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Book Review

Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, trans: Jethro Soutar (And Other Stories)

This award-winning book details the journey of desperate migrants from North Africa to Europe. Composed of multiple stories, the novel shares some of the histories behind their migration. The dialogue is sometimes over-explained, their stories show us the personal character of people who have fallen on hard times, many of whom are respectable but just unlucky or made bad decisions. Laurel’s novel shows in great detail the ways in which these unfortunate souls survive – the difficulty in begging for simple necessities, like tampons.

The most important idea here is football. The idea that one sport could give hope and purpose is shown throughout. The migrants use the game to connect, to avoid depression, and to keep from freezing on the mountain top. Through humour and football, we see how the characters interact and live in such a state of disconnect.

Price: £10 (print), £5 (ebook) Info: (MM)

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