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Review: The Milagro Beanfield War, by John Nichols

This book tells the struggle of a lower-class New Mexico town as it tries to regain back lost land and, inevitably, a heritage. It begins with the farmer Joe Mondragon, as he proceeds to irrigate one of his fields, contrary to regulation. The characters are vibrant and alive, and even though I could not sympathize with their plight, I felt sympathetic towards them.

This book is laugh-out-loud funny. I read this book for the first time a few years ago; in a waiting room I couldn't stop laughing and I got a few stares from some other people. But its a book that you won't forget; each time I've read it, I come away with something new. And I always feel as if I have read it for the first time, even though I know what will happen. Its a wonderful innovation of characters and plot that always keeps me turning pages.

There are some characters in this book that you simply cannot put out of your mind. There is, of course, Joe Mondragon, the farmer who irrigates his field. I also loved Pacheco's pig, who keeps destroying everybody's crops. Also memorable is Mercedes Real, Harlan Betchel's crazy mother, who keeps pelting the people of the towns with stones, and Herbie Goldfarb, the VISTA volunteer from New York who fits in to this rustic life about as well as a cactus would in the steppes of Russia. In all, one of my favorite books.

Comments

Heather J. said…
This one sounds like a winner!
Amanda said…
I've seen the movie which was pretty good (if I remember correctly) but it looks like it makes a better book. Thanks for the recommendation!

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2015 Reading

January
1. The Vanishing Witch, by Karen Maitland
2. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
3. Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg
4. Brighton Rock, by Graham Green
5. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
6. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
7. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
8. A Movable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
9. A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
10. Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote
11. Maggie-Now, by Betty Smith

February
1. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate, by Cynthia Lee
4. Music For Chameleons, by Truman Capote
5. Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
6. Unrequited, by Lisa Phillips
7. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
8. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather

March
1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
2. Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Miss Buncle's Book, by DE Stevenson
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garc…