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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

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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