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Gods Go Begging Paperback – September 1, 2000
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Vea begins his story in present-day San Francisco. The protagonist, Jesse Pasadoble, is a former Army sergeant who's now made a name for himself as a criminal defense attorney. Haunted by wartime memories, Pasadoble has found a way to channel his anguish: his impoverished clients remind him of his suffering comrades, and he seeks a compensatory justice for what he and his platoon lost.
Jesse hated death. He did not fear it, but he hated it with all of his heart and soul. A year and a half of incredible fear in the highlands of Vietnam had been transformed into an almost anguished love the living, intact moment, the moment that can never be possessed. Like many of the men who have witnessed the best and worst in themselves, who have been given a glimpse of the end of their lives at a very young age, he had lost the power to be lonely. The power had been replaced by something else: a soul sickness; a hunger for beauty, but only at a distance. Though he could not love his own life and the things within it, Jesse hated death.His newest client is a 12-year-old boy, a child of the projects who's been charged with the brutal murder of two women. As the case unfolds, the barriers between past and present, America and Vietnam, erode and finally disappear. Meanwhile, Vea expertly marries the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez to his visceral accounts of battle. Indeed, whether we measure by the breadth of his imagination, the strength of his characters, or the hallucinatory power of his prose, there seems to be no novelistic terrain that Vea can't conquer. A chronicle of defeat and suffering, Gods Go Begging represents a paradoxical victory for the author--and, of course, for the reader. --Ted Leventhal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Gods Go Begging by Alfredo Vea will stick in this brain for good, in the best possible way. I almost didn't purchase this novel because of the book jacket-a picture of the back view of a solitary guitar/rifle/gas mask toting soldier in half regalia standing on what looks like an airport runway, a small bag with a Vietnam insignia resting by his boot. I assumed a story predominantly about war in the conventional sense. Could not have been more mistaken.
There are at least four wars being *raged* here among these taut and yet simultaneously lovely pages, all framed within rich language and insightful narrative.
Jesse Pasadoble is a defense attorney in San Francisco waging a war against the stupidity of the typical clients and prejudice in the courtroom. He is joined frequently in the courtroom, in the cafe, and in his daily life by others who share their recollections both of darkly humorous cases and the unacceptable unmentionable dark sides which eventually seal off all human beings from one another.
After a crime of tragedic proportions occurs, Jesse's story and that of the victims and the perpetrators, here and now, plus the unmanageable then on another hill in Vietnam thirty years ago, unfold. What follows comprises an incredible novel of pain and waste, devastation and redemption, caring and investigation, revealed by passionate observation of the lunacy of existence through careful, perfect words.. But, and this is a big *but*, the novel flows like silk through the counterpoints of love, ultimate sadness, and intense meaning.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read..the writing, the visual imagery..the twists..all make for a an excellent novelPublished 4 months ago by Alfred G.Garcia,MD
A very poetic writer. I think he could have benefited from more editing or berhaps less, as geographically it lost track.Published 18 months ago by Karen Scanlon
I will use this as required reading for my English 101 and 102 students. Anyone interested in history would also
love the insight and revelations that Alfredo Vea brings... Read more
This is not only a great book about the Vietnam War, it is also simply a great read! I especially appreciate the way Vea is able compare/contrast current social issues with those... Read morePublished on December 21, 2013 by Robert E. Pellegrino
In places this book can be puzzling, and at times metaphysical. The kind of literature that makes you FEEL the mood of the prose. Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Charles Phelan
The author seems to be himself in this book - full of post traumatic episodes and rambling, sometimes incoherent thoughts. Read morePublished on August 2, 2013 by CC HEFLER
Anything less than a perfect review would be a grave injustice to those looking to reviews on whether to allow this story into their life.Published on August 16, 2010 by Fermin