This collection of stories is told by the narrator as he focuses on past family stories and circumstances that he sees in his Western America based relatives. The narrator Manito describes the lives of his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and others who also knew his deceased father. The writing is quick, gritty, and full of extremely crude language and circumstances.
Not finding anything to compare it to, I think that the disjointed sentence structure reminds me of Cisneros’ House on Mango Street. However, Cisneros’ prose is prettier – not crude. This is HBO crude and rough. The circumstances are too depressing, but feel very real. As broken as everything seems, Manito’s interest in family narratives, in keeping ties with his family, lends some meaning to the tales. I had a difficult time reading the stories. It might be my own ignorance of a seedier world; it might be the lack of explanation in the writing. I had to reread passages to understand who was who, and in what time period the story was set. I’m not sure that I can form a clear opinion of the book. The writing would definitely appeal more to men.
*Reviewed by Colleen*
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About the author: John Paul Jaramillo grew up in Southern Colorado but now lives, writes and teaches in Springfield, Illinois. He earned his MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Oregon State University and, currently, holds the position of Associate Professor of English in the Arts and Humanities Department of Lincoln Land Community College. Connect with John Paul on his website, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.