The prize-winning debut novel from a major new talent in Catalan literature - the story of four half-brothers who only discover the others' existence when the father who abandoned them all is reported missing.
Christof, Christophe, Christopher, and Cristòfol are four brothers - sons of the same father and four very different mothers, yet none of them knows about the existence of the others. They live in Frankfurt, Paris, London, and Barcelona and they unwittingly share the fact that their father, Gabriel Delacruz - a truck driver - abandoned them when they were little and they never heard from him again.
Then one day, Cristòfol is contacted by the police: his father is officially a missing person. This fact leads him to discover that he has three half-brothers, and the four young men come together for the first time. Two decades have passed since their father last saw any of them. They barely remember what he was like, but they decide to look for him to resolve their doubts. Why did he abandon them? Why do all four have the same name? Did he intend for them to meet?
Divided by geography yet united by blood, the "Cristobales" set out on a quest that is at once painful, hilarious, and extraordinary. They discover a man who during thirty years of driving was able to escape the darkness of Franco's Spain and to explore a luminous Europe, a journey that, with the birth of his sons, both opened and broke his heart.
"Punti delivers a richly told literary novel about four half brothers in search of their father
The characters' wit and the author's vivid imagination shine through in this beautiful translation from Catalan." - Kirkus
"The spark of magical realism enlivens Punti's debut novel about four abandoned sons... [A] successful experiment in perspective, made lively by Punti's extensive knowledge of the landscapes of Europe." - Publishers Weekly
"A remarkable work of literary fiction that also manages to be unputdownable." - London Review of Books
"A funny, moving and poignant exploration of identity, home, family and freedom." - The Daily Express
"Lost Luggage is an astonishing literary artifact. Marvellous." - El Mundo
"A conjuring trick. Incomparable literature." - El País
"A book as extraordinary as it is memorable. Jordi Puntí already belongs to the noble tradition of the great storytellers." - Rock de Lux
"A novel with an uncommon brilliance, confirming Puntí's talent." - El Cultural
"Characters with great literary force; they represent the power of fiction when facing history." - Culturas de La Vanguardia
"Pure life, intense and passionate. A thorough and precise creation, very near perfection one can only surrender to the utter force of the story." - Qué Leer
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Rated of 5
Naomi B. (Tucson, AZ)
Four Brothers Search for a Father
Jordi Punti's Lost Luggage, translated from the Spanish by Julie Wark, reminds me of those nested Russian dolls; open a layer of the story and inside is another layer, couching another, and so on, until you get to the tale's vibrant, pulsing heart. Lost Luggage is storytelling at its best. On the surface, it is the quest of four brothers--each named some variable form of Christopher--for a father they have each barely known. Although he has always been missing from their lives, he has now gone officially missing, and the brothers believe that by piecing together the story of his life from their disparate points of view, the completed puzzle may lead to the discovery of the man. What is interesting to me is that even though the story is told in sections from each of the four Christophers' points of view, there is very little variation in voice between them. The decision is clearly deliberate, as if each brother is a piece of clay cleaved from the same block. The result is a novel that unfurls slowly, quietly, and gracefully toward that golden moment of denouement. As if we sit with Jordi Punti at a crackling fire, listening to hims spin his tale, we wait for that moment spellbound. We know it is coming, but we know, too, that it will surprise us, a sleight of hand delivered by a master magician.
Rated of 5
Terrie J. (Eagan, MN)
Interesting story line...
This book kept my interest, but was slow at times. I liked the concept of the story line and the fact that the brothers joined together to find out what happened to their father. I felt that jumping between past and present got confusing at times. I would recommend this book to others.
Rated of 5
Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)
Well Written, but...
...too drawn out.
I think the backgrounds of Gabriel and the other characters was very well written, and you got a sense of the people and areas at that time in history. That being said, the book could have been about 1/3 the size without losing anything.
The story kept me reading, since I wanted to find out if the 4 half-brothers would find the answers they were seeking. I was hoping to find out more about the "boys", but most of the book was about their father & mothers as well as all the other characters.
There were many surprises at the end, which made for a good story, but they confused me.
All in all, I think there will be a lot of people who will enjoy the book. It would make a good Reading Group book, since it has many areas for discussion. I will recommend it to my group.
Rated of 5
Nancy F. (Carmel, IN)
Too many threads....
Unfortunately this book was difficult to read based on my preference for a more straight forward plot line. Also the amount of detailed description and dialogue was too much to digest. While I found the plot potential original, I did not enjoy the reading experience.
Rated of 5
Sherrie R. (Fort Worth, TX)
Pack your bags, take a trip in this engrossing and absorbing story!
This is a wonderful story about 4 brothers with the same father and four mothers. Their father was only in their lives briefly when they were young. Travel with them as they find each other and begin their search for their father in an intriguing journey through Europe, full of mysteries and childhood memories. Who was their father? Where was he? Why did he leave? What happened to him? Will they find him? How do they feel?
I loved it- reminded me of Shadow of the Wind, Cutting for Stone, Stone's Fall. It's themes of identity, broken families, value and influence of work, friends, and loss wrapped up in the framework of a grand mystery is perfect for book club discussions.
Rated of 5
Nancy O. (Hobe Sound, FL)
a short review is impossible!
I absolutely love the very original premise in this novel, in which 4 men discover quite through accident that they have the same father, who it seems, has disappeared. This intriguing story takes the reader through a whirlwind tour of European history, cities and cultures in this story which is funny and poignant, dark in spots, and intriguing. It does so without ever disconnecting the reader from the themes of loss and of being lost that come shining through in this novel, as well as the concepts of home, family and freedom. While I may have found it to be tangential and meandering in spots, I had no trouble at all NOT putting this book down -- although I think that for more casual readers, the tangents in the narrative complete with flashbacks might be a little challenging. I liked this one and would certainly recommend it, especially to readers like myself who enjoy translated fiction.
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