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Mundo Cruel: Stories

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  308 Ratings  ·  54 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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Mundo Cruel by Luis NegronLa Charca by Manuel Zeno GandiaPoemas de la muerte by Jose Maria LimaLitoral by Luis Pales MatosTuntún de pasa y grifería by Luis Pales Matos
Literatura puertorriqueña
1st out of 66 books — 2 voters
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerGiovanni's Room by James BaldwinGo Tell It on the Mountain by James BaldwinZami by Audre LordeSister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Books by LGBTQ People of Color
89th out of 296 books — 42 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,165)
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Manuel Ramos
Jan 25, 2013 Manuel Ramos rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 04, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
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
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Mar 11, 2013 Aaron (Typographical Era) rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
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.
Sep 26, 2013 Joel A. rated it it was amazing
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
juan carlos
Jan 03, 2015 juan carlos rated it it was ok
Un libro de temática gay, que nos muestra con humor negro, las atrocidades e incoherencias de pensamiento que tiene nuestra realidad actual frente a los temas de diversidad. Le puse dos estrellas por que solo 2 cuentos me agradaron y lograron hacerme pensar. Pero las demás historias, no provocaron una conexión en mi, ni con trama, ni con personajes.
Brian Bixler
Sep 24, 2014 Brian Bixler rated it liked it

“Goodbye cruel world,” has become a cliche in books and movies when someone is about to leap from a cliff or use some other method to bring about their demise. But readers will want to say hello to Luis Negrón’s “Mundo Cruel,” which has been translated from Spanish into English by Suzanne Jill Levine and won this year’s Lambda Literary Award for general gay fiction.

Set mostly in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Negrón’s stories explore some of the cruelties of life without ever being a downer. In fact, h
Alexis Vélez
Nov 12, 2014 Alexis Vélez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genial y simpatiquísimo este libro de cuentos del puertorriqueño Luis Negrón, escrito completamente en el lenguaje coloquial de nuestra querida isla, lo cual lo hace uno de rápida lectura y difícil de soltar. Lo interesante y diferente que tiene este libro es que todos sus cuentos tratan de situaciones y temas homosexuales, tocándolos de una manera mayormente jocosa y sin caer en el mal gusto. Es realmente agradable ver como abofetea tan sutilmente en la cara a la homofobia en todas sus historia ...more
Oct 27, 2011 Yoely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
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
Ana Castillo Muñoz
Apr 25, 2014 Ana Castillo Muñoz rated it it was amazing
Me fascinó. La recomiendo. Luis plasmó en una sola pieza de manera coloquial y jocosa la homosexualidad y sus diferentes capas sociales. Esto es una pequeña muestra, de las más acertadas que he visto hasta ahora, de lo que somos y sobre cómo estamos tan contaminados como sociedad. Luis nos mostró los insensibles y "tradicionales" que somos. Fue un viaje exquisito, nada más hermoso que ver la sexualidad y la homosexualidad en todas sus manifestaciones. ¡Bravo!
Carlos Mock
Jul 16, 2014 Carlos Mock rated it it was amazing
Mundo Cruel by Luis Negrón; Spanish Edition

This is a collection of 9 short stories.

In "El Elegido," a “Chosen” evangelical candidate for baptism- which happens when he turns fifteen - narrates his homosexual adventures with the sons some of the parishioners, the minister's son, a bus conductor, a famous singer - who taught him how to smoke as he was taken to cheap motels in Caguas. The narrator is criticized for wearing effeminate white clothing to his baptism ceremony, however this makes the pa
Melvin Rodríguez-Rodríguez
Una colección satírica, ingeniosa e hiperbólica sobre la soledad, la marginación y la miseria en los rincones olvidados de la ciudad.

Abre el volumen "El elegido", en el que un adolescente gay se acerca a su bautismo en una iglesia protestante. Es una sátira sobre las apariencias y el fanatismo religioso, en la que por voluntad de Dios se cierne un peculiar castigo o bendición para la congregación. Sirva de muestra un cantante cristiano que hará un "crossover" a la música mundana. De tema también
Jan 29, 2014 Ariana rated it liked it
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.
Jun 01, 2016 Karen marked it as to-read
Here are 25 queer authors you need to be reading ... that is, if you aren't already!


Puerto Rican writer Luis Negrón is best known for his short story collection Mundo Cruel, which was translated into English and published in the U.S. in 2013. The stories showcase a cruel world in clear, tight prose, and deal with Puerto Rican gay culture, a topic unfamiliar to many of us. The characters in Mundo Cruel experience abuse, prejudice, death, and heartbreak, and yet they are resilie
Apr 13, 2014 Ron rated it really liked it
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
Felix Cortes
Aug 24, 2014 Felix Cortes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sencillo y genial.
Aug 26, 2013 Albert rated it really liked it
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
Apr 01, 2013 Erica rated it really liked it
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
Apr 01, 2013 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
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
Michael Smith
Feb 18, 2013 Michael Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
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
Feb 05, 2016 willowdog rated it it was amazing
Is it too early for 10 best. Luis Negron's somehow translates Telemundo into print. Witty, humorous, satirical stories that capture the Puerto Rican's view of the world in a style all his own. As you can tell, I enjoyed it a lot. (Don't be put off by the first story in the collection. It is the weakest one.)
Aug 05, 2014 Edward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A slight collection of short stories (98 pages in the print edition) about gay life in Puerto Rico. Negron won't win any prizes for style, but I believe the stories present something authentic about the nature of the closet and the hypocrisy of macho.
Ken Cook
Dec 27, 2015 Ken Cook rated it liked it
Light, quasi-autobiographical tales based in Puerto Rico. Author is open about his gay status, and uses that in most every story. Quick read, it reminded me of Conjunto, the writing group in southeast Texas's compendium.
Luzma Umpierre
Mar 09, 2014 Luzma Umpierre rated it it was amazing
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.
A good book about gay lives in Puerto Rico. I love the tone and the topic of the stories, but somehow I think some stories still need more elaborations. :)
Jan 08, 2015 Sandino rated it it was amazing
Este es el primer libro de temática gay que he leído y me pareció excelente. Las historias se cuentan desde diferentes puntos de vistas; todas relacionadas a como se perciben, viven y se desenvuelven los hombres gays de Puerto Rico. Todo contado con humor, a veces negro a veces multicolor, y con un lenguaje bastante popular, lo cual (y si uno es Caribeño e hispano parlante) le da un sabor aún mas exquisito. Una muestra de como el hombre gay de Puerto Rico tiene que subsistir en una sociedad con ...more
Elidio La Torre-Lagares
Jul 20, 2014 Elidio La Torre-Lagares rated it really liked it
Aquí mi comentario del libro:
Nov 19, 2015 Franco rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buena colección de relatos. Tal vez la abundancia de dialecto portorriqueño hizo que no llegara a disfrutar plenamente de todos los cuentos.
Leira Carola
Nov 06, 2015 Leira Carola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¡Me encantó! Nada de palabrería y utiliza el lenguaje boricua sin falsedades.

Las historias siguen siendo relevantes al mundo en el que vivimos.
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