Jokes for the Gunmen

Mazen Maarouf

Published: 3 January 2019
Trade Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 176 pages
ISBN: 9781846276675


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.

About the author


‘I really loved this book. Each story holds a common space with carefully, floatingly simple, precise and off-balance language. The stories return to the idea of the joke again and again in ways that are at once funny, profoundly sad and mysteriously enriching. Violence visits the characters frequently with its sudden transformations of body and memory, its indifference and its irresistibility, brilliantly captured by the author in all its dense reality, its shattering irreality. This is a book that deepens our sense of who we are to each otherDavid Hayden



‘Maarouf's stories describe the perverted logic of a society deformed by war. They are funny and horrifying, matter-of-fact and surreal, bleak and magical. They show you things not easily forgotten’ Chris Power

‘Mazen Maarouf's stories are a powerful reminder that it is only through the imagination we can hope to make sense of the brute senselessness of reality’ Sjón

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