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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depends on the translation...
In its original Spanish, this is a wonderful adventure following an alien trying to blend in to Earth life in the very peculiar world of Barcelona immediately before the Olympic Games; references to Catalan surnames that sound ridiculous and the disruption being caused by urban improvements in preparation for the Games might be lost to many. Originally written in...
Published on 3 Dec 2006 by bluehoops

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only useful if you have an exam on the Spanish text
I bought this book to aid my studies of the original text, Sin Noticias de Gurb and I was pretty appalled by the inconsistencies of the translation. The translation never decides fully to adopt a British perspective or to retain its Spain cultural references. Consequently, the translation undermines Mendoza's intentions entirely.

I would only recommend this...
Published on 9 May 2009 by F. Mactaggart


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depends on the translation..., 3 Dec 2006
This review is from: No Word from Gurb (Paperback)
In its original Spanish, this is a wonderful adventure following an alien trying to blend in to Earth life in the very peculiar world of Barcelona immediately before the Olympic Games; references to Catalan surnames that sound ridiculous and the disruption being caused by urban improvements in preparation for the Games might be lost to many. Originally written in instalments for a newspaper, these references will need to be changed for the same impact to be achieved in the English version.

Thankfully, the blurb on the Amazon website hints that this has happened (I don't remember Madonna's image being used in the original) and as the author lived in New York he should be able to ensure that the 'replacement' personalities also have in impact.

Having said all that, the central message of an individual struggling to get by in a world they don't understand is pretty easy to understand so the vast majority of the jokes should work fine. This is well worth the money.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How often do you laugh out loud when reading?, 17 Oct 2007
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This review is from: No Word from Gurb (Paperback)
I can't comment on the English version but the original Spanish is a treasure. Imagine a cross between Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and Bridget Jones Diary, with a strong pinch of Almodovar thrown in and you are getting close to Gurb.

It's not often that I laugh out loud when reading a book - with Gurb the tears were rolling down my face. The characters and modern life are so well observed. It is both hyper-Spanish (though based in Barcelona the Catalans might claim it specifically for themselves) and yet true to life of many western cultures. How many times have you had to argue your way into a restaurant which is full of empty `reserved' tables; followed a diversion sign only for it to lead you to another diversion; or discovered that every museum in a city is closed for renovations while they are being made more `accessible.'

It has romance, pathos, politics but above all humour - a true treasure of a book
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ¡More churros please!, 23 Sep 2011
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John Perry "johnmperry" (SE Asia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Word from Gurb (Paperback)
I thought this was so beautifully written. It entirely captured Spanish mentality, at least I thought it did, and I was living in Spain when I read it. Mendoza's writing is always brilliantly evocative, and this didn't fail.

I hadn't really thought of it as any kind of satire, I just enjoyed it for itself.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only useful if you have an exam on the Spanish text, 9 May 2009
This review is from: No Word from Gurb (Paperback)
I bought this book to aid my studies of the original text, Sin Noticias de Gurb and I was pretty appalled by the inconsistencies of the translation. The translation never decides fully to adopt a British perspective or to retain its Spain cultural references. Consequently, the translation undermines Mendoza's intentions entirely.

I would only recommend this book if you are studying the original Spanish text for an exam.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars probably the funniest scifi book ever, 10 May 2012
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This review is from: No Word from Gurb (Paperback)
I was going on holiday to stay with Catalan friends in Girona near Barcelona and wanted a catalan novel to read whilst on holiday however my local Waterstones only had the Shadow of the Wind but when I told my friends they had a look of horror, saying it was a popular but dreadful book and having read it, I must agree with them however as an alternative they suggested reading this book and what a pleasure, set in Barcelona in the run up to the Olympics and so very apt for Londoners today, probably the funniest book I've ever read.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 8 May 2011
This review is from: No Word from Gurb (Paperback)
No Word from Gurb is the story of two aliens who come on Earth, Barcelona to be precise, for a mission. Gurb goes missing and his pal looks for him. To do so, he will experience life in Barcelona, get a flat, meet people...

I bought this book as it was described to me as being a real laugh. Well it was not funny. The humour is very childish. Actually if a few scenes were illustrated, it would make a nice children book.
There is no real action either. The main character gets constantly into trouble but instead of making the book interesting, it just seems monotonous.

The only good thing about this book: it's short! So I didn't have to suffer for too long.
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No Word from Gurb
No Word from Gurb by Eduardo Mendoza (Paperback - 29 Mar 2007)
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