I Love You Putamente

Esteban Carlos Mejia, Author Grupo Editorial Norma $22.95 (252p) ISBN 978-958-04-9934-3
Boone is a Mexican national whose works include stories, poetry, and essays, among them Legi\xF3n (2003) and Galer\xEDa de armas rotas (2004). In 2005, he received Mexico's national short story award, In\xE9s Arredondo, and in 2007 the national award for young poets, El\xEDas Nandino. His latest is a collection of seven stories plumbing common themes such as self-identity, loneliness, internal demons, and death. Each story is told in the first person, and all the main characters are male. Most of the stories are written as descriptive narratives, though ""Telara\xF1as"" (""Cobwebs"") appears in a diary format. The first story, ""Siempre habr\xE1 alguien detr\xE1s de ti"" (""There Will Always Be Someone Behind You""), is a fast-paced crime story with a cliffhanger ending; it is unclear whether protagonist David Honderos committed a crime or not, but the narration and attention to details will hook readers until its end. The last story, ""La Noche Can\xEDbal,"" is narrated from the perspective of urban legend, a captivating technique that makes this one of the better-developed pieces in the book. Unfortunately, the intervening stories, while well written and admirable in the use of description, are mostly dull, dark, slow, and confusing. Recommended for general collections, especially where readers track Mexican literature.-Carolyn Kost, Stevenson Sch. Lib., Pebble Beach, CA (I Love You Whorely)Mej\xEDa, Esteban Carlos.Colombian Mej\xEDa's novel tragicomic plot takes the perspective of a very male and perhaps oversexed protagonist who enjoys his adventures and sees little in women except their usefulness in bed (on tables, etc.). Society's violent underside is edged in around his personal need for immediate gratification and easy come, easy go relationships. Some readers might see this as a fine example of pop culture, in part because of the devil-may-care-but-oh-things-are-rough narrative style. Others will applaud its running on overdrive in pop slang, the real source of humor here and a lexical lesson that has something new for everybody. The comic relief, though, is brief and is offset by the flippant description of supporting character Gallemo's cocaine habit-a dime a dozen in contemporary fiction-and of main character Victor Yugo (a too-easy play on the French writer's name, with yugo actually meaning ""yoke"" in Spanish) as he sizes up and strips down as many females as he can in a jocular machismo that wears thin very quickly. Yugo is but a step away from another world of ethics and actions (no longer the original one) concerning writing to live or living to write, which has its appeal but gets lost in the ramblings of language and places. The superficiality of the human interaction portrayed is puzzling; in the end, readers may just have to settle for a full plate of pop and underworld linguistic lessons. Recommended only for large bookstores.-Kathleen March, Univ. of Maine, Orono
Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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