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No Word From Gurb Paperback – October 1, 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
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Top Customer Reviews
Gurb is not sci-fi, it's just silly, and I mean that as a compliment. Mendoza is an excellent comic writer, able to make his befuddled alien a lovable character, while at the same time delivering industrial quantities of parody and absurdist humour. There are many laugh out loud moments, and probably a lot more if you're familiar with Spanish culture and politics.
One example of sublime absurdity comes when the alien is describing his problems with keeping the different parts of his human body at the right temperature: "The worst is my head, perhaps due to the intense intellectual activity going on there. Its temperature is sometimes in excess of 150C. In order to lessen the effects of this heat, I always wear a top hat, and fill the inside with ice cubes I buy in service stations. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution. The ice soon melts, the water boils and the hat is sent up into the air with such force that first ones I had are still somewhere in the air."
There's almost a Lewis Carroll quality to that passage. Mendoza has also written a trilogy of comic detective novels featuring a thief who lives in an insane asylum, but is let out on occasion by the police in order to solve difficult crimes. I've read the first, The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt, and it's excellent, in a silly sort of way.
Read more of my reviews at [...]
I highly recommend most of Mendoza's books, some which are also very funny (Misterio de la Cripta Embrujada) and other more serious, with very interesting style and approach (La verdad sobre el caso Savolta), all of them with interesting views of Barcelona and its society as a background.
There is one line I particularly liked though, which reads roughly as, "Children do whatever they want to do, adults do the same thing but get paid for it." If only it were that simple.