Mexico: A Novel

Mexico: A Novel

3.5 17
by James A. Michener
     
 

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Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener, whose novels hurtle from the far reaches of history to the dark corners of the world, paints an intoxicating portrait of a land whose past and present are as turbulent, fascinating, and colorful as any other on Earth. When an American journalist travels to report on the upcoming duel between two great matadors, he…  See more details below

Overview

Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener, whose novels hurtle from the far reaches of history to the dark corners of the world, paints an intoxicating portrait of a land whose past and present are as turbulent, fascinating, and colorful as any other on Earth. When an American journalist travels to report on the upcoming duel between two great matadors, he is ultimately swept up in the dramatic story of his own Mexican ancestry—from the brilliance and brutality of the ancients, to the iron fist of the invading Spaniards, to modern Mexico, fighting through dust and bloodshed to build a nation upon the ashes of revolution. Architectural splendors, frenzied bullfights, horrific human sacrifice: Michener weaves them all into an epic human story that ranks with the best of his beloved bestselling novels.
 
Praise for Mexico
 
“Michener the storyteller at his finest . . . There are splendid and authentic scenes in the plaza de toros that are as dramatic as any written by Ernest Hemingway or Barnaby Conrad.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Astounding . . . fast-moving, intriguing . . . Michener is back in huge, familiar form with Mexico.”—Los Angeles Daily News
 
“An enthralling story . . . Michener artfully combines the history of Mexico with the art of bullfighting, teaching the reader about both and telling a grand story at the same time.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“A novel of epic proportions, abounding in visual and historical detail.”Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Michener the storyteller at his finest . . . There are splendid and authentic scenes in the plaza de toros that are as dramatic as any written by Ernest Hemingway or Barnaby Conrad.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Astounding . . . fast-moving, intriguing . . . Michener is back in huge, familiar form with Mexico.”—Los Angeles Daily News
 
“An enthralling story . . . Michener artfully combines the history of Mexico with the art of bullfighting, teaching the reader about both and telling a grand story at the same time.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“A novel of epic proportions, abounding in visual and historical detail.”Richmond Times-Dispatch

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812986716
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/07/2015
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
656
Sales rank:
283,516
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

James A. Michener was one of the world’s most popular writers, the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tales of the South Pacific, the bestselling novels The Source, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas, Caribbean, and Caravans, and the memoir The World Is My Home. Michener served on the advisory council to NASA and the International Broadcast Board, which oversees the Voice of America. Among dozens of awards and honors, he received America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and an award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1983 for his commitment to art in America. Michener died in 1997 at the age of ninety.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 3, 1907
Date of Death:
October 16, 1997
Place of Death:
Austin, Texas
Education:
B.A. in English and history (summa cum laude), Swarthmore College, 1929; A.M., University of Northern Colorado, 1937.

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Mexico 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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TS_JoNo More than 1 year ago
I chose to read this book on my vacation to Mexico because no other author so consistently provides me with the flavor of a region like Michener. The frame story in this book is an epic show-down between two matadors in the bullrings of Mexico, and after the amazing bullfight descriptions, I had to avail myself of the opportunity to see a fight while I was there. Yet another great story by one of my favorite authors.
SDSteele More than 1 year ago
This is not a typical Michener novel. Nor is it historically accurate.This is a flight-of-fancy "Mexico a la Michener". And he has taken liberties in strange ways. But I still liked it as I am facinated by the history and culture of Mexico, especially now as we are unearthing more and more evidence of ancient advanced civilizations. Even though it is not spot-on in accuracy, Michener has painted the right feel, created the right sensory atmosphere for the setting and the tumultous historical backdrop. He apparently really loved visiting Mexico and treats in a very romantic manner. A major plus to reading this book is that you will have a much better understanding of the sport of bullfighting.It is very obvious that the bullfight was a sport close to his heart. It is a little evident that he wrote this in his early career, before honing down his magnificent approach to research. He started this in the early 60's and then abandoned the project.I suspect he just got too entwined in too many intricate plotlines, or realized that the main plotline suffered in comparison to the bullfight chapters. But he dusted it off in the 90's and offered it up 4 years before he died, and I'm glad he did. Regardless of it not being as well-researched and written as others, this is still a very worthwhile read and belongs in your Michener collection.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I agree with 15-year-old reviewer, John. I don't normally read history, but this book was truly great. The descriptions are absolutely amazing. I thot the book was about bullfighting at first. Bull preparation and action do play a large part in the novel, but the sad history of Mexico is also discussed. Then their is the eroticism, which seems to be Michener's own, which is strewn throughout and layered in through a present day cast of characters who are visiting Mexico. I can see why some might not find the book interesting: Michener goes into great detail. I, however, am sucker for detail. It's not a 'light read.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have loved many of Michener's books (Hawaii, The Source, Texas) - but this was thoroughly disappointing. There was no passion and certainly minimal history of Mexico in this book. Instead, it seemed to be an expository writing on bullfighting. If you want to read a good historical fiction on Mexico - read Aztec by Gary Jennings - an excellent captivating book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Names that were very hard to pronounce, and difficult to keep track of. You could tell that the thirty years between the start and end of the book were a change of the writers views. I enjoyed the bullfight part of the story, and a few of the facts of Toledo, but the rest was useless information.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The most boring book i have read it is too big and boring and when it does ever get intresting it goes to another topic that is boring. The book goes through ancestors too and it is hard to keep track of who is who and hard to remember people's names.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mexico, is a terrible novel. You should just read a text book. This is a soporific novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An exelent book, that keeps the reader so entraped in the book you cant put it down. Michner vividly describes the modern bullfight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a Reading Specialist and a true bibliophile to begin with and Michener never ceases to satisfy my unsatiable desire for good literature! I have read some of his other works (Alaska, Chesapeake, The Drifters, Hawaii) and of course, Mexico (2X). This is by far my favorite because in my opinion Micheners'style is best represented in this work. Michener brilliantly intertwines both interesting fictional characters with interesting historical events and people which makes a very entertaining and educational read. I particularly enjoyed Mexico because it was NOT just about Mexico; the novel delved deep into the history of Old Spain, the conquering of Mexico by Spain, the Civil War of the United States all under the umbrella of a contemporary visit to Mexico to learn more about bullfighting. When he does venture into the ancient history of Mexico, it is vivid, realistic and fascinatingly dramatized by well-developed characters that seem to be real. One really gets a sense of 'being' there and both laments and rejoices at Mexico's tragedies and triumphs. I enjoy learning about history through the use of colorful characters such as the one Michener develops. Much more interesting than when I was in school! When I finish reading a Michener book, particularly one as engulfing as Mexico, I feel like my mind and perspective has noteably expanded. Not only do I derive great please from the characters, but I also feel like I just did some heavy duty travel! A great book to read over the summer! I plan to re-read it as well as attack his Centennial, Hawaii and The Source. I am well aware that some (much?) of the history may not be verifiable, but the general idea is there and I still enjoy the learning experience.