Henry Martin The Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona Reviews

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“Title: The Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona ”


written by Molly Martin on 29/06/2007

Title: The Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona
Interesting read Recommended 4 stars

The Review
Rudy arrives in Barcelona a young man hoping for some exciting activity including a little time away from home as he begins to learn to live on his own. Rudy is waylayed, his wallet and passport are taken, he is raped and is left with only the clothes on his back and his intelligence for survival.

Rudy has no concept just how 'on his own' life is to become when he is left alone in an unfamiliar country. He takes to the street where continued existence becomes a day to day struggle. Sleeping in the open, on concrete floors, in the open, and in corners, Rudy bathes in train station sinks or not at all. His days are spent begging for cash or provisions, luxuriating in the burgers thrown into the bin behind the McDonalds, Rudy becomes more and more grimy and more discouraged each day. Rudy takes up with kids his own age; Some permit him to spend a night or two in their accommodations.

When Rudy realizes his mislaid passport is in custody of a madman, Pietro, Rudy recognizes that if he has any hope for leaving Barcelona he must recover the stolen document. His effort to get help at the American Consulate was nothing he expected, and Rudy's only hope now lies in staying alive long enough to get his passport back so that he can depart Barcelona.

He revels in actually showering in a real shower and sleeping in a real bed. At last with the cherished passport in hand Rudy's escape from Barcelona can develop into a fact. The only fly in the ointment: he does not have enough money to board the ferry.

At times The Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona despite its being raw and bawdy carries the reader along on a thoughtful voyage toward recognition of realizing what can and cannot be altered, of using the cards that are dealt and making the most of them. Writer Martin is proving himself adroit as both poet and novelist. Rudy comes to value that optimism can burn, in even the most bleak of circumstances. The reader is impelled along a fast paced journey in this psychological period in a young man's increasing consciousness of himself. He realizes the vigor he possesses and never before recognized. He discovers that the will to live is too powerful to permit itself to grow fainter and he finds that he can do anything he must in order to live on and move ahead. The resilience of the individual fortitude is investigated to depth in Henry Martin's first novel. The Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona is not a work for the easily shocked.

Rudy is a sturdy character, he looks after social castoffs when he finds he has become one, he faces down the dread of authenticity, moves away from sentiment in order to survive, and achieves an admiration for life that might never have realized if his weekend jaunt had been one filled only with effortlessness and happy-go-lucky moments. Rudy has been forced to face himself, and he has triumphed. Drifting into sexuality, drugs, irrelevant transgressions, Rudy bucks authority and eventually creates his place in the hodgepodge wandering Barcelona streets.

Not for the easily shocked, some situations and idiom used will upset the easily offended. Not a tome for a lethargic afternoon, although it is an outstanding one for the bookworm who likes a little grist between the covers.

The Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona is a first-rate option for the high school reader, the individual reading list and for the high school library.

Captivating read, happy to suggest for those who enjoy the genre. Not for everyone. Available Amazon and elsewhere. $8 - 15. I was sent a soft cover copy for review.

Reviewed by: Molly's Reviews
molly martin

Genre: Literary Fiction
Author: Henry Martin
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Chevalier Editions
ISBN-10: 0615138845
ISBN-13: 978-0615138848

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