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Mexico by touch : true life experiences of a…
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Mexico by touch : true life experiences of a blind American deejay (2003)

by Larry P. Johnson

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Recently added byomargosh, PghDragonMan

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I was lucky enough to see Larry Johnson at a conference in San Antonio and was very impressed with his story. The book, Mexico By Touch, is the written account of much of what he told us. For me, the book is a split decision: the story is great and really inspiring, but the physical execution of the book is terrible. Despite the book suffering from the technical aspects, I am proud to add my autographed copy to my permanent library.

For anyone to decide to live in a foreign country is a bold decision. To do this in your late teens without really knowing anyone in this new home is even bolder. Given this scenario, you will either give up and quickly return to your native country or you will have the experience of a lifetime Mexico By Touch is filled with reminiscences of the latter kind. If you take away the fact that Johnson has been blind from birth, the stories he relays are terrific. When you add that back in, his life becomes incredible.

Most of the stories could have happened to anyone pursuing the expatriate life style and becoming very at home in their adopted country. The few that pertain to his being blind, are mostly humorous. There is one story, and I won't spoil it by giving it away, where he and an accomplice take advantage of someone by virtue of his being blind. While funny, I felt it was gratuitous and had the situation been reversed, borderline mean spirited.

What I did not like about the book were the physical aspects of it. There were a lot of errors: names would be capitalized in one place but not in another; "an" was used instead of "and". Much more of a problem was the editing of the stories. There was very little flow to the narrative and the book is a collection of short memories. I would really like to see a second edition of this book where all the stories are taken together and edited into some semblance of order, either chronological or by type of experience. Sadly, this effected the overall experience of the book so much, I had to drop this to just a mediocre read from what could have been an outstanding story.

While not a travelogue in the strict sense, there is enough insight to Mexico City of the recent past to provide some interest to travel readers. If you like biographies of people becoming successful in spite of adversity, you should enjoy the stories presented here. If you are extremely critical and didactic about editing, stay away from this collection of memories. ( )
  PghDragonMan | May 28, 2008 |
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