I must admit that I didn’t intend to buy this book. I received it as a gift for an order I’ve made at a local bookshop. My first thought when I received it was that if they give it away for free, then it is a book that is not sold in many copies, so I decided to find out why. (I couldn’t figure out the reason)
The book’s main character is, as the title suggests it, Mauricio who is a dentist returned to his hometown of Barcelona, after studying in Madrid. Probably, every one of us, when thinking about Barcelona thinks of it how it is today, with coloured buildings and crowded streets. I don’t know why but I never thought of this city other than this.
Eduardo Mendoza, the author, reveals a needy Barcelona left with severe economic problems after dictator’s Franco death. In this context, Mauricio who after his return to Barcelona is a loner with no friends reunites with one of his highschool’s colleague.
From this point of the book, Mauricio falls in love with two different women (Clotilde and Porritos), each one representing a social class in the newly democratic Barcelona. More than that, I felt that each woman was described as a specific neighbourhood and way of living at that moment. A very classy, but rigid, with socialistic aspirations woman and another dirty and poor, but full of “Sangre Caliente” one.
The story is very descriptive in the landscapes and the people. When I’ve read it, I could feel the warm Mediterranean breeze, and even though I read it translated, the particular Spanish names and the expression “Mujer” made me want to be on a sandy beach with an icy cocktail in my hand.