An hourglass could serve as a reminder and quantifier of time, but also as an escape.
Young Spanish landscape architect Beto has an unusual fixation with hourglasses to the point where his proposal at a conference in Munich is a forest of hourglasses or ‘sand clocks’ that people can turn over to give them a measured amount of time to devote to their thoughts. Because one of the main themes of David Trueba’s novel Blitz is time and its passage; how there always seems so little and so much especially in our current ultra-fast paced society and the importance of learning to grasp onto the moment and appreciate it while we can.
Beto’s life changes in a single moment on the first page when he receives a text from his longtime flame Marta that wasn’t meant for him. Heartbroken in a strange land with an empty bank account, he falls quite unexpectedly into the arms of conference volunteer Helga; an attractive, intelligent, warm-hearted divorcee, who happens to be sixty three and whose grown children are older than Beto. On the surface it seems an improbable romance but Trueba sells it in a way that makes it seem almost inevitable for both parties as he examines their personal histories, psychology, and even their genitalia in the inevitable sex scene. (Some VERY graphic, detailed, and er…anatomical imagery is to be found here.) The cross-generational lovers discuss everything from landscaping, to perfectionism, to mimes, to Otto Dix and his famous nude paintings of imperfect and even unattractive women. These paintings by the way can be seen in Blitz which contains pictures and illustrations to help illuminate its text. The text and pictures measure out to 160 pages. As a novel, Blitz is intended to be a miniature but as miniatures go, it’s darn near perfect.
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