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Eric Nazarian RSS Feed (Los Angeles, CA)

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West Of The West
West Of The West
by Mark Arax
Edition: Hardcover
67 used & new from $3.35

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars California Dreams Old and New - A Masterpiece in California non-fiction, April 7, 2009
This review is from: West Of The West (Hardcover)
Mark's Arax's WEST OF THE WEST is a rare, lasting and truly inspiring achievement in literary journalism and non-fiction. It is a piece of literature penned with extreme care and a testament to writing from the heart with deep conviction. The stories are rich in variety, sobering and deeply human, each one uncovering a new face of California in the 21st Century. Each story is a voyage into the hidden worlds that exist right next to the highways of Arax's Golden State. After finishing the book, I found myself in a state of extreme shock and joy. Shock, because the story "The Summer of the Death of Hilario Guzman" is probably the most raw, honest and poetic non-fiction piece I have ever read about a California migrant worker, and joy at the realization that great storytelling can inspire new ways of looking at the world around us. This book is right up there with the best of Saroyan and Steinbeck. I read it twice and will no doubt revisit it. The rural, suburban and unforgiving landscapes in Mark Arax's prose put me into the shoes of Triqui Indian migrant workers, Humboldt real estate developers and Armenian moonshiners, among other colorful modern-day Californians. Required reading for all who aspire to be storytellers.

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