Mac And His Setback


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Vila-Matas, Enrique

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"A writer who has no equal in the contemporary landscape of the Spanish novel" (Roberto Bolaño)
"Arguably Spain?s most significant contemporary figure" (New Yorker)
"The tremendously touching characters in Enrique Vila-Matas?s novels who stumble from one place to the next, not really sure where they are going, but always on a quest are so deeply comical on the one hand, and so deeply poignant on the other, that you just have to give yourself up to it because you?re in the hands of a master." (Paul Auster)
"Playful and funny and among the best Spanish novelists" (Colm Tóibín)
"A metafictional paean to storytelling... Diary, essay, thriller, conspiracy theory, posthumous memoir, novel?Vila-Matas uses all the materials to construct his latest metafictional fun house." (Kirkus Reviews)

Enrique Vila-Matas?s new novel is perhaps his greatest: 'playful and funny and among the best Spanish novelists' (Colm Tóibín)Mac is not writing a novel. He is writing a diary, which no one will ever read. At over sixty, and recently unemployed, Mac is a beginner, a novice, an apprentice ? delighted by the themes of repetition and falsification, and humbly armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of literature. Mac's wife, Carmen, thinks he is simply wasting his time and in danger of sliding further into depression and idleness. But Mac persists, diligently recording his daily walks through the neighbourhood. It is the hottest summer Barcelona has seen in over one hundred years.
Soon, despite his best intentions (not to write a novel), Mac begins to notice that life is exhibiting strange literary overtones and imitating fragments of plot. As he sizzles in the heatwave, he becomes ever more immersed in literature ? a literature haunted by death but alive with the sheer pleasure of writing.
Intricate, erudite and practically fizzing on the page, Mac and His Problem is a masterpiece of metafiction and a testament to the power and playfulness of great literature.

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