Idiots by Jakob Arjouni
Five Fairy Tales and Other Stories

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Like a postmodern Aesop, Jakob Arjouni wittily punctures pretension and self-deception. These tales are characterized by ironic humor with an underlying note of melancholy.

Among the delightful idiots collected here, the author offers a domineering mother whose rock star son fails to appreciate her efforts on his behalf; a hopeful young movie director with a bad case of writer's block; and an aging author of pulp fiction trying to write one good, serious book before he dies. They are all visited by a fairy who offers to grant one wish, with the exceptions of immortality, health, money, and love. Their wishes, once granted, have stinging consequences--the resolutions of which read like an updated version of the Brothers Grimm. A would-be novelist, whose marriage is on the rocks, longs for excitement and soon finds himself taken hostage by a girl bank robber; and a mysterious old man who comes to a village to end his days in peace winds up the close acquaintance of the local drunk.

About Jakob Arjouni

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Jakob Arjouni Jakob Arjouni was born in Frankfurt in 1964. He is the author of numerous novels, plays, and screenplays. In 1992, Arjouni was presented with the German Thriller Prize forEin Mann, ein Mord(One Man, One Murder). He divides his time between Germany and France.Anthea Bell Anthea Bell's translations include the works of the Brothers Grimm, Clemens Brentano, Wilhelm Hauff, Christian Morgenstern, and E.T.A. Hoffmann. In 2002, her translation of W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz won the Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize from the Goethe- Institut Inter Nationes.
Published June 17, 2005 by Other Press. 280 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Although the fairies vary from tale to tale (several are cranky, another is a newbie recently promoted from shooting-star service), they all stick to the rules: one wish only, no wishing for more than one wish, while wishes for immortality, health, money and love are verboten.

Mar 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Idiots: Five Fairy Tales and ...

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