El secreto de las fiestas / The Secret of the Parties
Novel , 1997
An endearing Holden Caulfield lost in the effervescent Barcelona of the 1980s.
Daniel is a motherless teenager who does not fit in anywhere and describes himself as “a real oddball”. He already was in his childhood, in the countryside where he grew up among the cows in the meadows under the eccentric tutelage of his grandfather. And he feels even odder in Barcelona, a tumultuous city where he discovers love, false friendship and “the secret of the parties” that his grandfather was always talking about.
An exciting novel about coming-of-age, full of football tables and slot machines, local people and unforgettable characters, which portrays the first generation who decided to live on the sidelines of the moral devastation of one of the darkest times in the history of Spain.
Unexpectedly sprightly, light-hearted and at times hilarious, tender and thoughtful, it quickly became a cult work, an emblem of the spirit of an entire generation.
“A book that is 100% Casavella: well written, fun, and with the shudder of true literature” Ignacio Vidal-Folch.
“My favourite novel: El secreto de las fiestas. The novel that I have gifted the most in the past ten years… In the entirety of Casavella’s book there is happiness. Happiness as an antidote for all the bad things in life: even when you are neck deep in corruption, you can still find the courage to smile; when it seems like things couldn’t go worse, a rumba starts to play. And El secreto de las fiestas captures that happiness in the best way.” Mario Bravo, Diagonal
“Pure Casavella, with his unique style, his touches of humour and his endearing characters. [...] A book with the explosive impact of real literature.” El País
“He mixes humour and reflection with great charm… He makes readers enjoy themselves in two different ways, because El secreto de las fiestas complements the usual comical nature of Casavella’s literature with a constructive invitation to reflect about the hard reality of adolescence.” ABC
“One of the few writers from recent times who has proven that true literature still exists.” Silvia Taulés, El Mundo
“The literary survival of Francisco Casavella is guaranteed.” Times Literary Supplement
“In the style of a Holden Caulfield from Barcelona and during the 80s, swearing but talking to you—the reader—with respect, Daniel will try to adapt to a city that is evolving faster than he is, and that throws at him love, broken and fake friendships, real school—which is a big lie— and life in general; which is something like dealing with an alcoholic father that knows how to play an instrument better than how to raise a child.” Víctor González, Libros y Literatura.