This is the novel that secured for Juan Marse the biggest literary prize in the world bar the Nobel. It is the culmination of the life's work of arguably the greatest living Spanish man of letters. Gracia: a working-class district of Barcelona in the shadow of civil war. Life is hard, the city is grey, the oppressive Fascist regime oversees all. With his stepfather imprisoned for opposing Franco's regime, teenager Ringo finds himself torn from his childhood pursuits and thrown into the world of work. He must find his own form of resistance, escaping his drudging reality through the power of the imagination. Inspired by stolen glimpses of Hollywood glamour, Ringo finds himself daring to dream of falling in love with his young neighbour Violeta, escaping Spain for the allure of the West. But as he finds himself inveigled into an adult passion far beyond his comprehension, his fragile dreamscape struggles to survive.