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No Word from Gurb Paperback – 29 Mar 2007
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'Wonderfully inventive and hilarious' The Times 'A great read. Literary Prozac.' French Cosmopolitan 'Eduardo Mendoza is one of contemporary Spain's most important writers.' New York Times Book Review 'For sheer descriptive writing he is unrivalled.' Andre Clavel 'An accomplished literary novelist who knows how to entertain.' Kirkus Review
About the Author
Eduardo Mendoza is a celebrated Spanish novelist. He won the Premio Planeta prize in 2010 for his novel Rina de gatos: Madrid, 1936. His other novels include The City of Marvels, The Year of the Flood and The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt. He lives in Barcelona, Spain. About the translator: Nick Caistor's translations include The Buenos Aires Quintet by Manuel Vazquez Montalban and works by Eduardo Mendoza, Juan Marse, Alan Pauls and Guillermo Orsi.
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Top customer reviews
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.
The narrator is hapless, and gets himself into all sorts of trouble while wandering though the humans' world. Having spent quite a while in Barcelona, it made me laugh when he heads for a fountain for water, and takes the opportunity to analyse the contents: "hydrogen, oxygen and crap".
I have to Google some of the famous people whose appearances he adapts to blend in, so I suppose Spaniards find the book even funnier than I do.
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
I hadn't really thought of it as any kind of satire, I just enjoyed it for itself.
I would only recommend this book if you are studying the original Spanish text for an exam.