Gringo Amigo

Gary McCarthy, Author Doubleday Books $15 (182p) ISBN 978-0-385-41445-6
This unpolished western from the author of Blood Brothers follows young Irishman Michael Callahan as he comes to California in the early 1850s in search of gold. Distressed by the special taxes imposed on Mexicans who stake a mining claim, Michael defends a group of them beset by vigilantes; in gratitude, they name him gringo amigo . Months later, after Michael strikes it rich but is attacked and robbed by white miners, vaquero Joaquin Murieta saves his life and recovers the gold, which he keeps for himself. Michael tries his hand at shop-keeping in Sacramento, but soon heads back to the goldfields and his unlikely friendship with Murieta. When Murieta comes under attack and his wife is killed, the Mexican erupt in a vengeful rampage. Stalwart Michael, of course, tries to serve justice. McCarthy introduces many narrative possibilities here but fails to develop them; his players are caricatured and the tone seems aimed at a teenage audience. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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