El juego sigue sin mí

(The Game Goes On Without Me) Siruela, 2015

» 2014 Café Gijón Prize

Ismael looks back on a time when he was thirteen years old and his grades were failing. His parents turned to Rai, a boy five years his senior and very popular at high-school, to tutor him. After an unsuccessful first session, Rai and Ismael make a pact: if the boy studies in his own time, his tutor will introduce him to  books, movies, music, life, etc. And also tell him about Samuel, a young man who wrote to his ex-girlfriend threatening to take his own life if she stood him up.

From this intriguing start, Martin Casariego has written a coming-of-age novel, the story of the transition from teenager to adulthood, of family and the new ways the young now forge relationships, of the dangers posed by this decisive stage of life, of the burden of existence and of how to lighten the load. A story shrouded in shadows, doubt and secrets, in which the white whale our narrator is fleeing from will rear its head years later, changing everything and forcing him to reassess the past.