A cab driver’s odyssey through Barcelona in search of hope.

They call him Sandino after The Clash album, but his real name is Jose, and he thinks it’s time to get his real name back, the one his parents chose and used to curse him. Sandino wanted to be a writer, but has ended up being a cab driver and becoming “the family disgrace”. He is an insomniac, a womanizer, loyal and melancholic. He has the face of a good person and his profession makes him a modern devil capable of sneaking into the intimacies of his clients. For seven days and seven nights, Sandino drives his cab through the streets of Barcelona, with his grandmother’s ashes alongside him. He avoids going back home to his wife Lola at all costs. She is fed up with his infidelities and is just about ready to leave him for good. His tactic is to never be home so that he never has to have that conversation. Besides, he is not sure if he wants his wife to leave him, he isn´t even sure if he wants to be a taxi driver, or if he is capable of actually loving someone. He is convinced that life consists of moving forward until you crash, like a ball on a billiard table.

Sandino’s life is falling apart day by day. He wanders the streets from place to place, always on the client’s orders. In his flight to nowhere, Sandino seeks refuge in the arms of his lovers and things get more and more complicated, getting involved in somewhat gruesome episodes: a bag with burundanga and money, a story of horns and revenge, jihadist training…

The stories of passengers, friends and enemies mingle and intertwine in his mind, a tangle of memories and ghosts of the past that draw an existential map of his life, the life of the city and the characters that inhabit it. Perhaps in this way, in his flight towards nothingness, Sandino manages to free himself from his ties, from his deceitful loves and from the environment that holds him down in order to reach some new and hopeful place.


RELEVANT DATA: In Taxi, Carlos Zanón creates a realistic portrait of the less touristic areas of Barcelona: Mercabarna, abandoned ports, nightclubs, hotels by the hour…

Zanón has been given the Hammett Award, the Novepol Award, the Brigada Award for best crime novel of the year, and the Valencia Negra Award for best novel of the year. He has also been a finalist for the Silverio Cañada Memorial Award, Giallo e dell Noir, the Violeta Negra Award and the City of Santa Cruz Award. His article on Diego Maradona published in La Vanguardia has been selected for the Panenka Awards.

Some of his novels have been selected as the best of the year in different media outlets. He has also worked as a scriptwriter in Érase una vez Juan Marsé (Alea Producciones).


What the critics have said:

“Carlos Zanón has developed a way of telling stories and creating characters that distinguishes him among many other authors. The rhythm of his careful prose beats in every sentence. In Taxi, Zanón writes a human story, brilliant and dark at the same time, inhabited by unforgettable characters, disheartened men and women who fight until their last breath to prove and demonstrate that, perhaps, life is something better than what it has been up to now.” Claudia Piñeiro.

“This is the story of Sandino, a sleepless and hopeless cab driver, a fan of The Clash. A womanizer, loyal and melancholic, he travels through Barcelona and each passenger is a shred of the city: intense, desolate, beautiful, unbearable. And there is more in this sad and funny book, impossible to abandon once opened: the ashes of a gothic grandmother, money that falls into the wrong hands, furtive love affairs, thuggish cab drivers and the abyss between rich and poor, between those who stand to lose everything and those who no longer have anything to lose.” Mariana Enríquez.

“Sandino, the melancholic and love-starved cab driver who searches and flees through Barcelona to the rhythm of The Clash, is one of the most formidable characters in recent literature. Taxi, a novel full of reality, pain and poetry, as bitter as it is luminous, is Carlos Zanón’s proof of maturity.” Isaac Rosa.

“Taxi is a novel infected with poetry. Zanón has an undeniable talent for short, almost beats-like, lyrical raptures that never sound cheesy. He also excels in the gradation of the intensity of a plot in which the noir is not an easy concatenation of criminal intrigues, but a certain chaos where the reader (like Sandino) pulls his head out before sinking again deeper. It is likely that these qualities make Taxi his most ambitious novel; it is also his most exciting.” El País.

“Although there is a well-plotted storyline in Taxi, the novel moves forward thanks to Sandino’s character and the scenes that are chained together in a cinematographic montage designed to put together a kaleidoscopic image of the city of Barcelona, rogue and posh, an image stitched together by the taxi´s races from misery to luxury.” El Periódico.


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

LANGUAGES AVAILABLE: Spanish, Greek, English, French.

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