El hijo del Capitán Trueno by Miguel Bosé

I’ve relished reading Miguel Bosé’s El hijo del Capitán Trueno. Bosé has been a music superstar in the Spanish-speaking world for over four decades. Elsewhere, he’s probably best known for starring in Almodóvar’s High Heels. But he’s worth getting to know better. His father, the most famous and glamorous bullfighter of his day, left Ava Gardner to chase his mother, Lucia Bosé, whose extraordinary beauty brought luminosity to the cinema of Antonioni, Bardem, Fellini, and so many other greats. Picasso and Visconti were his godparents. His first sexual experience with a man was Helmut Berger. Dalí was handmaiden to his teenage affair with Amanda Lear. He has anecdotes about all the greats from all over Europe and elsewhere. He’s worth reading too. It’s perceptive book, well-evoking the smells, textures, structures and feels of different ways of life; rural Spain, a Madrid awakening from its 50s provincialism but still in the yoke of Fascism; the social-cultural see-saws of the Transition to Democracy; even early 70s London. It’s a well-written book, precise and poetic. He devotes four pages of description to the ‘matanza,’ that time of year – and accompanying processes – when the pig is slaughtered, chorizos are made, other parts of the pig are preserved etc; and his memories evoked and jived with mine, probably the only thing that jet-setting son of international stars and I have in common. I hope the book gets an English translation.

José Arroyo

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