What you need to know before your trail
It is Sylvia’s sixteenth birthday but her adult life doesn’t start all that well – with a car accident and a broken leg.
The driver of the car is a talented and young football player, who has barely arrived in the country from Buenos Aires. He was set for great things… and then the accident happens. What will happen to both of them? Their worlds and their destinies are set to collide.
This is a study of the intertwining lives of many people – one close-knit family in Madrid with a colourful and varied supporting cast of footballers, prostitutes and South American immigrants.
The title is particularly apt as the people in the novel all suffer from self-esteem issues and who when they take risks, they backfire in various ways. A very sad and often difficult book to read.The streets of Madrid however really come to life in all their noisy, congested and lively ways. There are many characters on these streets yet the roar of the football ground can be heard above everything.
The Santiago Bernabeu stadium is the main setting for this novel and it’s where lives crash and combine in spectacular fashion. The cast of characters is long and involve a range of people from footballers, immigrants and a close knit family. The four main characters however are a 16 year old Spanish girl, her father, her grandfather, and a 20 year old Argentinian footballer. This is their story and their lives in Madrid.
The author goes to some pains in order to convey the sense of being in country without understanding the language and then developing a level of fluency though living there and absorbing life around him. Narcissism seems to be his companion through most of it however.
Learning to Lose is the translated version of the Spanish “Saber Perder”