A Good Guy (Un buen chico)

Stop lying to yourself.

Polo (Rubén Polo) is a ¨good¨ guy: he comes from a ¨good¨ family, he is attractive and charming. His life is seemingly perfect. He lives with his beautiful girlfriend, Gabi, and are very much in love. One day, Polo coincidentally runs into Blanca, a childhood friend, who, along with Nacho (Blanca´s brother) and Chino, had formed their own band when they were younger. It had been a while since Polo and Blanca had seen each other last, about 10 years… and not since the incident that caused the band to break up. Polo remembers being platonically in love with Blanca, but she holds a secret that could destroy his perfect life.

When Polo and Blanca meet again, Blanca explains that Chino and her got married and that she is pregnant. Unfortunately, her brother Nacho had recently committed suicide, which surprised Polo, since he had seen him not too long ago at a concert.

What starts as a conversation between two old friends soon leads to a re-opening of an old wound, a transition to a dark past in Polo´s mind. He comes out of this meeting completely shocked, and even has to resort to therapy, since he is unable to have sexual relations with his girlfriend Gabi anymore.  The reason why Polo is so tormented is slowly unraveled in these sessions.

Rohipnol, Malasaña, 1997. Polo, Chino, Nacho and Blanca are 4 well-off college students that form their own band. Under the influence of drugs, the three boys, along with some dubious friends they call ¨The Twins¨, commit a series of rapes against girls who they meet in concert halls or nightclubs and drug with Rohipnol.

The story takes a turn when Polo confesses to raping two women, one of them being his present-day girlfriend, Gabi. At the time, Gabi was dating someone else. She was drugged after attending a concert and taken to ¨The Twins´¨ house, and was then raped by one of the twins, Chino and, finally, Polo.

Blanca is the victim of his other brutal rape, this one being in her own home. She even had to be taken to the hospital afterwards. The common consensus had been that Nacho (her own brother) had raped her, but soon find out that it was actually Polo.

The boys continued with this kind of behavior for years, as if it were an addiction. Polo decides to move to New York for his master’s degree, returning to Madrid afterwards to work at a bank alongside his father. Upon his return, he reconnects with Gabi and starts a relationship with her, hiding his horrible secret. In his mind, he is certain that new memories with her will mask the horrible past. However, the recent meeting with Blanca, and Nacho´s suicide, derails Polo´s certainty.

Polo confesses to Gabi. She immediately kicks him out, absolutely disgusted, disappointed and shocked at his actions.

A Good Guy (Un buen chico) has a fascinating plot narrated through multiple conversations. It is both violent and emotional. It is a hypnotic and deeply disturbing story about the decisions we make in life, about youth and lost innocence, about vain attempts to repair the irreparable and hiding who we truly are.


RELEVANT DATA: This novel has been published in 4 countries and has been adapted to a theater play in Canada. It is extremely character-driven and complex, in which the reader has no choice but to put themselves in Polo´s shoes, a coward who is lying to himself. It portrays a fascinating era in Madrid, full of life and growth. In addition, it is a time that was marked by cocaine abuse, ecstasy and ¨date rape¨ drugs. The author portrays a group of rebellious young people that come from a wealthy family, who let themselves be led by a life of dreams, passions, drugs… Including the inevitable passive violence, in which they believe they are doing nothing wrong.

The author attained the Ópera Prima de Nuevos Narradores Award with his first novel, and has also won many other awards in his career like the Salvador García Aguilar Award, he was the winner of the Certamen de Narrativa Breve José Saramago was a finalist for the Tiflos Award.


What the critics have said:

“A pulsating and hypnotic text that oscillates between truth and lies, creating a feeling of anguish close to that created by David Lynch in Muholland Drive.” Patrick Beaumont, Livres – La Gaze4e du Nord

“The first impression after reading the novel is the felling of a KO.” Verónica Mellado, Diario Vasco

“Not suitable for sensitive readers. A novelist who enjoys erasing clues. From elegance to a postmodern fury.” Jacques Aboucaya, Service Li4e´raire

“A novel in which nostalgia for the paradise of the lost youth oozes with dark feelings.” Rolling Stone Italy


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.

LANGUAGES AVAILABLE: Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

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