Americas

AmericasJason Lee Norman.  Americas.  Wufniks Press, Kindle edition, 2012.

In Goodreads terms, I give this 5/5 stars.

. . . . . . . .

One day, a guy from Canada decided to visit every country in the Americas, in North-to-South order, and write a travelogue about it.  Then he changed his mind and decided to read the Wikipedia article on each country, and write up a brief report.  Then he changed his mind and decided to find 22 students who’d each had to write a report for school on one of those countries, and he would combine those reports into a book.  As it turned out, many of those students had just skimmed the Wikipedia article and then winged it from there.  One kid forgot he was supposed to write about Peru and wrote about Russia instead.

. . . . . . . .

No, not really.  Well, if you’re expecting this to be a serious/totally accurate portrayal of each country…then, yes 😉  Amy of the Insatiable Booksluts calls the stories “part fairy tale, part magic realism, part prose poetry.”

Here’s a description of snow falling in a warm place:

You’ll hear a sound like grasshoppers or butterflies landing on the roof of your tent and then you’ll hear, all at once, the sound of millions of flakes evaporating like tiny applause. [1]

 

Norman’s website offers two sample stories, one of which happens to be my favorite in the collection.  Even though it’s roughly near the start of the book, “Honduras” feels like the culmination of all the stories — it focuses on its own assigned country, but also gives you a view of the Americas (and Americas) as a whole.  And it has the best closing sentence.

“Costa Rica” has the second-best closing sentence.

 

. . . . . . . .


[1] From “El Salvador”

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2 Responses to Americas

  1. I’m so glad you read this, and you loved it. I was so swept up in the spell of his writing. I can’t wait to see what he does next!

    • Nerija S. says:

      Me too! Beautiful Girls and Famous Men sounds fun. In a related note, I used to have a Jennifer Love Hewitt music tape that I ordered from one of those old ads/catalogs you used to see in teen magazines (“Get 6 cassettes free* with your first month free* trial subscription!” or whatnot).

      * insert much fine print that 12-year-old Nerija didn’t bother reading until Mom said, “Hey, you know I actually had to pay that company for a month’s subscription (or something) before they’d let me cancel?” Well, at least I did get those 6 cassettes.

1/100th of an Altairian dollar for your thoughts?

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