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Crazy Loco Love: A Memoir
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Crazy Loco Love: A Memoir

2.7 9
by Victor Villasenor

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Growing up on his parents’ ranch in North San Diego County, Victor Villaseñor’s teenage years were marked by a painful quest to find a place for himself in a world he did not fit into. Discriminated due to his Mexican heritage, Victor questions the tenets of his faith and the restrictions it places on his own spirituality and sexuality. Ultimately,


Growing up on his parents’ ranch in North San Diego County, Victor Villaseñor’s teenage years were marked by a painful quest to find a place for himself in a world he did not fit into. Discriminated due to his Mexican heritage, Victor questions the tenets of his faith and the restrictions it places on his own spirituality and sexuality. Ultimately, his search for identity takes him to Mexico to learn of his family’s roots, where he soon discovers that his heritage doesn’t determine his intelligence or success. Through this often humorous and poignant tale, Victor deftly undermines the macho stereotype so often associated with Latinos, while exposing the tender vulnerability and naïveté of a young man grappling with the roles foisted on him by the church and society. Victor’s youthful misadventures elicit sympathy, laughter, and tears as he attempts to divine the mysteries of the opposite sex in this powerful, revealing memoir. “The clarity that comes from Villaseñor’s personal and cultural experience is not matched in any of Steinbeck’s major works” (Los Angeles Times).

Editorial Reviews

Adam Langer
One of the strengths of Victor Villasenor's memoir Crazy Loco Love is that, even as he approaches the age of 70, the author can vividly conjure up the exuberance and vitality of being a teen in 1950s and '60s Southern California. Reading his book feels like being transported into the private, passionately scrawled notebooks of the author's untutored early self.
—The Washington Post
San Antonio Express-News
Crazy Loco Love solidifies Villaseñor's status as an enchanting Mexican American storyteller. What makes this memoir so intriguing is that he isn't afraid to bear his soul and serve up every aspect of his life under the powerful, grueling lens of self-examination. Though readers may feel they know Villaseñor through his earlier works, this book gives us young Victor-defiant, rebellious and sexually charged-and the results are simply fascinating.
Kirkus Reviews
An enthusiastic, undisciplined mess of an autobiography by Mexican American writer Villase-or (Burro Genius, 2004, etc.). Slightly less New Age-tinged and Mescalito-ish than its predecessor volumes, which have collectively been likened to a Chicano version of Roots, this installment highlights some of Villase-or's by now well-practiced narrative tics. One is the seemingly random use of Spanish mashed up in maddeningly repetitive English, as in, "He smiled the biggest smile I'd ever seen him smile and took me into his arms, hugging me in a big abrazo"-hugging him with a hug while smiling a smile, in other words. Another is Villase-or's near-trademark use of uppercase words in the middle of otherwise harmless sentences: "Why? Because CONTROL WAS EVERYTHING for him!" Such things notwithstanding, the prurient-minded reader will find Crazy Loco Love a departure in a new direction, for now the author, revisiting his late-adolescent self, becomes exceedingly interested in matters of the flesh: A ripe breast bursts out of a camisa, and it is cause for wonder, for "I'd never seen a girl's naked breast before, and especially not one this large and up close to my face." Said vision yields a physical reaction whereby the author's Levis suddenly seem a touch too tight, and he experiences dizziness and shortness of breath; some 120 pages later he is wetting the bed, but not with urine; later he has finally entered the holy of holies, save with a twist that will raise a shock of recognition in fans of Chinatown. All this makes Villase-or "crazyloco," meaning, presumably, crazy in two cultures (though he swears off cultures at book's end to declare himself simply a Human Being on the way to"BEING with all capitals"), or maybe, given his repetitive habits, simply crazy crazy. Fans won't mind, though everyone else will wish this book had had a firmer editor.

Product Details

Atria Books/Beyond Words
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5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Victor Villaseñor is an acclaimed, Mexican-American writer best known for the New York Times bestselling novel Rain of Gold. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Crazy Loco Love was chosen as the Best Biography in English at the 2009 International Latino Book Awards.

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Crazy Loco Love: A Memoir 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ThymeBD More than 1 year ago
I read the book Crazy Loco Love a memoir by Victor Villasenor. This book is about a young Mexican boy who has trouble fitting in at school. Victor's parents are very wealthy and have a very nice ranch where Victor gets along great he feels at home there. It is where he is not judged and is very good at what he does there, which is working on the ranch or riding horses. Victor is an outcast and gets made fun of throughout the story by his peers, and his teachers. These people are constantly putting down Victor in his life. You learn early that Victor cannot read and how he manages to barely pass high school. You see the unfairness of his teachers at the school, and the racism he must face everyday for being a Mexican. During Victors junior year of military school one of his Spanish teachers tells him "The truth is that world wide, native people are backwards and ignorant, and it's the European blood that runs in the veins of the Mexican people in the U.S. that has given these people any intelligence worth speaking about. I know these are tough words, but as the future leaders of the country, you need to hear and understand tough words. As for myself, I'm proud I'm pure Spanish-European and have absolutely no Indian blood in my veins." This quote shows the tough struggles Victor faces growing up being of Mexican heritage. It is the kind teachers who will admit that they don't know everything who touch Victor and help him through his struggles with acceptance, and help him pass high school. Only when Victor's teachers do this does he begin to see the enjoyment in learning and he decides that he wants more. Victor is made fun of in school, so he decides that he will not go any longer, but his parents convince him to take summer school and take the classes that he would take if he were to go to senior year. Victor wants to be accepted by his peers greatly Victor's father tells him not to care what people think and to think for himself. "And after all that, you still care what people think? Didn't you learn from those two experiences? Eh? How many times is it going to take, mijito?" Victor throughout the story struggles to understand the meaning of God and "He must also know who he is and who he isn't." Victor's parents throughout the story are very supportive of him. His father especially always gives him words of wisdom and always believes in him. Victor's mother is very kind as all mothers are to there youngest son. "She lives not in her head with wanting and wanting but here in her heart, where all the riches and jewels of the world don't matter." I did not like this book because the content was very gross throughout the entire story. This book is written through the eyes of a teenage boy, and it is unedited to the extreme it was disturbing to me to read all this stuff and made me not want to read the book. The book is written very nicely and has lots of life lessons and could be a very good book but the vulgarity was too much for my taste. The one thing I did like about the book was the style in which it was written it was written very flowing with lots of conversation. The sentences are short and precise and easy to read. Which made the reading experience more enjoyable. I would not recommend this book. This book was very difficult to get through not reading level wise, but you did not want to pick it up and read it. The content was very disturbing and made reading it a hassle and un-enjoyable I w
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5Paris5 More than 1 year ago
Having read and loved Victor Villasenor's past work, I was very excited to see he had a new addition to his collection. Sadly, I was very disappointed in this book. Respectfully, I understand that this was his story however, it was not for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding book and amazing person to listen to....Crazy Loco Love is the autobiographical story that Victor Villasenor started with his previous books Rain of Gold and Burro Genius. The story of his life and that of his ancestors is told with wonderful insight and intelligence. It was truly a pleasure to meet him in person and to listen to his story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had previously read a book by Villaseñor, although I cannot recall the title, that was enjoyable. I heard about his new book during a television interview he was giving. At the time, the book sounded interesting. After reading several chapters of Crazy Loco Love, his use of the phrase "crazy loco love" (possibly to emphasize the title) became repetive and overused to the point of being ridiculous! To me, the story was extremely boring and quite predictable. Such a disappointment...