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The Color of A Dog Running Away
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The Color of A Dog Running Away

3.05 of 5 stars 3.05  ·  rating details  ·  187 ratings  ·  41 reviews
When I opened the door of the flat there was a picture postcard lying in the hallway. It showed a reproduction of a painting by Joan Miró. I turned the card over. Neatly written, in green ink, was what appeared to be a date and time: 20 May–11:00. There was no explanatory message, no indication of who had written the card. The printed details told me that the reproduction...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Doubleday (first published 2005)
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I won't be reading this again, that's for sure. I didn't find the characters interesting. The plot was pretty bland and the writing is unfledged with tedious details.
I liked the language of this book, but I felt the story was underdeveloped. The imaginative elements, like the roofpeople, played minor roles whereas the mundane elements, the drinking parties and the abduction were given centre stage. I think it would have worked better in the third person instead of as a first person narrative - the narrator drops into the third person when recounting the facts of the abduction.

There is an unexplained disconnect between the prologue, in which Lucas lives alone...more
Hypnotic and mysterious, though nearly to the point of cliche. Walks a fine line, anyway. Overall, sexy, witty, dreamy, and a worthwhile read.
Jordan Forster
Richard Gwyn's debut novel is a tale of obsessive love, intrigue, and drug-fuelled nihilism set in modern Barcelona. The tale concerns Lucas, a Welsh-Spanish musician and writer, who embarks on a passionate love affair with the mysterious Nuria. The lovers are then kidnapped by a religious cult, whose leader whose motives are more sinister than appearance suggests. Lucas escapes alone, but, back in Barcelona, descends into drug and alcohol fuelled oblivion as his search for Nuria becomes evermor...more
Greg Bascom
I purchased this book in May 2007 for a good reason, which I immediately forgot. Eighteen months later, I blew off the dust and read the flyleaf. It's about some guy in Barcelona who receives an anonymous postcard that leads to a torrid love affair with Nuria and their abduction by a religious cult, from which he escapes but she stays, and he returns to Barcelona where, in a drug and alcohol induce daze, he tries to figure out what happened. The flyleaf also mentions roof dwellers and a fire-eat...more
This book committed my number one pet peeve, which is that it failed to make me care about the characters, and also failed to make me see why any single character liked or cared about another.

I didn't see any reason that Nuria would actually be in love with Lucas, almost every character seemed to be very impressed with how painfully bohemian yet full of jaded ennui he/she was; the human connection between Lucas and his "friends" was all but invisible, only one character (Eugenia) drew my intere...more
Zoe Macgechan
Tripe. Don't waste your time.

The characters, plot and language are all underdeveloped and extremely uninteresting. Nuria's character is wholly inconsistent, Lucas is mental and his friends irritating - so who really cares what happens to them? The plot attempts to be original, but merely batters cliche with elements that are ordinarily left out because they're so dull. The language would be great - if this was a GCSE English assignment.

Thank god it was fairly simple to read so it was over and d...more
Ian Mapp
Wow - what an odd little book. Its been picking up praise in the press and even became Waterstones word of mouth book for the summer.

I read it and was quickly immersed in the settings, style and characters of a beneath the surface modern Barcelona.

The main protaganist is Lucas who is writing his story of how he responded to a card pushed under his door and met a woman at an art gallery.

They start on a love affair but then he gets kidnapped by a group living in the mountains that believe that the...more
Tony Mac
I can understand a lot of the more negative views posted here. The book is often quite pretentious and positively dripping with fashionably existentialist naval-gazing and obscure, enigmatic characters and situations - but I still liked it, dammit! I'm a sucker for off-beat novels with skewered love stories and loads of calculated bohemian angst. Most of all I like it because it reads like a tribute to my favourite novel, John Fowles The Magus - another book with a selfish, quasi-intellectual he...more
This was such an on-the-fence kind of book that writing a coherent review could be tough: On one hand, I love the whole Cathar gambit. When Lucas is trapped in the Refuge with the frustratingly charismatic Pontneuf, the pages flew by. But I had to admit that a lot of Gwyn's writing struck me as pompous and overblown, faux-edgy and bombastic. The pages upon pages of reckless boozing made me feel like I was reading James Frey all over again. Although the unreliable narrator aspect of the novel kep...more
Sapphire Pyro
It's good, but the ending's so "That's it?"
I also hope there've been more stuff going on, and the characters more lovable.
Nonetheless, it was an interesting read.
You know how sometimes you read a book and there are good parts and bad parts - this book wasn't like that. This book was simultaneously both good and bad. Sometimes reading it was like listening to the echo of a gorgeous melody that you can't quite hear. There was something in the way of this book being great but a can't quite place it.
The book had three parts, the first and last ones belong to one genre and the middle to another. The middle part demanded a tight plot and the the last part wra...more
Shawn Bird
We're off on vacation to Barcelona, so I thought I'd read some books set there to get into the spirit of the place. The cover is intriguing. The title is curious. But the words. The words are confusing. There are Cathars and reincarnation. There are roof-people. There are rabbits and there is a lot of inebriation. It starts and ends with a Miro postcard. I didn't get it. The protagonist was pathetic and uninteresting. I kept reading and reading waiting for the threads to come together and the pl...more
This is a turgid overlong exploration of the main characters' alcohol and drug-infused nihilism, which no doubt reflects lengthy background research on the author's part. This possibility may explain the absurdity and historical inaccuracy of associating a Cathar sect with a code of violence. The introduction of the 'roof people' is such an obvious reflection of 'creative-writing' workshops, because there is no explanation for their interest in such a sozzled loser. Dire, dire, dire. Best for th...more
Do you understand the title of this book? If you do, then maybe you will get something out of this book. Or maybe I didn't take enough drugs while I was reading it???

I chose it because it takes place in Barcelona. The setting was pretty much the only thing I liked about the book. There was a lot of smoking, drinking, and taking drugs and then experiencing weird stuff - including being kidnapped by a religious cult. It ended without really shedding any light (discernible to me anyway) on the stor...more
This book was hard to get through. It starts out in a really lovely sort of memoir-esque account of the main character in Barcelona. which is great, except i was promised Eco-like symbolism and cults. Neither of which happen until the book is half over and I was uninterested. i did make it through. And it was worth it, eventually. But that doesn't make me any less disappointed that the cultists didn't show up earlier. I'm sure it would have made the read much much faster.
This book is absurd and fun. Set in Barcelona. Basically the plot goes: writer type leads meaningless existence. Writer type meets girl. Girl and boy fall in love. Girl's father turns out to be crazy cult leader who thinks he's the reincarnation of a long dead religious fanatic. Cult leader kidnaps writer type and girl. There's also a prophetic fire eater and people who live on the roof. I'd love it but the author sort of cops out at the end and goes for the romantic ending.
Started off strangely, with a note through the door to be at the art gallery at a certain time, but then no-one was there. Or where they, as our man was intrigued by a beautiful lady. This is set in Barcelona, which appears to have some seedy areas, with some rather seedy expats. Gradually the story evolves with a cult, an abduction, an escape and a sliiping of into drugs ad alcohol. However there was light at teh end of teh tunnel.
Set in Barcelona (because I just don't like to read books set in the US), this book is about a man who is thrust into a series of strange events involving a religious cult after receiving a mysterious package. A little more raw style than some other books I have read, I enjoyed the craziness of the characters and the resolution of the plot. I would give it 3 1/2 stars, but that doesn't seem to be an option.
This started off really well for me - I whipped through the first quarter and couldn't wait to see where it would go next - but then it just sort of plateaued for me. I found it got a bit too surreal and a bit repetitive and the central character really started to bug me with his obsession with self. Great location and potentially a great reflective tone but perhaps the plot events didn't gel with the rest for me.
You wait for ages, hoping for a book about the reincarnation of members of a Christian sect from the Dark Ages, and then two come along at once! (See 'The Gargoyle'). What are the chances?

This one tried a bit too hard to be postmodern and what was meant to be a playful narrative felt stilted and mannered. Still, I learned a few facts about the Cathars and the title is cracking.
You know, I just don't know about this one. I liked was kind of intersting to be taken around Barcelona, never having had much interest in Spain...I did find the stuff about the Cathar's interesting...and still it kind of left me flat. I had a few suspensful moments, moments of curiosity...but still not enough to get too awfully excited about.
Abhay Nair
It's Barcelona you see in this work. Makes you feel the City of Marvels.
The plot is twisted enough to be remembered. But loose ends & first person rambling kills its spirit.
A book that should have been a shorter and crisper or atleast meatier at the right places, like the historical background about the cult & the detailing of the roof people.
I thought this book was okay. It's the kind of story that will appeal to some and not others. I found the story didn't necessarily flow in a creative or chronological way from one scene to the next, so the 'thread' of the story was a bit annoying at times. But, I think there is an audience out there for this type of book - I just am not it!
Kitabın ilk bölümün oldukça sürükleyici ve ilginçken ikinci bölümünün inanılmaz derecede sıkıcı ve yavan olmasının sebebi nedir acaba sevgili Gwyn?
I don't have much to say about this book. It was relatively interesting and certainly well-written. I think I would have liked it more had I remembered more of Barcelona, and I am still confused by the story. So I would recommend it, but would also recommend that you try something else first.
This book was nothing short of enthralling - the kind of book that makes you stay up too late just to get in one more chapter. It's exceptionally well written and tells a fascinating tale of a man's abduction by a Catholic cult. Highly, highly recommended!
Um. . .

Well. . .

I guess parts of this book were good. I think the title would more be more correct if it were, "The Part of My Life in Which I was Drunk 24/7: and then I wrote it down, added an ending and published it."
Decent story. Pretty good writing style. I was confused about the symbolism of the Baron character and the point of the roof "angel". Overall I would give it three and half stars.
There have only been a few instances where I read a blurb in a magazine for a piece of contemporary fiction and decided to just knock it off, but this was one, and it was surprisingly good.
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