A star above minimum for recognizing that this is a significant book deserving translation. No more because this translation isn't what it deserves.
Espriu's stories are among the stranger modernist texts from the thirties. Like the short fiction of Robert Musil or Laura Riding, they have a feel of private laws and hard edges. They were the work of a very young writer, and the satire is chilly and broad. They aren't all masterworks, but they are full of pleasures and surprises, especially coming from a writer who would go on to produce masterworks in a different form. Certainly they count as part of the Catalan canon.
Because the prose is compressed and moves quickly from point to point, it doesn't take small omissions well, which under this translation is a serious problem. There are dropped sentences and clauses, misplaced emphases, altered numbers and proper names; some of this is understandable, but there are more serious mistakes that make nonsense of entire paragraphs. Some noted:
Original text: "La palmera jove no m'agrada," vaig dir jo. "Mai no acabarà d'atènyer el campanar i les companyes velles."
Published translation: "The young palm doesn't like me," I said. "It will never fail to reach the bell tower and the old bells."
Correct translation: "I don't like the young palm," I said. "It will never manage to reach the bell tower and its older companions."
Original text: "La vostra olor li agrada, i admireu amb quina traça s'entreté amb les vostres sabats," comentava la grassa senyora de Framis.
Published translation: "I like your smell, and the skill with which you use your shoes to entertain astonishes," Framis's fat wife remarked.
Correct translation: "He [a dog] likes your smell, and look how skillfully he's entertaining himself with your shoes," Framis's fat wife remarked.
Original text: el fred dels sepulcres
Published translation: the chill of the sculptures
Correct translation: the chill of the sepulchers
Original text: Em passo, una engruna escruixida, a la teva banda.
Published translation: A mere shaken crumb, I will take your side.
Correct translation: I'm a little shaken up, but I will take your side.
Original text: El senyor Vicenç de Pastor, que encorbat! Sembla un axioma.
Published translation: Senyor Vicenç de Pastor is so hunched over! He looks like an axiom.
Correct translation: Senyor Vicenç de Pastor is so hunched over! He looks like he's carrying the Cross. ("Axioma" is a corruption of "ecce homo" and refers to Christ scourged by the Romans.)
Original text: No s'hi podia entretenir, i el mort de fresc tampoc no s'ho mereixia.
Published translation: He couldn't be delayed, and he didn't deserve to freeze to death either.
Correct translation: He couldn't be delayed, and the man who had just died didn't deserve it either.
Original text: Potser no venia massa a tomb, però recordava...
Published translation: Perhaps he didn't go often to the tomb, but he remembered...
Correct translation: Perhaps it wasn't much to the point, but he remembered...
Original text: Un cop el cos va estar ben escolat...
Published translation: Once his body had been well studied...
Correct translation: Once his body was completely drained of blood...
It's disappointing to see Dalkey put out something this slapdash; it will make it harder to commission a better English version in the future.
Those who read Spanish but not Catalan may want to seek out the excellent Spanish translation by Julia Goytisolo. In English, a good place to start is Burton Raffel's translation of La Pell de Brau.