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Jokes for the Gunmen Reviews

Jokes for the Gunmen by Mazen Maarouf

Jokes for the Gunmen

Mazen Maarouf

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publication date: 3 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9781846276675

An award-winning blast of literary brilliance from a major new voice on world literature.

  • The GuardianBook of the Day
5 stars out of 5
Alex Preston
20 Jan 2019

"full of visionary strangeness"

...a book that is full of visionary strangeness... Sitting behind Maarouf’s work is the clear influence of one of the masters of the short form, Julio Cortázar... The only response to such a monstrous existence is the kind of dark laughter that we find in Cortázar, in Beckett, in Kafka and in Brecht. Maarouf’s stories are deeply peculiar, occasionally touching and often very funny. They are also beautifully translated by Jonathan Wright, who renders Maarouf’s language in sprightly, elegant prose.


4 stars out of 5
Sarah Gilmartin
5 Jan 2019

"an unsettling collection that seeks to showcase loss in all its varied forms"

Translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright, the 12 stories offer a surreal look at the impact of war on the civilian population. By mixing the domestic with the horrific, the irreality of war comes through as we watch his characters live through unimaginable violence...  There are overtones of writers like Etgar Keret in Maarouf’s stories, or the dark tales of Roald Dahl whose twisted logic and embattled child protagonists take on new resonance in wartime... An unsettling collection that seeks to showcase loss in all its varied forms.