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George Washington Gomez: A Mexicotexan Novel Paperback – January, 1990

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An absorbing, heart-rendering story told with sensitivity and wisdom..." -- Beaumont Enterprise

"Paredes evokes boyhood with more sympathy that anyone since Dickens... an excellent book." -- Austin American Statesman
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Pr; a edition (January 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558850120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558850125
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Most readers know Americo Paredes as the great folklorist that he was. Because his book George Washington Gomez was not published in the late 1930's when Paredes wrote it, only a rough draft version was released shortly before he died.
To me, this version of Texas historical fiction along the valley border presents a side to Mexican American settlement that few other books reveal. I find Paredes' story powerful and well worth reading.
Gualinto, little George Washington Gomez, is the American born son of his illegal immigrant parents; his father is an outlaw of some notoriety. The birth name his parents give him symbolizes their hope that he will become the leader of his people in America. But their hopes take a big detour as this little boy grows up in fictional Jonesville as a spoiled only son in a matriarchal household. With his father dead, the only strong male role for Gualinto is his reformed outlaw uncle.
Gualinto suffers the insults and taunts of growing up as a member of the poor and powerless society of South Texas. His family is subjected to the cruelities of racist Anglos, including the unattractive side of El Renche, the Texas Rangers. Even in an all Mexican American school for children, Gualinto is embarrassed and punished for his lack of academic accomplishment by the spinster Mexican American teacher . Those classroom scenes remind one of the cruelties found in Tom Brown's School Days and the writings of Charles Dickens.
Surrounded by love at home, treated kindly by some of the Jonesville citizenry, insulated from the cruelities exacted on his sisters who do not adhere to their mother's demands, Gualinto grows to adolescence and a time of continued social positioning that often leads to rejection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this novel and read it within a matter of a few days. I had to read it for my Mexican American Literature class. It is amazing that this book has never been edited and still is amazing. I wonder what Americo Paredes' other novels would have been like had he written more. The ending is a total shocker, but overall an amazing novel.
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By A Customer on October 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was okay. It was a first draft, and therefore it wasn't edited. I thought that it was historically accurate, and I liked the book up until the ending for its detail, imagery, and language. There was no correlation between the ending and the story, however. You can't skip about 4 - 8 years, and show a guy completely pro-Mexican and anti-gringo suddenly change into a man that lives with those he once hated, and scorns that which he once loved so much. That may be how the story in real life would have ended, but I personally don't like the idea of filling in all the details. I would have preferred to read an extra 100 - 200 pages to find out how Gualinto became who he became. Although I was disappointed in the last 20 pages, I was impressed by the 280 preceding it, so I gave the book 3 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this for my "Ethnic Literature of the United States" class, and it is the best thing we've read so far. The story is engaging, and you will love the characters. Don't get me wrong, some characters you will want to hit repeatedly, but most are amazing. By the end of the book I was so invested in the main character that I wanted to strangle someone. In all, you should read it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a classic Texas novel, on par with Elmer Kelton's The Time it Never rained as an example of a very good writer who has produced a novel that no one else could have possibly written-- simply because he was there, living in a very unique time and place and was a very good observer of people and events.

This book, originally written in the 1930s, wasn't published until 1990. Sometimes old manuscripts that get resurrected and published are better off left buried. But not this one-- This novel feels very fresh and alive even today. It tells the story of a young man whose father was murdered by Texas Rangers--a paramilitary force used by Anglo land grabbers. The novel chronicles the young man's journey through a segregated school system and his slowly developing political awareness, presaging the emerging Chicano resistance movement.

George Washington Gomez is fascinating not just because it is an interesting and well written story-- but also because it's so important as history. During the decades this book went unpublished, Anglo-Americans dominated the writing of Texas history. Much of what got published was one-sided propaganda--which is how the Texas Rangers got turned into mythic legends, rather than being considered war criminals. In George Washington Gómez, Paredes provides some balance to our history, and yet at the same time he avoids the pitfall of simply attacking the Anglos. In his book there are Mexicanos who are bad and Anglos who are good, and vice versa. It's a human story, wonderfully told. One of the most important Texas books ever written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the book for a class I was taking. The book was not boring. It gave an insight towards how the culture of educationing English language learners and how the edcuation system has changed. Since my purchase, I have re-read the book.
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