Monday, December 14, 2009

Richard Grant: God's Middle Finger

I needed this book. I needed this book bad. A short, page-turning, nonfiction book that I read in about two minutes. Running With Dogs and I talked about some 50-books-a-year challenge we had heard about, and she said "of course you read 50 books a year," but I don't. I barely read 12. Probably because of all the long, strenuous, not-so-good-books that I won't put down books that I read till the bitter end, but also because I'm just not a super duper fast reader.

Anyway, this is one of those books that I picked up on a whim at a bookstore because I love reading about Mexico and anything about the border, and I don't regret it. It was awesome, exciting, and depressing. Richard Grant lives for excitement and decided the best place to get it was in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico where the only law is pretty much the law of luck: "don't be in the wrong place at the wrong time" or the law of corruption: pay the right officials enough at the right time, or something along these lines. I'm not sure what Naomi Klein would say- if disaster capitalism hasn't found the mountains of Northern Mexico yet or if it's a prime example of what the shock doctrine does to a place. Either way, the book has a little bit of the "look at the exotic, corrupt, and untamable brown people" feel about it, but as a purely enjoyable read, Grant's got the travel memoir down.