On the strength of just one CD of 16 tracks, all recorded by 1952, I'd characterise his stuff as melodically inventive, with a crisp, precise feel to it. There aren't extended solos whereby the original statement of a theme gets distorted and developed over a long period. (I have a Verve CD of this being done by Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie, and it's wonderful; but this is not what these Monk pieces do.) Instead, the music comes to you fully-formed, and quite perfect. These are like musical short stories.
There are a few symptoms of this in Our village. At one point, the fact that the boundaries of the nearby town of B--- are steadily approaching those of Mitford's village is remarked on. Mitford says that she expects her village will one day be a part of B--- but that she isn't too bothered because it will surely happen long after her day. She also describes the Macadamisation of the main road through the village at one point. Ah, progress!