Amigoland: A Novel by Oscar Casares | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Amigoland: A Novel

Amigoland: A Novel

4.6 5
by Oscar Casares
     
 

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In a small town on the Mexican border live two brothers, Don Fidencio and Don Celestino. Stubborn and independent, they now must face the facts: they are old, and they have let a family argument stand between them for too long. Don Celestino's good-natured housekeeper encourages him to make amends--while he still can. They secretly liberate Don Fidencio from his

Overview

In a small town on the Mexican border live two brothers, Don Fidencio and Don Celestino. Stubborn and independent, they now must face the facts: they are old, and they have let a family argument stand between them for too long. Don Celestino's good-natured housekeeper encourages him to make amends--while he still can. They secretly liberate Don Fidencio from his nursing home and travel into Mexico to solve the mystery at the heart of their dispute: the family legend of their grandfather's kidnapping. As the unlikely trio travels, the brothers learn it's never too late for a new beginning.

With winsome prose and heartfelt humor, Oscar Casares's debut novel of family lost and found radiates with generosity and grace and confirms the arrival of a uniquely talented new writer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Casares expands the clean, tender prose of his debut collection, Brownsville, into a winning novel. In an American town just north of the Mexican border, the estranged Rosales brothers are equally ambivalent and inwardly volatile. Don Fidencio is snappish, sickly and endearing: he refuses to admit his own incontinence, smokes cigarettes against his nurses' wishes and identifies people, often cruelly, by their physical appearances (such as "The Gringo With The Ugly Finger"). Meanwhile, his widower brother, Celestino, a diabetic, feels "adrift toward the edge of a flat world." He's slowly drawn out, thanks to his Mexican cleaning woman, Socorro, who travels from "the other side" every day, wishing that the geographical and social borders between them could be "gently... swept aside." The mysterious reason for the brothers' estrangement forces the three characters to push back from one another outwardly while returning, internally, to their own weaknesses, and their distinct voices pick up the thread of narration so easily that, from even mundane details, it's plain to see how love, borders, death-and most of all, willful ignorance-are part of everyday reawakenings. With Casares's blessing, you can laugh at them all. (Aug.)

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Kirkus Reviews
This exceptional first novel from Casares (Stories: Brownsville, 2002) chronicles a Mexican-American road trip. In a Texas border town, two estranged brothers live mere miles apart. Don Fidencio, in his 90s, is the quintessential cantankerous old man. His grumbling provides comic relief from the pain he experiences at Amigoland, the nursing home in which his daughter and son-in-law ("The Son of a Bitch") placed him and from which he is continually plotting his escape. Fidencio's younger brother, Don Celestino, fills his empty retirement with a love affair with Socorro, a woman more than 30 years his junior. When the brothers reunite, Fidencio commands his younger sibling to take him on a road trip to the family's old estate in Mexico. In an attempt to get closer to Celestino and reunite his broken family, Socorro convinces him to fulfill his brother's wish. She comes along too, and the motley crew sets off across the border. Casares has a talent for dialogue. The characters are neither good nor bad, but refreshingly real, and sudden shifts in perspective allow readers to empathize with each one. His portrait of the endearing, complicated love between Celestino and Socorro offers a welcome and uncommon exploration of passion in old age. Simultaneously, pitch-perfect prose charts the brothers' evolving, improving relationship. Casares allows his characters to embrace what they can become without forcing them to lose who they are. The book grapples with what it means to live on the border. Language, folklore and food all reinforce the paradox that the dividing line between Mexico and America is both real and fluid. In a dusty brown town, the journey of these three ordinary people provides asplash of color and spirit. Knowing, touching and true.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316053327
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
08/10/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
979,588
File size:
762 KB

Meet the Author

Oscar Casares gave up a successful career in advertising to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. He received an MFA at Iowa and his stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, Colorado Review, Northwest Review, and Threepenny Review. He is the author of the short story collection, Brownsville, and lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife.

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