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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny, sad, hardened, compassionate, romantic, erotic, political portrait of East LA, painted beautifully by Rodgriguez
This is my second Rodriguez book, following Always Running, and I think I'm hooked on him, now. Each short story is impossible to turn away from, and each represents a different sub culture of East LA's Chicano and Mexican cultures. Most importantly, however, each represents a different character and personality, within each of these subcultures. Modern American...
Published on April 5, 2008 by Rob Thomas

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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
I don't like this product because the paper's quality is not good enough. I compared to another similar product, they have difference.
Published 20 months ago by Yongyi


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny, sad, hardened, compassionate, romantic, erotic, political portrait of East LA, painted beautifully by Rodgriguez, April 5, 2008
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This review is from: The Republic of East LA: Stories (Paperback)
This is my second Rodriguez book, following Always Running, and I think I'm hooked on him, now. Each short story is impossible to turn away from, and each represents a different sub culture of East LA's Chicano and Mexican cultures. Most importantly, however, each represents a different character and personality, within each of these subcultures. Modern American entertainment tends to lump all minority characters into one revolving cyborg, as if they're all connected to the same brain. Rodriguez's answer to that is introducing us to the real people of East Los Angeles and their real feelings, not only toward America, but toward each other. About as far as mainstream American folkore goes with the latter is the drive by gang war. Rodriguez doesn't leave that out either. But he gives us a different look, one from the "locas", or the women. The issues they face, ranging from violent to romantic to family neglect, will not give you the time to wonder, "what do they see in these guys, anyway?". And to think, we're distracted from this question just reading the book; imagine being in their shoes...

It's this kind of writing that makes people like Rodriguez so important to America today, as unfortunately, stories of culture in places like East Los Angeles die on a vine before reaching the American mainstream household or entertainment venue, which leaves the role of messenger to Hollywood film producers and book publishers, who more often than not give us their own version. What else could explain most mainstream productions of Latino, black, or Asian culture?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Republic, April 4, 2003
By 
Daniel Olivas (West Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Republic of East LA: Stories (Paperback)
Luis J. Rodriguez once again has painted a vibrant and complex picture of those who work, live, love and die in "The Republic of East L.A." Rodriguez's prose is straight-forward yet poetic as he tells us about the varied struggles of cholos/as, a budding journalist, a limousine driver, immigrants, working people, all sorts of gente. My favorite story is "Sometimes You Dance with a Watermelon," where forty-year-old Rosalba (an immigrant living in poverty and already a grandmother) needs to escape her crowded home to get a momentary bit of joy. She rouses her favorite granddaughter, Chila, and they drive to Grand Central Market where they buy a watermelon. Rosalba balances it on her head and starts to walk swaying "back and forth to a salsa beat thundering out of an appliance store." She and Chila get caught up in this joyous dance:
"Rosalba had not looked that happy in a long time as she danced along the bustling streets of the central city in her loose-fitting skirt and sandals. She danced in the shadow of a multi-storied Victorian -- dancing for one contemptuous husband and for another who was dead. She danced for a daughter who didn't love herself enough to truly have the love of another man. She danced for her grandchildren, especially that fireball Chila. She danced for her people, wherever they were scattered, and for this country she would never quite comprehend. She danced, her hair matted with sweat, while remembering a simpler life on an even simpler rancho in Nayarit."
This is a powerful, beautiful collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving literature, November 21, 2007
I really didn't know what to expect from the book when I got it. I was going on a guess that I would like it having already read the author's previous book Always Running. But the characters are so real and one can see them so clearly and draw on their experiences. I am not from East L.A. so the culture is different from my own in many ways, yet Rodriguez has allowed the reader to empathize with the characters so easily. My favorite story was "Finger Dance," which is about a father called Chi Cho who put his whole soul into his metal work and artistry and "who was feared, respected, and to be honest, just plain ornery," but somehow missed making an important connection with his children (77). As the father's health declines due to dementia and cancer, his son Arturo finds a way of connecting to his father in a way that is very moving. No one can read this story (as well as the other stories), and somehow not come away moved and very impressed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, January 25, 2007
This review is from: The Republic of East LA: Stories (Paperback)
The Republic of East L.A. is incredible because it talks about the truths of East L.A. Some stories are hard to believe because it is so gruesome and tragic. For example, on page 63, a sixteen-year-old girl named Noemi got raped by some vatos. Furthermore, on page 229, there were women who sold themselves for sex in order to obtain money. However, there are parts of the story that are just funny. For example, on page 64, a freshman girl named Olivia fought over a seat and got suspended. We would recommend The Republic of East L.A because it has an exciting mixture of settings, emotions, and characters. We recommend this book because it talks about betrayal, love, and tragedy. Overall, this book is worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fine work from a biilliant writer, February 22, 2011
By 
Robert A. Bowers "Bowers" (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Republic of East LA: Stories (Paperback)
For those of you who have read "Always Running" or any of Mr. Rogriguez's poetry, you already know he is a brilliant writer. If you have not, treat yourself to those works as well as this one. "Republic of East. L. A." is a collection of short stories; they can be read back to back, as you would a novel, or one at a time, which is what I would recommend. The stories are rich in language and imagery and gave me much to think about after I finished it. Each story is different from the others, some are humorous like "My Ride My Revolution", "Miss East L. A.", and (the majority of) "Chain Link Lover", some are unbearably sad like "Shadows" and "Las Chicas Chacuas", others are more political like "Pidgeons" and "La Operacion". All of them offer a unique point of view, a passion for the characters, both those sympathetic, and those less so, and images and phrasing that can shine with Mr. Rodriguez's ability to use the English language. The stories are earthy and occasionally profane, as are the characters in them, but they are vivid, true to the life of many people in America, not just East. L. A. and always memorable. I would recommend that you NOT read these stories on the train or bus and certainly not at the beach, but at a time and place where you can concentrate and savor the rich vibrancy of each story.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Barrio Stories, August 31, 2009
By 
Ella_EB5 (East Los, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Republic of East LA: Stories (Paperback)
I live in East LA, so the title alone caught my attention. Each chapter is a short story and depicts the lives of Chicanos in and around East Los. Some stories were sad, others happy but all of them made me smile when they referenced streets or buildings in the neighborhood. I'm very much into Chicano/Latino literature and would highly recommend this book.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amasing, February 13, 2012
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This review is from: The Republic of East LA: Stories (Paperback)
I got the book within two days. The book looked brand new and i had no problems. no creases on the cover or pages
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, March 11, 2013
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This review is from: The Republic of East LA: Stories (Paperback)
I don't like this product because the paper's quality is not good enough. I compared to another similar product, they have difference.
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The Republic of East LA: Stories
The Republic of East LA: Stories by Luis J. Rodriguez (Paperback - March 4, 2003)
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