The Burial Brothers

Simon Mayle, Author
Simon Mayle, Author Grove Press $21 (200p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1604-8
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-345-41357-4
Paperback - 978-0-609-00103-5
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Freelance writer Mayle had a good idea: buy a used hearse, recruit a down-at-the-heels traveling companion and navigate from New York City to Rio. There are several funny moments: imagine Mayle acquiring Hasidic long coats and top hats to maintain the image of the Burial Brothers. In Mexico, Mayle and companion Lenny meet up with Mayle's friend Tarris Hill and drive south, trying to change money with operators who won't take Hill's dubious traveler's checks and bribing their way past border guards. In Colombia, an imprudent coke deal goes awry, and the trio must get out of town quick. Ultimately, Mayle is by himself and acknowledges: ""The journey was becoming a chore."" Though the book ends with a lighthearted twist (Hill ships back to New York the hearse Mayle had to sell in Rio), the episodes recounted would have served better as a magazine article, especially since the author explains so little about himself. (Sept.)
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