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Publisher's Summary

Lyrical and gritty, this New York Times best-selling coming-of-age story about a border-town family in Brownsville, Texas, insightfully illuminates a little-understood corner of America.
Domingo Martinez lays bare his interior and exterior worlds as he struggles to make sense of the violent and the ugly, along with the beautiful and the loving, in a Texas border town in the 1980s. Partly a reflection on the culture of machismo and partly an exploration of the author’s boyhood spent in his sister’s hand-me-down clothes, this book delves into the enduring, complex bond between Martinez and his deeply flawed but fiercely protective older brother, Daniel. It features a cast of memorable characters, including his gun-hoarding former farmhand, Gramma, and “the Mimis”- two of his older sisters who for a short, glorious time manage to transform themselves from poor Latina adolescents into upper-class white girls. Martinez provides a glimpse into a society where children are traded like commerce, physical altercations routinely solve problems, drugs are rampant, sex is often crude, and people depend on the family witch doctor for advice.
Charming, painful, and enlightening, this book examines the traumas and pleasures of growing up in South Texas and the often terrible consequences when different cultures collide on the banks of a dying river.
©2012 Domingo Martinez (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews



National Book Award finalist, 2012
Pushcart Prize Nominee, 2013
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Dahlia on 01-27-14

Impressive debut!

There were times when I had to pause the audio because I was laughing so hard and I didn't want to miss anything. There were also times when I stopped dead in my tracks because of the power and truth in his words. Times when I replayed sections of the audio many times to be sure I had memorized each word correctly.

This story is honest and frank and a hell of a ride. The delivery of Emilio Delgado is spot on. I highly recommend this story to anyone.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By T in Athens on 04-30-13

Humor, authentic

Great characters, wonderful colorful language, ironic humor this book has it all. The narrator does a great job of interpreting the stories with just enough of a border accent to make you feel it's a great story teller sharing his family experiences.
This book is a real gem - perfect as an audible book.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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