Jeremías Gamboa: Contarlo todo [Tell It All]
16 Saturday Nov 2013
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The latest addition to my website is Jeremías Gamboa‘s Contarlo todo [Tell It All]. Though a first novel, this work has had considerable pre-publication promotion in the Spanish-speaking world. It has been hailed as part of the new boom and garnered many favourable pre-publication reviews. It is very much an autobiographical work, telling, in considerable detail, the life and times of Gabriel Lisboa, Gamboa’s alter ego, primarily during his twenties. Gamboa’s father had left his wife and son and Gabriel had been brought up by his uncle and aunt, who were not well off. He had managed to get scholarships at university. One day, his uncle, who was a waiter in a pizzeria, had spoken to a customer who worked for a prestigious left-wing magazine and got his nephew an interview with the man with a view to an unpaid internship during the summer. Gamboa gets the job but struggles, before becoming accepted. We follow both his journalism career but also his desire to become a writer of fiction. He meets a few people at university who help him, both in guiding his style and introducing him to writers who could serve as models. We also, of course, follow his not always easy love life. It is a fine novel, well-told, intense, passionate and detailed but perhaps not as great as some of the critics have suggested. It has only just been published in Spanish and is not yet available in translation.