Mundo Cruel: Stories
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Mundo Cruel: Stories

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Luis Negrón’s debut collection reveals the intimate world of a small community in Puerto Rico joined together by its transgressive sexuality. The writing straddles the shifting line between pure, unadorned storytelling and satire, exploring the sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking nature of survival in a decidedly cruel world.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Seven Stories Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Manuel Ramos
I reviewed this book for La Bloga - at this link

Here's a bit from that review: The nine short stories in this slim volume provide a strong hint that Luis Negrón is the real deal in terms of an authentic voice, a rich talent, and an insightful eye. ... There is sex in the stories, quite a bit, but these are not erotic stories, nor are they about sex. The stories also have laughter, irony, sadness, and beauty. The reader is privy to the longing of marginaliz...more
Este libro era parte de las lecturas de un curso en el que estudiamos el género, narrativa y el cine en donde estudiamos cómo se representan los géneros y si estos se redefinen o no en la pantalla grande. En ningún momento había pensado que este libro me gustaría tanto ya que no es el género literario que estoy acostumbrada a leer pero gracias a esta clase pude darme la oportunidad de leer y adorar esta historia.

Luis Negrón revela en esta colección de cuentos llamada Mundo Cruel un mundo que la...more
Aaron (Typographical Era)
The nine stories that make up Luis Negron’s debut short story collection Mundo Cruel are each immediate and intense. Exploring the lives of subjects who all live in or around the barrio of Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, each tale plunges the reader head first into a life in crisis and offers them a shotgun seat on a ride along to see how things will turn out. Much like real life, the results aren’t always pretty. Happy endings seem few and far between, but the voices here ooze with authenticit...more
Joel A.
Mundo Cruel is a very slim volume of tiny stories that are funny, vicious and sharp. I loved the voice in these pieces, which is original, iconoclastic, hilariously funny and often sad. One great example is: (and I'm paraphrasing so forgive) when one of the characters briefly breaks the fourth wall and reflects that, like most Puerto Rican literary protagonists, he isn't sure about the role of the US in PR.

The first story ("The Chosen One") is heartbreaking for its depiction of familial homopho...more
The pastor looked at me with the prophet-look he knew how to put on. I saw him look at me with anger and then his eyes saw my slutty face. Full of pleasure upon seeing me look at him that way, he revealed his rage to me. I saw his dark thick body through his damp white clothes. I saw the hairs on his wet arms, close to his skin. I saw that he saw that I saw what he saw. I saw through his white pants how inside his white cotton jockey shorts, he grew large. I saw the brothers on the shore fascina...more
I bought this book in PR last Christmas while hanging out at a really nice bookstore in Santurce called Libros AC.

I read it in Spanish so I can't speak on the translated version.

This collection of short stories revolve around the gay community in PR and the social realities of its characters in which the search for love, alienation, and homophobia are always present. There is a alot of humor that weaves in and out of the stories. I laughed out loud often while reading this book.

It is an excelle...more
Mundo Cruel will make you uncomfortable, but that is not it's intention. It is stark and visceral in it's telling and holds no punches. It also makes no apologies for this either. It simply is.
Mundo Cruel is nine short stories of gay life in the Hispanic culture. Each told by the character experiencing it the most.

"...The news reached Papi through my brothers, who were eager for the beating that would follow. With the eyes of a Pharisee, while Mami turned up the volume on the radio that was p...more
The slim volume contains nine stories all taking place within the gay world in Puerto Rico. The stories are radically transgressive, satirical, deeply distressing, and riotously funny, leaving the reader unsettled throughout, unsure whether to laugh with or at the stereotypes. These are all very short stories, and some of them left me wanting more, feeling a bit like I’d been taken on a ride so fast that I wasn’t sure how I got to where I was when the story was over. Some of them I went back and...more
The slim volume contains nine stories all taking place within the gay world in Puerto Rico. The stories are radically transgressive, satirical, deeply distressing, and riotously funny, leaving the reader unsettled throughout, unsure whether to laugh with or at the stereotypes. These are all very short stories, and some of them left me wanting more, feeling a bit like I’d been taken on a ride so fast that I wasn’t sure how I got to where I was when the story was over. Some of them I went back and...more
Originally Appeared in Lambda Literary

Luis Negón’s debut story collection, Mundo Cruel, is a study in verve, sass, and voice, peppered with a dash of spirituality. Short and sweet, this slim volume delivers its wisdom in one breakneck sprint through the cosmopolitan barrio of Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Negrón’s work has garnered comparisons to Manuel Puig, the late Argentine pop author best known for his novel Kiss of the Spider Woman. It’s an apt comparison. Like Puig, Negón’s prose crack...more
Michael Smith
How fortunate I was to win this collection of stories in Goodreads Giveaways! It is unavoidable for me to echo previous reviewer Manuel Ramos in describing this book. Mundo Cruel travels through the margins of contemporary society (set in Puerto Rico), hitching rides with a rich variety of un-self-conscious characters who go about their lives matter-of-factly, but these stories are anything but ordinary: sex and violence significantly inform these daily lives. Neither sensational nor erotic, the...more
Rui Carlos da Cunha
Just finished this amazing book of short stories. Each story is unique in narrative and style though all deal with the lives of gay men (and gay youth) in Santurce, Puerto Rico, occasionally highlighting the homophobic culture underpinning the openness or closeted attitudes of the characters involved. Luis Negrón is an incredibly gifted writer who creates beautiful stories with depth and imagination that are sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreakingly tender. I loved all nine of the tales and loo...more
The stories in this book can be hit or miss. The ones that are a hit are insightful and so human that they will stick with you. The ones that are a miss may have been too experimental to grasp, like perfectly replicating one side of a phone call. "For Guayama" and "The Garden" stood out to me the most. "For Guayama" is wacky in the best way, and "The Garden" is real, beautiful, and moving.
Luzma Umpierre
Excellent but one has to give credit to the editor of the book who shall remain unnamed because she is a young Puerto Rican poet herself. I am talking about the first edition in its Spanish version.
Book Him Danno
Full disclosure-I didn't read the whole book…it is short…but it is not my thing at all. Sex, language and the 1st story was about a child having sex with many, many , many people including his priest right after baptism. Not my thing at all…not even a little bit.

That is about all I can say about this book of short stories….I will not be reading the rest. My rating is based on my experience and I did not enjoy the bits I did read at all.
Love the translation almost as much as the original Spanish version! The humor used in the book to portray the underlying serious implications of a homophobic society on the island is perfect and synonymous with our "isla" way of life. We joke about serious things and we laugh when we're worried, we make biting remarks behind a mask of humor and then say things like, "nene relax, I'm just kidding!"
Puerto Rican, gay, flippant, fun (and occasionally devastating) this 2010 collection of stories (just translated 2013), gives some long over-due perspective on pre-AIDS/post-AIDS gay life and self awareness on La Isla del Encanto. The title story "Mundo Cruel" seems especially apt: ahh such glorious bitter depredations of these a-bit-too-familiar, well-coiffed queens.
Bucho R.
not sure if it's the translation or just negron's personal style of writing, but the language all came off too "simple" sounding to me. the stories were okay, but none of them blew me away.
John Treat
These are some of the best stories I have read in years. "The Chosen One" will make you cry, and "For Guayama" will make you laugh. Levine's translations read like butter. This one is a keeper.
"Papito, I'll go with you to the ends of the earth, but first take me to a restaurant for a plate of rice and beans because I've been hungry for the last twenty years...And they left"
Funny, sensitive at times touching , Negron captures the life of Gay men in the Puerto Rican culture . The short stories were well written and a good read.
Beautiful roller coaster of a book. Funny, emotional, heartbreaking, passionate. Transported me to what must be a very dark & shadowy part of Puerto Rico.
a little inconsistent in parts but some real gems lie within, like the poignant 'the garden', and the tragicomic 'for guayama'.
Sean Donovan
A really wonderful writer, the best stories are "The Chosen One," "Botella," and the titular "Mundo Cruel."
After reading this book, I can't help but wonder if there are any straight men in Puerto Rico.
Carlos velez
se representa como es la vida de los Homosexuales en Puerto Rico.
Entretenido y rapido. Excelente para el lector boricua de pura cepa.
quick yet powerful stories. gimme more!
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