‘Barcelona Dreaming’ Offers a Nostalgic Trip to Pre-Crisis Europe

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By Alex Preston

By Rupert Thomson

It should come as no surprise that David Bowie was a Rupert Thomson fan: In 2013 Bowie named Thomson’s “The Insult” as one of his 100 favorite novels. There’s something of the Thin White Duke about Thomson — his author photo is rakish and epicene — but it’s more than that. Like Bowie, Thomson seems almost pathologically unable to maintain a single identity, reinventing himself in each of his 13 novels to date. He has written thrillers and satires, historical novels and sci-fi dystopias. The only element that appears to connect his books is their lack of commercial success. While Thomson’s fiction is admired by his peers and often strikingly well reviewed, it has never troubled the best-seller charts.

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