Miquel de Palol: El jardí dels set crepuscles (The Garden of Seven Twilights)

The latest addition to my website is Miquel de Palol‘s El jardí dels set crepuscles (The Garden of Seven Twilights). This is the first novel by the major Catalan writer to appear in English and it was well worth the wait. It is set in the near future, when nuclear war is taking place globally. As in the The Decameron, a select group of people hide away in a luxurious retreat in the Pyrenees and tell stories. Most of the stories revolve around a Barcelona bank called Mir (i.e. Russian for World) Bank. Many of those present are involved in the bank and we gradually learn that there are several mysteries, including the identity of the secret person controlling the bank, known only as Ω, i.e the Greek letter omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Ω may well be present at this gathering. We also learn of a mysterious jewel which has great powers and has gone missing. Who has it and what is it? Many people offer theories which may be deliberately misleading or just based on ignorance, as they all tell stories, mainly, though not all, connected to the Bank, over a period of seven days. It gets very complicated and de Palol plunges into fantasy, gritty realism, murder, corruption, vampirism, time loops and a whole host more themes and genres, as we, the readers, and the characters get carried away.

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