The lonely hearts club by Raul Nuñez
Translator – Ed Emery
Original title – Sinatra.
Source – Personnel copy
Raul Núñez was a Argentina writer ,poet and short story writer .He left Argentina at age twenty-five and then spent most of the next twenty-five years in Barcelona where this book is set .I believe this is the only book that has been translated and is sadly it appears out of print ,but is easily available second-hand it seems from what I looked at on the net .He passed away in 1996 he wrote four novels leaving a fifth novel unpublished .
Antonio bore a striking resemblance to frank Sinatra .Forty year of age and of medium height ,he was balding slightly and kept his hair close trimmed .He found himself a live in job as a night porter in a small hotel .This gave him free lodging ,and a bit of money besides .About a year previously ,his wife had left him to go off with a black man .
Why he joins a lonely hearts club
The lonely hearts club is the story of Antonio Castro ,he is a night porter in a small hotel ,which serves as his home he is married but rarely sees his wife and then a year before the book is et she left him and his life is quite boring .But he has one plus in his life and that is that this forty-year old has a striking resemblance to Frank Sinatra .Antonio decides to join a lonely heart club and via this runs into some strange characters ,a widower ,a dwarf poet and a gay barman .He also tries to help a 16-year-old that is lost in the city by setting her up in a room in the hotel as the boos only ever visits at the end of the month to collect the money he has made .Antonio or frank as he is know is a lost soul really in a city it seems of lost souls .
Dear Antonio Castro
I am three feet four inches tall .I weight seven stone and I’m twenty-two years old .I’m blonde ,and I’ve got blue eyes .My name is Bergonia Montana .I thought I ought to start my letter with the most important things .
Because I don’t like leading people on .As you can imagine ,I’ve not had a particularly easy life
The poet dwarf that he meets during his liaisons from the lonely heart clubs .
I picked this up after reading the Jacket copy and the fact it was one of the early serpent tail mask series ,which I have read other books from and liked them .The lonely hearts club is rather like a tom waits song transported to Spain ,his world is of shifty bars ,strange character on the edge of life ,drinking and lonely souls .The city also plays a big part in this book Barcelona is almost like the second main character in this story .As Antonio takes us on a tour of the parts of the city that us tourist would never see .The lonely hearts club itself is shown to be a collection of people like Antonio himself that haven’t got a lot in there lives or have lost something like the widow or need some sort of acceptance like the dwarf poet or the gay barman ,they are of course all drawn to Antonio for his resemblance to Sinatra .I like the lively nature of his prose style ,a great translation that even after 25 years has stood the test of time .
Have you read this book or any from the serpent’s tail mask series ?