In impoverished post-civil war Barcelona, fourteen-year-old Daniel fills in time between school and starting work as a jeweller's apprentice by taking on the care of an elderly and eccentric sea captain, whose campaign against a suspected gas leak exposes him to the ridicule of his neighbours.
With little to enliven the grey atmosphere and dull routines of the battle-scarred city, Daniel becomes increasingly drawn to the beautiful and bed-ridden Susana, who spends her days dreaming of seeing her fugitive father, Kim, again. When a mysterious stranger arrives at the villa with magical tales of the Shanghai underworld and Kim's noble exploits there, both Daniel and Susana suppress their questions and willingly fall under his spell.
An intoxicating tale of the human spirit, Shanghai Nights is a compelling, illuminating novel about children that has a great deal to say about adulthood.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 149 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 13 mm
"Fulfilling and provocative" -- Julian Evans * Daily Telegraph *
"Magnificent" -- Michael Eaude * Independent *
"There are enough illuminating moments of disillusioned adolescence and wounded adult idealism in this work to confirm him as among Spain's finest living authors" -- Adam Feinstein * Guardian *
"He describes the sordid poverty and repression of the Barcelona of the 1950s through the lives of a wonderfully drawn assortment of invented characters" -- Raymond Carr * Spectator *
"Juan Marse's contribution to European literature has been consistently remarkable" * Times Literary Supplement *