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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, Real, Articulate
Gilb's collection of short stories detail the lives of working class people (not heroes, per se) in a very true to life fashion. I can almost picture Mr. Gilb working with his hands on a high rise or on some odd job, observing what was going on around him and in his own life, preparing to write about what he saw and felt. His stories read that way, and I very much...
Published on May 24, 2000

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay!
The book was worn as expected but bit more than I wanted. A weird read also. I wouldn't recommend it.
Published 24 months ago by Jonell


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, Real, Articulate, May 24, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
Gilb's collection of short stories detail the lives of working class people (not heroes, per se) in a very true to life fashion. I can almost picture Mr. Gilb working with his hands on a high rise or on some odd job, observing what was going on around him and in his own life, preparing to write about what he saw and felt. His stories read that way, and I very much enjoyed this book each time I read it. For the record, the working class Mexican-American friends I have given this book to tell me it is authentic. A corporate suit wouldn't have been able to write it, and thank God Mr. Gilb is not a corporate suit. Hooray for the common man who thinks!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even your Pops Will Love These Stories, September 21, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
i'm reading gilb's book and i think it's incredible how good it is to read. "nancy flores" man i just loved her!! it was like he gets it all the whole experience of being young and in love with all of our first girlfriends. !!amor por vida!! i still lvoe her and i'm sick about it just like he is. and "romeros shirt" reminded me of my papi and it made me understand him and su vida and his work, he's in construction and he's got this old 55 he polishes (i even going to give this book to him to read and i think he's going to like to read it. and he won't read nothng!) check out "down in the west texsa town" which is killer about junkys. should I go on. yeah there was also "holywood" which is funny and so is "al in phoenix" about this mechanic who keeps working working working. really, this is good and it inspires me. i liked too many stories, i checked out this site because I want buy other books by him. i met him in austin and he's not rude! he's really funny and a good dude and esay to talk to, i liked him alot a bunch of people we're hanging out with him and he's a totally alright. a good writer, he's one of us, he's real.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Work, May 12, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
Sometimes you come across a book that can change the way you see things. I am not a Latino or from the Southwest, but I come from a family of construction workers. This is the first book that I have ever read that touches that world with honesty, humor, and pathos. The stories make humans out of characters, people usually not given a voice. Gilb makes every ordinary event resonate with mystery. He is a writer of great beauty, even as the language is coarse. Several of his stories are among the best I've ever read. He may be the most original of Latino writers publishing, and his stories are better than most of the well-known, anthologized American ones.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Stories, March 22, 2000
By 
Maria Gonzalez (from albuquerque, new mexico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
i read "The Magic of Blood" because my mom told me to read an article the author wrote in the new yorker magazine a week ago. it was so wonderful, so moving and beautful to read. i couldn't stop reading. it was so sad, and so honest. i went to the bookstore and bought these stories in this collection. they are so good too, I just had to look for more of his books. I haven't even finished them all yet, but I am so happy I discovered this writer. especially read "Nancy Flores". almost as good as the new yorker article.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic in the mundane, December 29, 1998
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
Tales of the working man. Waiting for your car to be repaired. Drinking in a bar. Losing your favorite sweater. Gilb is an alchemist because he can take the most mundane details and turn them into magic. Reading his stories is like walking along a cold concrete floor and then suddenly enteing a rose garden in full bloom inexplicably rising out of the concrete. How did all this beauty rise through the cold reality?
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!, March 30, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
If I could give this more stars I would. The best book of stories about working people I've read ever. And Mexican American. I can't wait to read more by this guy. I love his novel too, "The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book by a Chicano Author, January 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
I have recently been reading the books from people in my heritage and sometimes I have been disappointed by what teachers have told me what is good in our literature. When I started reading these stories I became so excited becuase not only are they smart but sometimes they are so funny. I am proud of this book like I had been when I was younger of Sandra Cisneros'. But I would say I like this one more, not just because there are so many more stories but they are all so good to read, almost every one of them great. Especially I liked "Nancy Flores," "Romero's Shirt," "I Danced With the Prettiest Girl," Photographs Near a Rolls Royce," "Hollywood". I saw a great story of his in New Yorker magazine and I bought the book. I do love it. Maybe I am in love with him! But really I think this is important because it tells true stories about our people and the work they do and it is telling the truth.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than meets the eye, October 20, 2005
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
For the reviewers who think the stories in The Magic of Blood are meaningless and boring, all I can say is that you don't get the stories. Hemingway said a short story is like an iceberg. Most of the meaning is submerged. I won't make any comments on your understanding of literature in general, but there is so much going on in these stories--"The Death Mask of Pancho Villa" is brilliant. There are lots of people who hate haute cuisine and love McDonalds, but that doesn't mean McDonalds is good. It means they need to acquire some taste. I know because I used to be the same way; read a story and scratch my head because the meaning wasn't obvious like an O'Henry story. But you have to learn how to read literature sometimes, just like you have to learn about other subtle things in life. If you want it easy, forget about reading altogehter and watch the boob tube.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Working men . . ., June 26, 2006
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
Gilb is one of a kind. I don't remember reading stories like this before. They capture the lives and inner worlds of men who make a living as construction workers, day laborers, auto mechanics, and factory workers both on the job and during stretches of unemployment. Most are struggling to provide food and shelter for a young family; some are still single. For the most part they are Mexican-Americans living in El Paso and Los Angeles. Modest men, they take pride in themselves and their work, they drink beer, and they have women on their minds.

As a journeyman carpenter, Gilb is familiar with the work of putting up buildings, the dymanics between men on a worksite, and the way they think about themselves, their lives, and what they do for a living. Most stories are told in the first person in a stream of conscious style like someone leaning against a bar talking, with a beer in hand.

A teenager working in a laundry becomes involved with a young woman on the job while overdosing on a song by Vic Damone in "Vic Damone's Music." A tile layer becomes obsessed with another man's runaway wife in "Getting a Job in Dell City." Two city workers have too many beers and drive a new truck off the road in "The Truck." A man gives a ride to his estranged father in the middle of the night in "Something Foolish." A tyrannical construction foreman is intimidated by a laid-off worker in "Churchgoers." A filling station mechanic labors grimly into the night to fix a car in "Al, in Phoenix." Two musicians spend the night with a couple girls they pick up on the road to Austin in "I Danced With the Prettiest Girl." And my favorite story, "Nancy Flores," is about a school boy's first romance brought to an end by another boy's crude joke, while years later his job brings him together with another of her old flames.

There are 26 stories in this collection, and every one of them is a revealing glimpse into the life of an individual, with his pride and shame, desires and disappointments, fears and small triumphs. It belongs on any shelf of literature of the American Southwest. Thanks to the Grove Press for keeping it in print.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical and REal, May 31, 2006
By 
Augie (Eagle Rock) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Magic of Blood (Paperback)
Dagoberto Gilb has a magical style. The stories in Magic of Blood are some of the best I've read by a current Latino author. They capture reality. This is a collection of stories that did take me a long time to read, but it is worth every minute.
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The Magic of Blood
The Magic of Blood by Dagoberto Gilb (Paperback - June 4, 1994)
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