El rey recibe
Rights sold:
  • French Editions du Seuil
  • Polish Znak
  • Portuguese Porto

El rey recibe / The King Receives

Novel , 2018

Seix Barral

Pages: 368

The first book in the Three Laws of Motion trilogy, which explores the major developments of the second half of the 20th century.

“New York does not give its inhabitants grandeur, but the energy of heroes.”

In the early 1970s, Rufo Batalla lands a badly paid job at the New York Chamber of Commerce. Rufo is a classical music enthusiast and recent graduate in Germanic Languages from the University of Barcelona, plagued by a restless heart not even he can tame.

He leaves behind a country stuck in the endless death rattle of dictatorship, not to mention a bizarre debut as a society journalist. During his first assignment as a reporter covering a royal wedding, Rufo spends a night of love with the bride before discovering her identity, and wins the friendship and trust of His Majesty, King Tadeusz I, legitimate monarch of Livonia. Now in exile, the king continues to reappear in Rufo’s life when he least expects it. In New York, Rufo befriends a series of characters directly affected by the city’s harsh, violent transformation into the epicentre of profound change that will redefine Western society: racial equality, the gay movement, feminism, and revolutions in the world of modern art. Between the civil service environment of his new job, the high-society parties, and his love affair with the elusive Valentina, Rufo experiences the kind of life he only saw in newspapers and movies back in Barcelona.

El rey recibe is the very promising bridgehead announcing the return of Mendoza's excellent prose, his gift for the construction of the historical past that leaves us eager to find out about Rufo’s new struggles.” Domingo Ródenas de Moya, El Periódico

“In fact, by saying that the author is Eduardo Mendoza, all this is already said, because it is his personal style that has made him a classic. In any case, two other points should be made. One is that El rey recibe  is excellent, Mendoza at his best. And the other, that the novel confirms the repercussions of the seventies on the present and of the experiences of that generation on contemporary experience.”  Nadal Suau, El Cultural

"A masterpiece." José-Carlos Mainer, Babelia, El País