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American Visa by [de Recacoechea, Juan]
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American Visa Kindle Edition

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Length: 265 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The narrator of this sweet noir (which won Bolivia's National Book Prize in 1994 and has been filmed) claims to have read Raymond Chandler, Chester Himes, Dashiell Hammett and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán "as if they were prophets," and their presiding spirits are not far from this winning tale. Mario Alvarez, an English teacher from the provinces of Bolivia, arrives at the zero star Hotel California in La Paz wearing his best suit and clutching a round-trip ticket to the U.S. sent to him by his son. He meets Blanca, a prostitute with cinnamon skin from the tropical part of Bolivia who "had within her the serenity of the great rivers that run through her homeland." Blanca falls for Mario and offers him a more realistic future than the vague promise made by his son, but Mario is obsessed with getting to the U.S. When it becomes clear the authorities will investigate his faked documents, Mario needs to "expedite" his visa problem. Coming up with the harebrained idea of robbing a gold buyer for bribe money, he proceeds to land himself in various inglorious situations. Recacoechea deploys his clichés knowingly and makes Alvarez's crime less a puzzle than an intriguing window onto a society on the fringes of globalization. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A best-seller in its own country, this novel about a man desperate to get into America is one of the few Bolivian novels to be translated into English, and especially with the present furor about immigration, it is sure to spark interest. Mario Alvarez, an unemployed English teacher, has come to La Paz, Bolivia, to get an American visa so he can visit his son in Miami. But he cannot get past the embassy bureaucracy. Living in the rough streets, he gets to know tramps, crooked politicians, and prostitutes, including Blanca, who loves him. He needs money to bribe corrupt officials for papers, so he draws on his experience with American crime fiction--Chandler, Hammett, and more--to steal the money any way he can, even if he has to kill to get it. De Recacoechea celebrates the hybrid in ethnicity and culture, and he does it without reverence or even respect, blending absurdity with harsh realism to tell a surprising story of roots and finding home. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • File Size: 1550 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (April 1, 2007)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GXM612
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,668,238 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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