“Albert Cossery, who died in 2008 at age 94, ought to be a household name. He’s that good: an elegant stylist, an unrelenting ironist, his great subject the futility of ambition ‘in a world where everything is false.’ … The Jokers is a small masterpiece…” –David Ulin, The Los Angeles Times
“Cossery’s account of finding the space to protest and retain your sense of humor is equal parts funny and vicious.” –Jessa Crispin, NPR
“Cossery argues the futility of locking horns with your oppressor. . . . Far more effective—and far more natural—to undermine it by mockery and ridicule, as happens in this book to hilarious effect.”
“Cossery’s use of irony is one of the most powerful and pity-inducing to be found in any literature East or West, old or new. It is an irony so fierce, an anger so sharply muted by inversion of sarcasm and disgust that it makes the reader’s hair stand on end with guilty compassion.”
“His caustic satire burned like the desert sun, undermining all forms of authority.”
“A jewel of eccentric humor.” —Le Monde
Cossery’s account of finding the space to protest and retain your sense of humor is equal parts funny and vicious.
— Jessa Crispin, Need to Know on PBS
Which French novelist, in Henry Miller’s opinion, surpassed even Gorki and Dostoyevsky in depicting the despair, debasement and resignation of the poorest in habitants of the sprawling 20th-century cities? The answer is Albert Cossery…his style admirably clear and concise.