Crazy Loco Love: A Memoir

Crazy Loco Love: A Memoir

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, 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).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582702728
Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words
Publication date: 11/09/2010
Edition description: Original
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 474,385
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
zibilee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Victor has only just turned sixteen when his father takes him for a walk around the family owned ranch and explains to him that it¿s now time for him to be a man. This doesn¿t mean being macho or scoring with all the girls, but only to begin to know himself and what he is about, never shirking his responsibilities and always being true to himself, no matter the cost. Though Victor hears his father¿s advice, it¿s not until his later teens and early twenties that he comes to really understand what his father had been talking about on that fateful day. As a young boy, Victor struggles in the all-boy military academy he attends. Though he is an American citizen, his father and mother hail from Mexico, and it¿s only by chance, hard work and a little luck that they have prospered in California, becoming very wealthy from owning businesses and ranches. But Victor is treated very roughly at school, both by the other cadets and his instructors. They repeatedly call him stupid and lazy and attribute the worst of the Mexican stereotypes to him. Victor¿s self esteem takes a nose dive, and it¿s particularly distressing because he also can¿t read beyond a fourth grade level. As Victor tries to piece together a life among the people who wish to do him harm and his parents who are clueless as to what¿s going on at school, he has some confusing experiences with girls, comes to question his Catholic religion, and struggles under the burden of self doubt and low self esteem. When he finally decides to move to Mexico to experience a different life and go to the new university, he becomes aware of himself in new and exciting ways, and comes to believe that life is not what he once thought it was. Still struggling to make sense of himself, Victor begins to truly come alive in Mexico and learns once and for all just what makes him tick and how to be the man his father counseled him to be so many years ago. Written with an inexpressible and curious lack of self consciousness, Crazy Loco Love is the story of the author¿s journey from troubled boyhood to replete and confident manhood.When I first began to read this book, I had the distinct feeling that it was written with a young audience in mind. The language and sentence structure seemed very basic and there was something quite strange about the exuberance of the writing. Victor loves exclamation points and capitals and he¿s not at all sparing in their use. As I moved further and further into the story, I began to see that the writing was really a reflection of the inner mind of Victor, and that by nature, he is a man prone to over-excitability and, most of the time, a lot of hyperbole. Every person he met was the most beautiful, most successful, best liked, etc. It was hard to gauge the real qualities of the people in his story because they were all so very similar. The best people he had ever encountered, in fact, even though their actions and behavior said otherwise. The problem, I think, had to do with the fact that Victor didn¿t have a lot of experience with the written word, which may have made his writing seem a bit juvenile and inexperienced. I can say it was filled with a lot of emotion, and though it was a little distracting, it was also very passionate.A lot of this story felt like it could have been penned by an over-emotional teenager. There was no real measurement or restraint in the emotions that the author expresses. He seemed often to be on the tip of hysteria, and because of that, the book lost a lot of its emotional impact. I also got rather tired of hearing about his wonder over his sexual exploits and his pondering over his penis. I assume this was a big deal because he¿s Catholic and that kind of thing is generally frowned upon within that religion; To me, it just felt a little seedy and too confessional for me to really be able to enjoy it. Sometimes the thoughts we have running through out heads are not the best thoughts upon which to center a book, and particularly a memoir.
TooBusyReading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Victor Villasenor really likes exclamation points!!! And CAPITALIZATION! I expected to like this memoir of a Mexican boy growing up in Southern California, feeling out of place, trying to find how he fits in the world. When it started off, I didn't care for the writing style, but thought that the story could overcome it. After about 100 pages, I gave up and skimmed through the rest of the book. I probably would have quit completely if I hadn't been given the book by the publisher.Mr. Villasenor seems like a nice person and I really hate giving any negative reviews, but especially to people I think I would like if I met in person. Let me also say that I realize I am in the minority ¿ quite a few people have loved this book. Still, I just didn't care for it. The first part of the story sounded too preachy to me, the author's father explaining what it takes to be a man. And then Victor discovered girls. I read much more than I wanted to about his penis, his randiness, his constant angst. I wasn't crazy about the writing of castrations and slaughter either. But what really bothered me is that the author seemed to vacillate between excusing his behavior because he thought he was just a ¿stupid Mexican¿ (his words, not mine) and blaming everyone else for his behavior because they thought he was just a ¿stupid Mexican.¿ His behavior wasn't all that out of the ordinary for a teenager, it occasionally seemed to be much ado about nothing. The language and explicitness was a little rough for me, but the major problem is that I just didn't find the book to be an interesting read, and I was disappointed in it.
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...