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The Toe Bone and the Tooth: An Ancient Mayan Story Relived in Modern Times: Leaving Home to Come Home Hardcover – February 25, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons; 1St Edition edition (February 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007142676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007142675
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #777,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following up on Secrets of the Talking Jaguar and Long Life, Honey in the Heart, Prechtel closes his epic autobiographical trilogy by mixing Mayan myths with a first-person account of his efforts to escape from Guatemala with his family intact during the 1980s civil war that tore the country apart. The book opens with an extended rendering of a myth in which corn is introduced to Central America after a tumultuous romance between a human named Raggedy Boy and a goddess known as the Water-Skirted Beauty. Prechtel's own narrative is far less clear-cut-he begins by exploring the history of Santiago Atitlan, the village that is the setting for the myth, then delves into the political and religious repression he witnesses as a village resident. While this digressive style allows for a variety of perspectives to float within the narrative simultaneously, passages of elaborate, florid prose render the material uneven. While Prechtel's love for Guatemala and the people of Central America remains obvious throughout, most compelling is the suspense-filled section at book's end, where government troops arrive and threaten both Prechtel and his family before they can make their way to Los Angeles and then Prechtel's native New Mexico.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Endorsements:Praise for Secrets of the Talking Jaguar: "It's a precious thing, this book. I've never known another like it... it is a treasure house of language, in service to life." --Robert Bly, author of Iron John"The Mayan Gods, who hold eloquence above all else, must surely be pleased with this soul, who in this lifetime is named Martin Prechtel." --Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., author of Women Who Run With Wolves --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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To understand and savor the last five words, buy the book and enjoy the revelations.
Zoeeagleeye
As with his other books, the writing in this continuation of Martin Prechtal's tale is stunning: poetic, filled with amazing images and vivid descriptions.
Lesley Tabor
Martin Prechtel is perhaps the most capable of sacred story telling of today's authors.
S. I. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Pam Hanna on March 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"In much wisdom is much grief" says the Preacher in Ecclesiastes, "and he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow." There is much wisdom, grief, knowledge, sorrow, and finally joy in Martin Prechtel's new book. You don't have to read his previous three, *Secrets of the Talking Jaguar,* *Long Life, Honey in the Heart,* and *The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun* to understand and appreciate the message of *The Toe Bone and the Tooth* - but it helps.
This is a story about keeping the Great Story alive - "An Ancient Mayan Story Relived in Modern Times: Leaving Home to Come Home."
It starts out with Martin's return to Guatamala in 1992 after many years in exile from his adopted country, where his village of Santiago Atitlan had been destroyed and 1800 of his friends and villagers slaughtered by American-backed death squads in the 1980s. He was picked up at the airport by three teenage boys (who had been small children when the devastation took place) and smuggled back to the village under a truckload of Mayan squashes. Along the way, the boys were eager to hear the story of the Toe Bone and Tooth that had been outlawed (as well as their language) by the various and many invaders of their country. Landmarks of the Story were everywhere (much as Australian Dreamtime stories are dependent on the land for the telling).
Martin was welcomed in Santiago Atitlan as the Shaman and healer that he was for many years. He had had a Mayan wife and three sons there (one son died) and his little family had barely escaped with their lives.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jan on March 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It might help readers to know that this book and "The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun" are written to be read aloud. When you do this the prose has a rhythm that is part of the meaning of the book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Zoeeagleeye VINE VOICE on November 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
TV, more than any other medium, has become America's storyteller. Sometimes that's not so bad; other times it presents shallow and false values to impressionable minds. When I'm hungry for ultimate truths, I've often found it best to go to other cultures and borrow their stories. One of the very, very best is "Stealing Benefacio's Roses." Within this story you will find your heart and be surprised at how strong and lovely it is. You will find your soul and come to know your true self. It's a story that works on the surface level of "Once upon a time . . ." yet also touches the deeper realms of mythology, spirituality, psychology, history and the many varieties of love. The writing is superb. Here's a quote: "Onto the floor I dropped to sleep, drifting on the tossing sea of my aching heart in a little canoe of Gustavo's friendship, into dreams filled with the unkillable perfume of Benefacio's roses." To understand and savor the last five words, buy the book and enjoy the revelations. This is the one you will keep to reread over time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mary Warner on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You wouldn't think it possible to say "this is Martin Prechtel's best book yet" because they are all so exceptional. If you are interested in current Mayan culture, indigenous peoples, love, life, Central American politics... this book is a tour de force. Martin Prechtel is one of the most truly amazing, talented, gifted, wise, insightful people you might ever hope to meet. On top of this, he is an extraordinarily gifted writer. Buy the book. Buy them all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lesley Tabor on February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with his other books, the writing in this continuation of Martin Prechtal's tale is stunning: poetic, filled with amazing images and vivid descriptions. The view of a world lost is heartbreaking, yet there is hope, and a call to the heart of everyone. I recommend reading his first two autobiographical books first, however, to get the full story and the full impact (Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, and Long Life Honey in the Heart).
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