Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Bulletproof Vest: The Ballad of an Outlaw and His Daughter Hardcover – June 17, 2014
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
In her debut memoir, Venegas tells the inseparable stories of her reckless father’s outlaw lifestyle together with her own experiences as the daughter of a man who repeatedly threatens the livelihoods of the people around him. From his wanton drinking to his indiscriminate gun waving, Jose Venegas is a man easy to disdain as he makes enemies with his neighbors in Chicago, with local law enforcement, even with his wife, Pascuala. But when his eldest son is murdered in Mexico, Jose abandons the family to move back to the hacienda where both he and his daughter were born. Estranged from her father, Venegas travels from Chicago to Spain and New York, deciding eventually to visit Jose in Zacatecas. Though she finds him still carrying on in his intoxicated, philandering ways, the author manages to create a sympathetic portrait of this selfish, stubborn, and, ultimately, broken man, especially after a harrowing close call with members of a drug cartel. A candid memoir of strained relationships, impossible personalities, and the complex motivations of deeply flawed yet deeply moving individuals. --Diego Báez
“Vividly evocative... [a] love letter written across borders of time and geography from an Americanized daughter to her quintessentially Mexican father. ...Full of richly described moments... [that seem] both real and like something out of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It is a testament to Venegas's prose that we experience all this not as sensationalistic fantasy but as a way of life.” ―Zachary Lazar, New York Times Book Review
“[A]s amazing as that emotional honesty is, it's the brilliantly executed narrative structure -- the stubborn refusal to give in to established perceptions about the memoir -- that makes the book truly amazing. It's likely Bulletproof Vest will be taught in college classes for years to come, not just because of its brutal and heartfelt prose, but because of its technical brilliance. There are more than a thousand stories in this book, each one holding the others up and collapsing in on themselves. It's a stunning achievement, and it proves, beautifully, what the memoir can be.” ―Michael Schaub, National Public Radio
“Through vivid prose and psychological shading, [Venegas] turns blockbuster material into a novelistic portrait of a renegade who lived his life on the border ‘of what was fact and what was myth.'” ―The New Yorker
“[Venegas's] sharp observations and honesty . . . make this tale of painful love and grudging respect unforgettable.” ―Emily Carter, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[A] captivating narrative. . . of both [Venegas's] father and her family's arduous history.” ―David A. Shirk, San Francisco Chronicle
“Maria Venegas beautifully charts the landscape of her father's absence. By mapping his internal exile, she finds a way to their shared home, one known best by heart.” ―Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family
“Maria Venegas is a transfixing writer. Her voice is tough, vulnerable, humorous, insightful and always rousingly alive. Whether writing about Chicago or Mexico, she possesses an extraordinary eye and feeling for place, and her characters are vivid expressions of those places. American readers have rarely encountered a depiction of Mexican lives so true, unsentimental, and moving as in this emotionally complex story of an Americanized young woman and her outlaw father who lives by the hard violent codes of Mexico profundo.” ―Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name
“This is a contemporary corrido--a ballad of America, a love song to Mexico, and an intertwined family history, all brilliantly realized in sharp, precise, poetic prose.” ―Colum McCann, author of the National Book Award-winning Let the Great World Spin
“The scene in which [Venegas] describes learning to shoot a gun with her father on New Year's Eve at her family's isolated ranch will redefine the idea of "shooting stars" for you in a way that only the clearest writing can.” ―Kirkus (starred review)
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Thank you Maria for inaugurating me into Mexico, the scenery, people, traditions, family living arrangements and the immigrant ability to survive and thrive in the USA.
Such a good read, and very well written.