A Thousand Morons is the third collection of short stories by Catalan author, journalist, and translator Quim Monzó to appear in English translation. Split into two sections, A Thousand Morons features (in addition to a most fantastic title) 19 well-crafted stories, many of which are no longer than a couple of pages. Introducing brio into the banal and fun into the funereal, Monzó is able to make an intriguing tale of even the most commonplace incidents or interactions. His often melancholy characters, possessed as they sometimes are by ruminative personalities, endure the vagaries of everyday life with reluctance and resignation. While his stories on their face may appear uncomplicated, they frequently belie the simplicity and straightforwardness of life's more prosaic moments. "I'm Looking Out of the Window," "Praise," and "The Coming of Spring" are among the strongest of the collection's longer stories and "A Cut," "One Night," "Another Night," and "Beyond the Sore" are the best of the briefer ones. A Thousand Morons is further proof that Quim Monzó is one of the more proficient, distinctive, and exciting writers at work today. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A Thousand Morons is rife with very unfortunate characters, like the prince whose kisses are ineffective in waking the sleeping beauty. An excellent combination of longer, elegiac stories of "morons," aging, and the passage of time—with short, flashier pieces displaying Monzó's wit and playfulness—makes this his strongest collection.
"The latest from Catalan author Quim MonzÃ³ (Guadalajara) is a slender yet brilliant collection of stories that subvert the expected, embrace absurdity, and add profundity to the mundane. While the lives of writers fill many of these pages dreaming of lost friends ('Two Dreams'), shirking the advances of fellow writers ('Praise'), adding whimsy to the banal task of completing a short newspaper assignment ('Thirty Lines') not all of MonzÃ³'s protagonists toil in the literary world. Adult children preside over elderly parents in 'Mr. Beneset' and 'The Coming of Spring.' 'One Night' finds a desperate prince striving to rouse a sleeping princess through a series of increasingly bawdy acts. And in 'Saturday,' a woman follows a meticulous routine as she slowly cleans her home of every memory it ever held, including those of herself. Split into two parts one containing longer prose, the other, flash fiction and beautifully translated, MonzÃ³'s 19 tales succeed so completely thanks to their curious view of the everyday. His is a world in which men become lost in existential thought while glancing out a window, where the Virgin Mary chooses to not bear a child, and where moments of hearty belly laughter are often trailed by gasps of horror." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Collection of incredibly funny stories about, well, a bunch of morons.
About the Author
Quim Monzó is considered to be the greatest Catalan writer of his generation. He has received numerous awards, including Serra d'Or
magazine's prestigious Critics' Award four times. He has also translated numerous authors into Catalan, including Truman Capote and J. D. Salinger.
Peter Bush is a renowned translator from Catalan, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. He was awarded the Valle-Inclán Literary Translation Prize for his translation of Juan Goytisolo's The Marx Family Saga.