Review: The Moccasin Telegraph and Other Indian TalesAvis de journaliste - Kirkus Reviews
A Mexican novel that starts out with a political tinge, edges into absurdist family comedy as well as caper material, only to fumble (towards the end) into a melodramatic whodunit. (Latin American fiction's impurity is by now well accepted, but miscellany-for-miscellany's-sake continues and intensifies as a peril.) Marcos Gonzalez and his girlfriend, ""the Chamuca,"" live in Mexico City, are vaguely Marxist, and must flee separately when they're wrongfully implicated in a conspiracy charge by the police. So Marcos, desperate for cash, goes to see his old Uncle Ramon in Muerdago, offering the wealthy and sickly man a phony business deal involving mineral rights to an unused mine; and Marcos then stays around to provide Uncle Ramon with a drinking partner and friend. In the doing, however, Marcos is enmeshed in the comic greed of a passel of cousins who've gathered around Ramon in hopes of ingratiating themselves into his inheritance. Moreover, Marcos even becomes the simultaneous lover of a female cousin, Amelia, and of Amelia's daughter Lucero. Yet when Ramon dies--poisoned--and Marcos disappears (but has been poisoned too), the book abruptly drops its charm of unlikely alliances and becomes a pale detective story of no great distinction. Furthermore, Zatz's translation is starchy. (""Neither the owners of the hotel nor the people who used to live in the settlement had put a hand to it in ten years; or, more likely, not in twenty."") And this stiff language further muddies a novel whose purpose and potpourri-style are far from clear or satisfying.
Review: The moccasin telegraph and other storiesAvis de journaliste - Kirkus Reviews
Kinsella (Shoeless Joe) has, in Canada, published four collections of stories set, like this one, in the Cree Indian reserve town of Hobbema, Alberta. Here, the same basic cast of characters revolves through all the stories: Silas Ermineskin is the writer/narrator; there's a merry prankster and put-on artist in Frank Fencepost; and Chief Tom is an ""apple""--red outside, white in. The general tone throughout is tuned to the comic. And the general pattern of action is the escapade. The standouts: Frank and Silas, in ""Where The Wild Things Are,"" pose as guides to two Alabama hunters willing to employ any Indian; and in ""Fugitives,"" an escaped Indian movement leader is kept safe under the assumed identity of an East Indian name and turban. In these two tales, the underlying bitterness is played down: ""We found out a long time ago that if we tell the Government the truth no matter how simple the question, they find a way to either charge us money or take away something that already belongs to us."" The anger is translated into resistance of a mischievously amoral sort (shoplifting, a.k.a. ""creative borrowing"" or ""five finger bargains"") as well as self-parody (the AIM movement is referred to as ""Assholes In Moccasins""). On the other hand, however, many of the stories are soggily sentimental or forcedly winsome, à la lesser Saroyan. And though the discrepancy between the hopeless reality of the reserve life and the bantering tone of its denizens is intriguing for a while, it eventually reduces to a rigid formula. In sum: bittersweet, half-appealing, repetitions capers.
Review: The Moccasin Telegraph And Other Indian TalesAvis d'utilisateur - Goodreads
Laughing - Sometimes laughing to keep from crying.
Review: The Moccasin Telegraph and Other StoriesAvis d'utilisateur - Goodreads
The one with Prince Philip and the buffalo - hilarious!