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False Years (Discoveries)

by Josefina Vicens

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1311,536,951 (3.67)None
"A poetic, succint novel that criticizes the corruption of the Mexican political system, criticizes the negative effectts of social and family traditions and offers the reader a balanced inside view of Mexican contemporary life."  —Los Angeles Times
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Luis Alfonso Fernandez is only fifteen years old when his beloved father, "Poncho", accidentally commits suicide while showing off with a gun. Now, at age nineteen Luis has become his father. At first father and son are interchangeable by name only, both born Luis Alfonso Fernandez. Life and death are balanced precariously; a father's memory is more alive than the living and breathing son could ever be. Luis does not share his father's personality. Poncho was generous, extravagant, manly, charming, extroverted, gregarious, influential, brash, ebullient, narcistic, a dreamer, and popular with everyone. He is gone but definitely not forgotten. Luis the son must make sense of his father's life and is constantly overshadowed by the reputation that refuses to die. It does not help that culture deems him the man of the house now. Soon, his mother treats him like a grown man to be feared. The lines become blurred when Luis inherits the gun that killed his father and his father's mistress. His life has followed so closely in his father's footsteps, Luis might as well been the one to make the initial impressions. He develops a god complex when his father's friends want to make him into another Poncho. Luis finds that instead of wanting to take over his father's life, he wants to be an innocent child again. He mourns a time when his life was unburdened by adulthood. He oscillates between love and hate for his father.
Fair warning: the misogynism is not hard to miss. In this story there are dozens of comments alluding to the belief that women are of little value. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Nov 26, 2023 |
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"A poetic, succint novel that criticizes the corruption of the Mexican political system, criticizes the negative effectts of social and family traditions and offers the reader a balanced inside view of Mexican contemporary life."  —Los Angeles Times

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