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MBI 2019 Longlist: Jokes for the Gunmen by Mazen Maarouf


Number 12 – Read and reviewed by Book Worm…

Synopsis from Goodreads: A brilliant collection of fictions in the vein of Roald Dahl, Etgar Keret and Amy Hempel. These are stories of what the world looks like from a child’s pure but sometimes vengeful or muddled perspective. These are stories of life in a war zone, life peppered by surreal mistakes, tragic accidents and painful encounters. These are stories of fantasist matadors, lost limbs and voyeuristic dwarfs. This is a collection about sex, death and the all-important skill of making life into a joke. These are unexpected stories by a very fresh voice. These stories are unforgettable.

Book Worm’s Thoughts: Well the curse of the short story has struck for the second time on this long list, I really just don’t get on with them. I liked the title story but that was the only one that appealed to me.

As with all short stories there is not really any character development or plot. For me the writing quality was fine but nothing to write home about and the stories themselves were not particularly original.

Writing quality: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Character development: 1/4
Plot development: 1/4
Overall enjoyment: 1/2
Total: 9/20

Have you read this one? What did you think?


Love in the New Millennium 18/20
The Remainder 17.3/20
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead 16.5/20
The Faculty of Dreams 14.5/20
Mouthful of Birds 14.5/20
Celestial Bodies 14/20
Four Soldiers 14/20
The Years 12.75/20
The Pine Islands 12.5/20
The Death of Murat Idrissi 10.5/20
At Dusk 9.5/20
Jokes for the Gunmen 9/20

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I haven’t found it and not planning to invest money in this one. Probably the only one of the longlist I won’t even bother to try. I also liked a lot The Remainder:


    April 5, 2019

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