The book details the life of Luís Mariano Malasaña, a poor young artist who arrives in Madrid a generation after the passing of Goya. Malasaña is a natural prodigy - and also a bitter man with a chip on his shoulder. When he discovers that his work has the unsettling side effect of killing everyone he paints, it seems a trivial detail to Malasaña - at first. The novel is less about the gruesome consequences of the painter's actions than Malasaña's approach to dealing with his lethal success. This is a driven young man who's really only good at one thing, and at first he's not willing to give up his dream just because other people get hurt. Over time, through nearly 50 years' worth of friendships and career moves as well as 2 marriages, he learns, he grows, and the question becomes, will he abandon his calling - or will he just be very, very careful?".
This report prepared by Matthew Hovious