Puerto Vallarta Squeeze: The Run for el Norte

Puerto Vallarta Squeeze: The Run for el Norte

4.5 9
by Robert James Waller
     
 

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Novelist Danny Pastor liked what he found in lazily beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Luz Maria, a woman he was crazy about; cantinas that played his kind of music; and la dolce vita, the sweet life. That was the problem. Danny needed to write, and he was up against a blank wall, not turning out a word while his money ran low and his nerves went wild. Then he was in… See more details below

Overview

Novelist Danny Pastor liked what he found in lazily beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Luz Maria, a woman he was crazy about; cantinas that played his kind of music; and la dolce vita, the sweet life. That was the problem. Danny needed to write, and he was up against a blank wall, not turning out a word while his money ran low and his nerves went wild. Then he was in the right place, or the wrong one, to be the sole witness when a shooter gunned down an American naval officer. At a cafe table with Luz, Danny Pastor saw it all, and saw the possibility of a story, a surefire, prizewinning account that could restore his pride and make him famous. And when the killer approached him, the only other Anglo around, and asked for a ride across the border, Danny, bold with tequila, said yes. Now in a Ford Bronco named Vito, two men and one woman begin a hair-raising run for the border. Their journey will take them to places they didn't anticipate, to things they never thought would happen, to feelings that reach deep and change everything - in a story that will kindle a spirit of adventure in everyone.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lighting out for new territory but going badly astray, Waller (Border Music) mixes his usual conceits with the outlines of a thriller. Looking for inspiration and a cheap place to live off his dwindling royalty check, over-the-hill writer Danny Pastor has come to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he spends most of his time having steamy sex with Luz, a young peasant notable for her sordid past as a prostitute, her dreams of one day reaching El Norte and her obscene way of eating ice cream cones. The book opens with Danny witnessing the murder of an American naval officer; later that same night, he and Luz run into the killer in a bar. The "shooter" (which is how he is identified for most of the novel) offers Danny $3000 to drive him to the border, and Danny, sniffing material for a book that could remake his name, agrees. As the narrative progresses, it is the ``silver-haired'' shooter, Clayton Price, who emerges as the Waller hero, a man who honed his skills as a sniper in Vietnam, was captured and tortured by the Vietnamese and who became an assassin largely, we gather, out of loneliness. That particular problem is eventually solved by Luz, who teaches the shooter to dance (among other things). Meanwhile, various branches of the U.S. government are organizing a manhunt: the shooter, it turns out, had been working for a covert operations unit but had let his ``one personal vendetta'' get in the way of professionalism. As the trio make their way towards the border, they are slowly surrounded by a small army, allowing Waller several occasions to demonstrate his complete inability to write an action scene. These characters are flatter than cardboard, their situation is extremely unconvincing and the book is singularly devoid of suspense. But these weaknesses are nothing compared to the prose, which reads like an illiterate's imitation of Hemingway. Even the faithful may want to think twice about this one. Author tour; simultaneous Time Warner AudioBook. (Oct.)
Library Journal
A washed-up American writer, Danny Pastor witnesses a contract hit while languishing in Puerto Vallarta with his lovely seorita, Luz. A generous offer from the killer, Clayton Price, induces Danny and Luz to aid Clayton with his perilous escape to the border. The chase is on, with frequent improbable interruptions devised, one supposes, to enhance character development and interject the requisite love triangle. This tiresome tale is divulged at a sluggish, incongruous pace made worse by the author's tedious, drawling narration. Waller's (The Bridges of Madison County, LJ 2/1/93) many enthusiasts will generate sufficient demand to mandate purchase by large collections, but this remains a weak effort.-Linda Bredengerd, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib., Bradford, Pa.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446603607
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
12/01/1996
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
4.12(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.62(d)

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