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No Word From Gurb

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  10,477 ratings  ·  591 reviews
A shape-shifting extraterrestrial named Gurb has assumed the form of Madonna and disappeared in Barcelona’s backstreets. His commanding officer and best friend has sent off in pursuit, scrupulously recording his observations of a human life in the city while munching through vast quantities of churros. No stone is left unturned, no danger too much, in the search for his ol ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 2007 by Telegram Books (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  10,477 ratings  ·  591 reviews

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James Hartley
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good, quick, light, funny, laugh-out loud read about two aliens. One, Gurb, has vanished down a back alley in Barcelona in the form of Madonna. The other, his superior, must find him. Throw in lots of satire, shape-shifting and witty observations and you have a perfect short novel.

Two quick things: I live in Spain but don´t trust my Spanish to read this in the original language - however, yesterday I was at a friend´s house and noticed this on the bookshelf (in castellano). Noticed that Gurb a
Sin Noticias de Gurb* is one of those books that you could kick yourself for not thinking of the idea first—not that I could have pulled off a minor masterpiece like this but still. Written in the form of a diary of messages sent by an extraterrestrial who comes to earth, takes on human form(s), and dryly narrates what he discovers about life here on earth—or at least life in Barcelona.

Upon landing in Barcelona, the unnamed leader sends his underling, Gurb, out to explore the terrain. Gurb immed
Sep 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eesti-keeles, 2017
I was promised funny, but what I got didn't humour me in the slightest and, truthfully, the only reason I didn't DNF, was because this book was one of those reading challenge books I chose purposefully for this particular point. But anyways, if my review looked like the book, then my review would look like this:

Day 1.
18.25 Got a book from the town's library. Everyone keeps recommending it.

Day 10.
17.35 Pick up the book. Read the first couple of pages.

17.40 Put the jam on fire.

17.45 Cannot find t
Jay Green
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Three-and-a-half stars for an amusing little novella that plonks a couple of shape-shifting aliens down in Barcelona and constructs its plot around their separation and eventual reconciliation. A more worthwhile trope than the xenophobic aliens-are-evil-let's-kill-them-all that seems to predominate these days, this offers the chance for a gentle satire at the expense of Catalan culture. An easy read with one or two LOLs. ...more
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
The second book that I've read in Spanish, this one left me feeling distinctly meh. A promising conceit - an extraterrestrial lands in Barcelona, in search of one of his crewmates and reports on the local population and customs. However, the execution, despite having the definite virtue of brevity (140 or so pages), was somewhat labored, and certainly nowhere near as amusing as the teacher who recommended the book to me seemed to find it.

Recommended only for those with an overwhelming interest i
Richard Mccaffery
I liked it! Though I'm sure I would have enjoyed it even more if I were a Spanish native. I say that because the alien assumes many roles of well known Spanish historical and modern day figures. (Which unfortunately I didn't know who most of them were, therefore the context of the jokes were kind of lost on me).

However, there are many circumstantially amusing moments throughout the story which keep you ploughing through to the end. On the whole a real good book. Not recommendable to anyone lear
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I have mixed feelings about this one. It was quite humorous in places, but never made me laugh out loud. The diary log form was interesting, forcing a narrowed view of events; we see only as the alien sees. However, this cuts all reaction from his antics, there is no response from the locals recorded (such as when he believes losing his head numerous times in a few minutes went unnoticed and was considered normal behaviour). Amusing enough at first but increasingly it seems that no one does noti ...more
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is simply amazing. It's basically a diary written by an alien that comes down to Earth, Barcelona, Spain to be exact. It is a very funny book because of the way it criticizes some things that we do in society. It's also a good book to read while in Barcelona, you can connect to the places that appear in the book such as I did about a year ago. I highly recommend this book to anyone who can read Spanish or is learning Spanish in an advanced course. ...more
Miguel Ángel Vilela
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It was amazing how this novel make me laugh to tears and get me rolling on the floor at a pretty sad time in my life, it practically made me laugh to death :D
Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mel, Moto Moto
Recommended to miaaa by: Ronny
Shelves: fictions-others
'What's so funny?' A friend finally asked me since I constantly giggling and eventually burst a laugh, which I think quite loud since people in the cafe turning their heads toward our table. I need few minutes to answer it since I couldn't stop laughing. 'Gosh,' I said, 'this Gurb's commander is knocking his female neighbour's door every five minutes asking stuff for his cooking until she gave him 2,000 pesetas and told him to go and eat in a restaurant and leave her in peace!'

Gurb and his comm
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forget pretty much everything these days and I am not even that old! (I! am! not!)
I was first surprised that the books read tend to become oh so blurry and this happens oh so quickly. Then the TV series followed... And there are days when I really wonder if I really (!) took my vitamins.

So I started to write on the book the date when I started it, I finished it (hopefully) (I am looking at you, huge stack of ”just started” books) and some sort of rating.

With this Eduardo Mendoza, well, I finis
Elizzy B
English review below

Crítica en español
He leído el libro por la recomendación de una buena amiga, y porque tuve la oportunidad de ver al autor este año. Es un libro muy delirante, loco, y divertido, aunque el humor, en exceso surrealista para mí, no me terminó de calar. Muy divertido repaso a la Barcelona pre-Olímpica, llena de alegría, esperanza, elementos de pueblo con sueño de metrópoli, sin el toque amargo del despetar que trajeron estas cosas en algunos...
El protagonista, divertido y simple,
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was my first book in spanish. I was laughing so hard people thought I was crazy. One of my absolute favorites but only really worth it in the original.
John Scheck
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, humor
This book is a total scream. It is such a great concept for a novel and then executed with such humor and insight that I would have to call it a masterpiece of humor fiction.
This was a quick, hilarious read!! Absolutely recommend it!

→4 stars
Michael Brown
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Does the narrator mean us? He certainly does. He's an alien searching for his pal and co-pilot Gurb, who has disappeared in Barcelona, and from that premise comes his sardonic, bewildered and occasionally scornful observations and clumsy attempts to integrate.

All the while I was reminded in a way of Matt Haig's fine novel The Humans, but Mendoza's tale is altogether more barmy and quickfire, even slapstick, especially when our narrator tries to assume human form. An early misadventure is partic
Sam Reaves
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A curious book, published in Spain in 1990 as Sin Noticias de Gurb, social satire full of absurdist humor, sometimes very funny. Two aliens, the unnamed narrator and his companion Gurb, come to earth on an exploratory mission and land near Barcelona. They are a completely different life form but are able to assume human shape when desired. Gurb strikes out on his own and disappears; the more timid narrator sets out to find him, assuming a variety of identities which only attract attention (misce ...more
Mar 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: spain
If aliens were to read Eduardo Mendoza’s No Word From Gurb (1990) they may well determine that it suffers from ’structural simplicity’. While this is true, it makes it no different from most other things on Earth they are likely to discover, like family apartments and Ford Fiestas.

The novel, initially published in installments in the popular Spanish newspaper, El País, is told in the style of a diary and parodies the city of Barcelona in the build up to the 1992 Olympics. Each day sees a number
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A shape-shifting alien arrives on the Earth, nowhere else but in Barcelona, to look for his lost friend Gurb. Throughout his search he takes different forms, explores the city and observes the human race.

The book is a satirical novel written by the Spanish writer Eduardo Mendoza. It is first published in the national newspaper El País in regular segments and later - as a book. It is a jewel in the modern Spanish literature with its unique story, humor, and social criticism.

Ultimately No Word f
Anna Baillie-Karas
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was wonderful! Laugh-out-loud funny, quirky characters (aliens) in Barcelona setting and poignant observationse of human behaviour. Strong writing, witty and playful. A touch of the absurd highlights the everyday strangeness of human lives.
#readaroundtheworld #Spain
Mary Conway
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was a joy to read and incredibly refreshing. I don’t usually enjoy this absurd style of writing but it makes a strangely perfect kind of sense for this story. I particularly enjoyed the ending and the almost marital relationship between the commander and Gurb.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began reading this in Spanish (Sin noticias de Gurb), but my rudimentary grasp of the language didn't cut it. I suspect the original-language version is 5-star material, especially if the reader is familiar with Barcelona. ...more
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-own
Increadibly funny and easy read. You might want to have a basic knowledge about Spain, Barcelona and its culture before you start to read it, though.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Had to read this for school and I honestly didn't like it at all. The writing style was horrible. I do not recommend this. ...more
Montgomery Webster
Feb 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, scifi
Overall: Absolutely the worst book I have ever read (1/10). Not really much else to say, since there was not a single redeeming feature.
Aug 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spagna, umorismo
José Manuel
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a good book to read before bed time .. I even dream it while sleeping
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish
I mean I guess there's nothing objectively terrible about this, but Mendoza's sense of humour and mine are not the same. ...more
stephanie 🦋
It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t my style.
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Eduardo Mendoza studied law in the first half of the 1960s and lived in New York between 1973 and 1982, working as interpreter for the United Nations.

He maintained an intense relationship with novelists Juan Benet and Juan García Hortelano, poet Pere Gimferrer and writer (and neighbour) Félix de Azúa.

In 1975 he published his very successful first novel, La verdad sobre el caso Savolta (The Truth a

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