Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sex as a Political Condition ~ ~ ~ Blog Tour* & Review

Flores, C.N. (2015). Sex as a Political Condition: A Border Novel. (The Americas Series). Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press.

Adult / Fiction / Political Satire

I gave this book 3 out of 5 Stars

Publisher's Blurb: Sex as a Political Condition: A Border Novel is a raucous, hilarious journey through political dangers that come in all shapes, cup sizes, and sexual identities, a trip into the wild, sometimes outrageous world of the Texas-Mexico border and all geographical and anatomical points south.

Honoré del Castillo runs the family curio shop in the backwater border town of Escandón, Texas, and fears dying in front of his TV like some six-pack José in his barrio. Encouraged by his friend Trotsky, he becomes politically active—smuggling refugees, airlifting guns to Mexican revolutionaries, negotiating with radical Chicana lesbians—but the naked truths he faces are more often naked than true and constantly threaten to unman him. When a convoy loaded with humanitarian aid bound for Nicaragua pulls into Escandón, his journey to becoming a true revolutionary hero begins, first on Escandón’s international bridge and then on the highways of Mexico. But not until both the convoy and Honoré’s mortality and manhood are threatened in Guatemala does he finally confront the complications of his love for his wife and daughter, his political principles, the stench of human fear, and ultimately what it means to be a principled man in a screwed-up world.
HALL WAYS REVIEW: Honoré del Castillo wants to be more than he's ever been, by doing things that make a difference and are important and meaningful; Honoré thinks all this will come to fruition if he becomes a political activist. But the greatness he craves is elusive because Honoré's ties to his past deeds and the people he's known can't quite be cut.  Honoré strives to be an honorable man -- and at some points in the story, he almost pulls it off.  Yet, he surrounds himself with all things dishonorable, which often results in some guilt by association, and it's difficult to take the man seriously (but are readers supposed to?) when he and seemingly every male are so easily distracted by sex, the promise of sex, and any body part that might be used sexually. Are readers to believe that men are so shallow that a show of "t&a" will make them drop whatever they are doing, drop their pants, and drool?  Are readers to believe that men first evaluate the breasts of a woman (whether she's seventeen or seventy, friend or foe) before anything else? And reminiscent of The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel and François Rabelais's pages of alternative terminology for penis, are readers to believe that men typically have at their disposal a vast vocabulary of terms to describe said breasts? As a side note, all the Spanish writing in the book -- including the slang terms for body parts and the most pejorative of terms -- are included in a glossary at the end of the book. Gracias!)

Flores's writing is extraordinarily good, with some absolutely stunning descriptions of the world around Honoré and colorful, memorable characters.  Unfortunately, there is too much of the ridiculous and unnecessary distracting from the delivery for the first three fourths of the book. By the time readers get to the last quarter of the story, glimpses of real brilliance can be seen in Carlos Nicolás Flores's writing and some real depth of character comes out of Honoré. The brilliance, however, continues to be off-set by scenes of silly or scatological humor, which ultimately leaves the reader disappointed.   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  A native of El Paso, Carlos Nicolás Flores is a winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize and author of a young adult novel, Our House on Hueco (TTUP, 2006). As a director of the Teatro Chicano de Laredo and a former director of the South Texas Writing Project, he has long been engaged in the promotion of new writers and writing about the Mexican American experience. He teaches English at Laredo Community College in Laredo, Texas. Learn more about the author and his books on his WEBSITE or follow him on GOODREADS


Check out the other stops on this tour:

Oct 18  Texas Book Lover Guest Post or promo
Oct 19  Missus Gonzo promo
Oct 20  The Crazy Booksellers promo
Oct 21  Hall Ways promo
Oct 22  The Librarian Talks Guest Post
Oct 24  Texas Book-aholic promo
Oct 27  My Book Fix Author Q&A
Oct 28  Book Crazy Gals review
Oct 29  Hall Ways review
Oct 30  All For the Love of the Word review 
Oct 31  MissusGonzo review

blog tour services provided by

*NOTE FROM KRISTINE at HALL WAYS: With the exception of the Hall Ways review, the content of this promo post was provided by Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours.  If you're a Texas blogger interested in joining the ranks of Texas Book Blog Tours, contact Tabatha Pope.

No comments:

Post a Comment