> Skip to content

From one of Spain's greatest writers, a witty, moving novel about art, life, death and James Joyce.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE INDEPENDENT FOREIGN FICTION PRIZE

'A writer who has no equal in the contemporary landscape of the Spanish novel.' Roberto Bolaño

Samuel Riba is about to turn 60. A successful publisher in Barcelona, he is increasingly prone to attacks of anxiety and, looking for distraction, he concocts a spur-of-the-moment trip to Dublin, a city he has never visited but once dreamed about.

He sets off for Dublin on the pretext of honouring James Joyce’s Ulysses on Bloomsday. But as he and his friends gather in the cemetery to give their orations, a mysterious figure in a mackintosh resembling Joyce’s protégé Samuel Beckett hovers in the background. Is it Beckett, or is it the writer of genius that Riba has spent his whole career trying, and failing, to find?

Reviews

One of the most pleasurable and joyous novels of the year

John Self, Independent

A brilliant, funny novel; an expertly woven tapestry of literary allusions… Enrique Vila-Matas has created a masterpiece

Jacqueline McCarrick, Times Literary Supplement

Hugely entertaining…Vila-Matas enjoyed himself writing Dublinesque, that is obvious, and the reader will also enjoy – and collaborate in – this delightful literary exercise that is clever without being knowing, lightly erudite but never pretentious

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Vila Matas’s novel is full of spectres, absences, near-misses… Like Becket, it is apocalypse without the drama… Dublinesque is a postmodern meditation on a high modernist text, full of cryptic crosses between fiction and reality

Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books

An extremely clever book, an obvious affection response to Joyce, to Ulysses , to all serious literature

Kevin Breathnach, Totally Dublin

An exquisite and original book in which literature does not make us think about life: it is life

Le Magazine Littéraire

The masterpiece of one of Spain’s leading writers

Cara Magazine

A true literary treat

El Mundo

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099555841

    August 1, 2013

    Vintage

    320 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au