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Anarcho Grow - Pura Vida in Costa Rica Paperback – February 10, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Ben Starosta had done volunteer work in a small village in Costa Rica during college. Afterward, he decides to return, thinking he can help the people more through other means. He introduces them to guerrilla growing, clandestine outdoor marijuana cultivation, similar to the methods used in Northern California. The pot is being shipped to the U.S. by catamaran boat, and the community is prospering. However, the C.I.A. soon catches wind and is on his trail.br>

Author Biography

T.A. Sedlak, a native of Wisconsin, graduated from UW with a degree in English and linguistics. The idea for Anarcho Grow followed a summer of volunteer work in Costa Rica. He's since spent a year in South Korea and currently resides in Madison.


Reviews

"Anarcho Grow is an engaging story of love, political intrigue and utopian hopes. It is eminently readable and emotionally compelling."--Howard Zinn Enter T.A. Sedlak's stunningly vivid portrait of Latin America. A world of iridescent birds, fruit farmers, tight pantsed ticas, and piratas. Learn the meaning of Pura Vida, the importance of hockey bags, and what goes on at the infamous Hotel Del Rey. Sit back, turn on the Volcano, and learn for yourself where Anarcho Grow will lead.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Madison, WI: This Press Kills Fascists Publishing; First Edition edition (February 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615309232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615309231
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #726,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sometimes the best way to success doesn't sit well with everyone. "Anarcho Grow: Pura Vida in Costa Rica" is the tale of Ben Starosta, a man who takes the burden of helping a Costa Rican village called Quebrada Grande prosper. When traditional methods fail, he introduces the idea of growing marijuana to the village, and the village reaps the rewards. But the gray morality crop soon attracts the attention of the U.S. government, and leads to many criminal and political problems for Starosta. "Anarcho Grow" is a gripping and entertaining novel of Latin America, highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason Landg on May 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
I hadn't heard of T.A. Sedlak or Anarcho Grow when a friend of mine invited me to see him read at a book shop in Boulder. However, his bio sounded interesting, and the cover seemed somehow familiar. Later, I'd learn that the man who did most of Tom Robbins' covers, Leslie LePere, did the artwork for it. Anyway, T.A. Sedlak was a charismatic, affable character at the event, and the chapter he'd read, the first one, really drew me in. I picked up a copy and was treated to one of the most fun and interesting reads I've had for awhile.

Anarcho Grow is literary but not overwhelmingly verbose. Sedlak uses a simpler diction, like Vonnegut or Hemingway. As those writers knew, more can often be said with less. His dialogue is simply superb. It moves the story forward similar to a play. And while Anarcho Grow is a quick read because of Sedlak's style and the exciting plot line, it still causes you to set it down at times, so that you can let all that's said sink in. The author is a clever guy that surely has something to teach the world, and he can spin one heck of a yarn.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jodie Pruitt on March 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know if Howard Zinn endorsed many novels during his lifetime. However, when the bright colors of Sedlak's Anarcho Grow beckoned me to lift it from the shelf at my local bookstore, I flipped it over, saw his endorsement and I was sold.

However, I think Howard may have undersold it. Anarcho Grow is a tremendous book. I don't think it's just "an engaging story of love, political intrigue and utopian hope." I think it's a model for revolution. Anarcho Grow's protagonist teaches a small community in Latin America how to grow pot. He then transports it to the U.S. for even more money, and the community develops.

There are a lot of people trying to better communities, but the thing they seem incapable of doing is generating income, something essential for betterment. What if a group of politically-minded individuals used Sedlak's model and went to Northern California where they can cultivate marijuana outdoors freely? It's not uncommon for individual outdoor growers to make a hundred thousand dollars from their crops. If you're looking to create change in your community, perhaps you should get some community members to work on a grow operation with you in Northern California, make a million and see what types of change you can create for your community with those resources.

Obviously, I took a lot from Anarcho Grow. Perhaps to you, it will be just an interesting story, "imminently readable and emotionally compelling," in the words of Zinn. However, I hope there will be others who see it as inspiration. A lot of good could be done if the methods of Anarcho Grow were put into practice. Just watch out for those pesky agents!
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Format: Paperback
In regards to the writings of Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut wrote: "The disease is fatal. There is no known cure. The most we can do for the poor devil, it seems to me, is to name his disease in his honor. From this moment on, let all those who feel that Americans can be as easily led to beauty as to ugliness, to truth as to public relations, to joy as to bitterness, be said to be suffering from Hunter Thompson's disease."

The protagonist of T.A. Sedlak's 'Anarcho Grow,' Ben Starosta, also suffers from Hunter Thompson's disease. He believes people are as easily led to beauty as ugliness, to truth as to the media's truth, and to joy as to bitterness. Because of Ben's views, he pushes people to the beauty, the truth, and the joy, like Hunter tried to. Ben's a small-time revolutionary in a foreign land, but even small ones can fall under the eye of Big Brother.

His lurkers, C.I.A. agents Ron Numbers and Bill Larimore, show us that beauty and ugliness are relative. Despite their respect for American Empire, the two agents couldn't be more dissimilar. However, they bond together to push the notion of beauty that the American ruling elite promotes. It's their job.

Whether Ben's anti-capitalist ideals fit your vision of beauty or Ron and Bill's love of American Empire, you'll want to read 'Anarcho Grow' to see if T.A. Sedlak's vision of beauty, sharing similarities with both Hunter Thompson's and Kurt Vonnegut's, prevails, or if it has a chance to in our world.

Sedlak is the next in a long line of talented leftist writers. And whether you agree with him or not, you can't deny his talent for creating an interesting story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jll Brustad on February 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anarcho Grow is an exciting tale of an American smuggling marijuana from Costa Rica to the U.S. to better a small community. Though it seems the protagonist has the perfect plan for economic development in the rural community, Sedlak reminds us that the C.I.A. is ever-present in Latin America.

The pages turn quickly as we follow the characters through the vibrant scenes on the tropical isthmus. Suspense hangs in the air, though funny dialog often cuts through. Anarcho Grow is a fun quick read that also makes you think. Recommended for anyone with an interest in Latin America.
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