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Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 10 June 2021

I have worked with Xavier Gual for a long time, an author who writes beautifully and has conquered the young public and who, in the adult market, keeps working in this long-distance race that the editorial world requires, which may be unfair, as authors like Xavier deserve far more recognition in the sector. He always gets positive reviews and has a loyal public, bud does not stand out as much as he should, not because he does not outdo himself in each novel, but because the Catalan literary world is small and challenging. This time, he tells the fictionized story of his grandfather, the great Catalan baritone who made a fortune singing zarzuelas and who was named “el Cañón Catalán”. A special novel for him, and that could also become meaningful to a whole generation.

Joan Gual, who belongs to the Leva del Biberón, knows he does not want to die in a stupid war and deserts. Here is where the adventure of a young man begins, one who, at a young age, decides to chase his dream and use his talent, a unique voice which, once war is over, makes him a world-renowned baritone. But while touring in Latin America, without intending to, he gets involved in an espionage and counterespionage plot which will put him to the test, even in the sentimental grounds. Surrounded by guerrilla soldiers, members of the mafia, eccentric folkloric singers, exiled Nazis, rojos who have fled from Franco and personalities like Kubala, Pau Casals, or even general Castro, Joan Gual will be forced to better himself and defy his destiny in order to become a brave and fair man.

With a thrilling rhythm, the novel is a walk-through Latin America and provides the tools to understand a long gone period and movements which are now history. Based on the real story of “el Cañón Catalán”, the great baritone form Sant Andreu who succeeded in Spain and Latin America in the 50s. This is a novel for the general public, because it mixes the historic genre with mystery and invites the reader to learn the details of an era through music and a character who was an inspiration and experienced, in his own skin, stories that may seem surreal but are part of our history.

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