barcelona daily, who seems heaven-sent. On the other hand there is Angel, doyen of hustlers and Carmen's ex-lover, who most certainly isn't. Together Alex and Carmen unearth a dossier of explosive information on events which happened in 1938 that forced his father to flee the family farm and in trying to find out why, Alex discovers that this is a country where there is no such thing as the past but a place where there is only unfinished business.

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About the Author:

Stephen Burgen was born in Montreal but has lived in London for most of his life. He now lives in Barcelona where he reports on Spain for The Times. He has written numerous articles for the Guardian, Independent and magazines and in 1996 his first book, Your Mother's Tongue: a Book of European Invective, was published by Gollancz. Walking the Lions is his first novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

Canadian-born journalist Burgen, who lives in Barcelona, where he reports for the Times of London, does a fine job paying homage to Catalonia in his first novel, a thriller with roots in the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, the vibrant Spanish setting and sharp historical background can't save an overly familiar and predictable plot. In 1938, Ignasi Nadal left Spain believing he had betrayed three rebels who were executed by the fascists. Years later, worn down by guilt, he committed suicide. Then his sister, Anna, who everyone believed had been killed in the war, dies in Spain, leaving the family farm to Ignasi's son, Alex, the story's hero. Was his father a traitor? Why did he tell his family that his sister was dead? When Alex goes to Spain to sort out the truth, he finds his small inheritance, a 25-acre farm south of Barcelona, at the center of a conspiracy. Why does a corporation want his land badly enough to threaten his life? What really happened during the war that has some prominent people ready to kill to keep secret? The answers aren't hard to guess. The author does have a knack for turning a phrase and is especially good at describing pretty girls: "Her best features: her curved-for-kissing lips and her black, almost Arabic eyes. Dark elliptical mirrors: when you looked in all you saw was yourself." And who can resist a sentence like "Her smiles were protective, they were like Wonder Woman's bangles: harmful things bounced off them"? One hopes Burgen will come up with a plot worthy of his descriptive powers next time.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Constable and Robinson. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Walking the Lions (New edition), Stephen Burgen, When Alex Nadal unexpectedly inherits his aunt's farm near Barcelona he has two problems, the first being that he is a piano player from New York with no knowledge of matters agricultural, and secondly, his aunt appears to have died twice: once at the end of the Spanish Civil War - or so Alex's father had always led him to believe - and again sixty years later, from a mysterious fall. Very soon after landing on Spanish soil it soon becomes apparent that Alex's is not a prodigal's return. From the moment he steps off the plane he is under pressure to go back to where he came from, but Alex is not a quitter and to him any problem can be solved if people are willing to discuss it. And sure enough, people are happy to talk - but not about Alex's immediate problem: anything but that. Yet Alex is not without allies, among them Carmen, the dark-eyed arts correspondent of the Barcelona daily, who seems heaven-sent. On the other hand there is Angel, doyen of hustlers and Carmen's ex-lover, who most certainly isn't. Together Alex and Carmen unearth a dossier of explosive information on events which happened in 1938 that forced his father to flee the family farm and in trying to find out why, Alex discovers that this is a country where there is no such thing as the past but a place where there is only unfinished business. Bookseller Inventory # B9781841197210

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