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Loverboys Paperback – July 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (July 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393331679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393331677
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A collection of short stories about the seductive, vibrant, often defiant lives of lovers, not all of them boys. In "La Ronde," women fall for women, for men, for both, and explore the complex extension of this love in their own families. In "Vatolandia," an independent-minded woman creates a critical system in which to classify the men she dates. And in the title story a woman muses at the hypocrisy of life while mourning the departure of her latest boyfriend over drinks in a gay bar. Though the women in these stories have their fair share of heartache, they refuse to be victims. As they face their challenges head-on, they unknowingly shape their own destinies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The vitality of Castillo's voice, and the fully engaged lives of her hot-blooded characters, endow her first collection of short stories with earthy eroticism and zesty humor. These 22 tales of love, lust, and Latina tradition showcase bold protagonists while investigating the substance of their lives. Despite the title, however, the lovers here are most often not boys, but experienced women, of Mexican heritage. In the title story, the essence of love's magic is slowly revealed by narrator Carmen, a bisexual would-be writer and proprietor of "the only bookstore in town that deals with the question of the soul." Carmen learns how to experience love from her friends, first as she secludes herself in a primitive adobe in the desert outside of Santa Fe and later from La Miss Rose's pied a terre in Chicago's Barrio. Friendship is vital in these often hilarious, sometimes tragic and always compelling stories about love in its many different permutations, or "multitudes," as one large and sexy character, Sara Santistevan, says in "Vatolandia." And we're not talking about idealized romance or even great physical specimens here. The gamut includes some unattractive, emotionally misguided, pathetic or bizarre social rejects. The white loverboy wearing the Malcolm X T-shirt never laughs, only knows how to smooch gay boys in dark corners; the brawny beer-bellied guy with Pancho Villa charm leaves his wife and kids each night to tend a gay bar, and poor little Mirna sleeps in a tomb to escape the importuning of the man for whom she works. Paco and Rose have no blankets for their beds but bask in the warmth of a 25-inch color TV while they wait to trap another golden cockroach to sell to the pawnbroker. The world of Castillo's literary art resembles the cinematic bohemia depicted by Pedro Almodovar, and her inventive vignettes convey the volatile magic of such a world. Carmen says: "I wish I could talk like my eyes can see." Castillo does. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Catriona Esquibel on December 17, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recommend the stories highly. Think of them as a box of Turkish Delight: best savored one piece at a time. Eat the whole box in one sitting and you're liable to make yourself sick. Read them singly, with breaks in between, and you'll appreciate each story for its own wit, charm, chutzpah. You may not love every story, but you'll definitely find that one or two sticks with you.
My personal favorite is "Crawfish Love," whose protagonist has the knack of reading a woman's shoe size at a glance. We see how upward mobility can make you overlook what's most important.
Castillo demonstrates her command over both the art and the craft of writing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 1996
Format: Paperback
With these stories, Ana Castillo enters the hearts of humanity and forces us to deal with sexuality with astonishing freedom.
I had been enamored by her Mexican-American maidens of the past, now defiantly she refuses to be pigeon-holed as just a Chicana and transcends all concepts of conventional wisdom in literature, love and the everlasting.
We need more writers to bridge these gaps in our psyche.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "the_drone" on June 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a good book of stories maligned by bad editorial design. Please take my advice and read it in the opposite order in which the stories are arranged. Short story books should always start with the best stories up front, and the best stories in this collection are towards the end. The high comic spirit of "La Miss Rose" is definitely the gem of the book, with a surprising ending that doesn't feel like a resolution but like a new start; it made me want to know more about the three characters in the story. I was also profoundly affected by "Conversations with an Absent Lover on a Beachless Afternoon," which contains very powerful writing, including segments that appear to be autobiographical in nature. Try the short vignettes: two as short as a paragraph and one, "Foreign Market," seems as complete as any story despite its brevity. Try "Vatolandia." Then try the rest. You'll savor then Ana Castillo's rare gift for invention. She's a really good writer. And she happens to be Chicana.
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