The Scoundrel and the Optimist A novel by Maceo Montoya

Bilingual Review/Press

Selected Praise

"A vigorous book, full of humor and gnarled beauty, whose simple, furious language captures the world of a precocious adolescent."


-Indiana Review

“Montoya has managed to paint a picture here of a reality that many of his contemporaries have run in fear from, the simple spectacle of human love. That he has even made the attempt is reason enough to read this work, and await with eagerness his continued creative maturation.”


-Rain Taxi: Review of Books

“Human and humorous from page one, this tale is full of riotous energy and unexpected universal truths. Dostoyevsky has crossed the border in the pen of Maceo Montoya.”


-Ernesto Quiñónez

“The Scoundrel and the Optimist is one of the best first novels I’ve seen…Montoya writes with the authority of the Latin American novelists like García Marquez and Isabel Allende. He’s an incredible storyteller, and I predict his work will find its way among the Chicano greats.”


-Daniel Chacón

"In this striking debut novel, the character of Filastro is at first brutal and repulsive, but the story uncovers his humanity, and its redemptive beauty offsets the grimness of the outcome."


-Library Journal


“Montoya’s picaresque characters imbue this novel with equal portions of bittersweet humor, social commentary, and morality play…In all, multidimensional characters, a well-drawn setting, and Montoya’s light touch on the commentary make this a charming and worthwhile read.”


-Multicultural Review

“The (main character’s) innocent viewpoint provides the powerful narrative hook in this affecting first novel. Edmund’s voice is comic in its naïveté…but it also brings out both the violent horror lurking in macho posturing and the difficulty of crossing borders to find family and forgiveness.”