Toast | Xordica, 2008

A novel of experiences, those through which its protagonist passes.  Juan: since the time he was in a small city, until a moment in his adult life.  But, more than the path to maturity, the novel speaks of the erratic apprenticeship of feelings and of freedom.

Juan leaves his hometown and his studies and begins a journey as advised by a series of peculiar people: The young son of a soldier who makes him hold a gun in his hand to feel what he believes to be the authentic weight of the world; the employee from Shanghai, who enjoys watching pornographic films in the company of others; the anorexic Amy, with whom he neither manages to go to bed nor sit down to eat: or the owner of a Madrid bar who calls Juan “Novels”, with the intention of offending him and carrying him to what he considers more realistic territories.

The episodical and travelling structure of Toast is reminiscent of a picaresque novel, but it deals with the picaresque devoid of devices or malice. There may be sadness in some of these episodes, yet the author doesn’t leave room for discouragement, and offers us a firsthand and revealing glance at the world.