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Come On Up por Jordi Nopca
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Come On Up (edição 2021)

por Jordi Nopca (Autor), Mara Faye Lethem (Tradutor)

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Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Described in the blurb as a 'group portrait of contemporary Barcelona, beaten by the economic crisis and divided by a secessionist movement', Come On Up is a collection of short stories that are, in every way, slice-of-life stories. Centered on believable characters with generally mundane lives and concerns, the book is weighted with a sort of apathetic trudging forward; the inertia of the stories is built from strong writing and realism, with only the sort of absurdity that feels true to life, but the stories blend together in a way that makes me think these might have been more successful separated out among journals vs all collected together in a single volume. Because, as it is, most of the stories held the same flavor and the same tone, with little to distinguish them beyond the particular lives at their center--the problem being that these lives/characters were, in many ways, themselves single-toned and interchangeable.

I'd be curious what a novel from the author would look like, but in general, this collection suffers from what too many single-author short story collections suffer from--a sort of repetitiveness of mood and lack of progression. And when that is added to the fact that the stories themselves are somewhat downtrodden and casual in focus, this ends up being a hard collection to recommend. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Apr 8, 2021 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Book Review-Come On Up by Jordi Nopca

Being a fan of Spanish literature and the city of Barcelona I looked forward to this new book.

A collection of short stories that documents the lives of a variety of working-class people living in Barcelona after the economic collapse of 2009.

Hotel workers, waiters, small business people, immigrants, individuals and couples give rise to a variety of life situations. Nopca depicts the harsh economic realities.

This is a book that provides a glimpse of Barcelona during those times. It is interesting but could not be called inspiring.

The book received a blurb from the great Enrique Vila-Mata, a favorite of mine, which should provide encouragement and promise to this younger writer’s future work. ( )
  berthirsch | Mar 28, 2021 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
With a few exceptions, I didn't find these stories very interesting. I also thought some of them read less like stories and more like excerpts of longer works (that I wouldn't want to read): their endings seemed random enough that they could've equally ended in another spot (preferably several pages earlier).
  noveltea | Mar 11, 2021 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
This was a really good book! It was a surprisingly fresh and delightful collection of short stories with characters who stood out in a quirky sort of way. All in all, a fun read.

Nopca is a good writer. I like his descriptive style. It’s particularly nice for me that the stories are based in Barcelona, a city in Spain I grew to love after my visit there.

The stories have just the right balance of humor and pathos to make me eager to read more by this author, but so far none of his novels have yet been published in English. I hope that will change.

I liked the last story the best because, in my mind, everyone has some abandoned musical instrument consigned to a dusty corner of the house! Mine is a ukelele in my bedroom closet. "Robes and Candles" is the story of a college student's dad who decides to learn to play the tenor saxophone, while the grandparents are concerned about neighbors of theirs whom they've observed doing a strange ritual involving robes and candles. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Mar 10, 2021 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I received this book of short stories from Barcelona writer Jordi Nopca from Library Thing's Early Reviewers. It's well written, but I found the stories a bit repetitive in theme; basically they are about heterosexual relationships coping with the strains of a poor economy. It was fun to have the Barcelona setting, and interesting to think about how young people in Europe face similar challenges as young people here in the U.S.; but with a bit more of that European reticence. I think my favorite stories were "Angels Quintana and Felix Palme Have Problems" in which a restaurant worker faces getting older, and less employable by sinking more and more into alcoholism, and his girlfriend, tries repetitively to save him and the relationship; and "Swiss Army Knife' which ends more dramatically than most of the stories in the collection. In this story, a middle age couple focus their mostly sex-less relationship on reading literature in preparation for travel. ( )
  banjo123 | Feb 20, 2021 |
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There aren’t a lot of successful saxophone players who started playing after sixty.  (the kid’s mom in “Candles and Robes”)
The adaptations were hopeless, but not as awkward as those of the Japanese guy, who managed to turn the Beatles repertoire into mortifying elevator music. (“Candles and Robes”)
His melodica playing had always been sporadic. It was that strange object, rescued from a prehistory in which neither my sister or I existed, that was kept in the same drawer as the stapler, the scissors, the paper clips, and, later, the Post-its.   (“Candles and Robes”)
...Barça scored their third goal and I heard a group of neighbors celebrating it.  Such manifestations of primitivism made me suspect literature’s ability to wield influence, condemned as it was to a marginal role in a world dominated by sports euphoria. (“Candles and Robes”)
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