In Maceo Montoya’s first novel, we meet Edmund, a diminutive, irrepressible teen whose strife-ridden life magnifies his strength of spirit. After his siblings desert the dysfunctional home and his mother sinks into a deep depression that is brought about by his father’s deception and abuse, Edmund discovers that his determination and hope must carry him through. His most notable accomplishment is teaching his father, Filastro, the value of integrity, optimism, and selflessness.
“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, author of Bodega Dreams
“Montoya’s picaresque characters imbue this novel with equal portions of bittersweet humor, social commentary, and morality play. . . . Multidimensional characters, a well-drawn setting, and Montoya’s light touch on the commentary make this a charming and worthwhile read.” —MultiCultural Review
"Maceo Montoya's novel is not for the faint of heart. Various scenes provide a multilayered context. Overall, Montoya, like the small Mexican town's loan shark, tells a good story. The Scoundrel and the Optimist is a solid novel with a compelling story and a chorus of interesting, lively characters." —Sheryl Luna, El Paso Times