Sunday 5 December 2010

The Gaudi Key? Keep the door locked.

The Gaudi Key didn’t unlock any doors for me, I’m afraid. Shame. I like these kind of books and can normally lap up Dan Brown and the conspiracy theorists. And I love Gaudi and the art nouveau movement. But this was truly awful. Maybe it suffers from being a translation from (presumably) Spanish? I simply can’t sit and read huge chunks of exposition and back-story and listen to characters telling each other things they already know just to inform the reader. And while I’m all for multiple points-of-view, you can’t jump into a character’s head and have him/her conveniently forget pertinent plot points because it suits the current scene. The author pushes one-dimensional characters around the board like chess pieces lecturing the reader and nobody has enough depth for me to have a clue whether or not their motivations are genuine. And I don’t really care.

But enough of negatives. There’s a lot of history in here, both real and imagined, though its delivery is pompous and dull at times. Gaudi is linked with the templars (isn’t everybody these days?) and the masons and there’s a real depth in the interpretation of his work, particularly the Sagrada Familia. On that level, the book succeeds. But as a novel, it just didn’t do it for me.