Recounting surveys the social history of Barcelona and Catalonia, primarily since the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. The novel follows the youth and education of Raúl Ferrer Gaminde, son of a well-connected, middle-class Catalan family that embraces Franco and Spanish Nationalism. The novel’s potent drama plays out through Goytisolo’s crisp, forceful presentation of youth, humor, optimism, rebellion, violence, sexual awakening, indulgence, punishment, and the realization of one’s artistic vocation. Alternately modern and historical, Recuento displays intelligent realism, emotional gravity, profane beauty, brute vulgarity, sweeping rhetorical scope, and seamless transitions through long, streaming passages of narrative and introspection.
"The story is long but engaging as the novel morphs into a memorial to a humanist civilization under siege, its icons not just Joyce, but also other modernists such as Proust and Hermann Broch. It holds up just fine in such company." ~Kirkus Review