I don’t know if I realized that THE ART RESTORER was the second about the character Enrique Alonso. I haven’t read the first book, THE ANTIQUARIAN, and I think reading that might be necessary to understand the second book.
On the other hand, Sánchez did do an extreme amount of referencing the first book as the second began so maybe it wasn’t so necessary to read the first book.
That being said, I couldn’t finish the book.
THE ART RESTORER is a novel about an author writing a novel about a man writing a book about an artist… and a part of the novel within a novel ends up being about the artist. Though confusing, the sentence seems simple enough. The story is not.
Enrique Alonso is the author at the center of the novel. I gathered from the references to the first book that he writes mainly about things he accidentally stumbles onto. He’s apparently very successful at this because his Spanish books have been turned into movies in America. On a trip home to Spain, in part to reconnect with his ex-wife, he meets the American art restorer writing a book about the Spanish artist Sert.
The American man suffers a terrible fate, at least I’m assuming it’s terrible – I didn’t read to the conclusion of it all, and this is the inspiration for Alonso’s new book.
The thing that made me quit about a quarter of the way through is as simple as it is confusing – perspective changes. The reader is treated to Alonso’s perspective, his ex-wife’s, the American art restorer, and then there is the first draft of the novel Alonso begins to write.
It was just too much for me.
(I received a copy of THE ART RESTORER by Julián Sánchez from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. My review will be cross-posted on Net Galley, my blog, and my Goodreads account.)