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This is probably not the most accessible of the Mano Negra albums. When I bought it it took me a while to see what all the fuss was about. However now I rate it as their best album- in fact it's probably better than either of Manu Chao's superb solo efforts. This album marks a fresh departure for Mano Negra the French group comprising Manu Chao, his brother and cousin and a few of their Parisian friends. The first Mano album, Patchanka, introduced an alternative rock group half-way between the Clash and the Pogues. Diverse sounds, diverse influences- mainly punk, rockabilly, ska and a small bit of Latino at that stage. The second album, Puta's Fever, saw the group on a multinational label and enjoying considerable success in France, Spain, Japan and Latin America. The third album, King of Bongo, was dismissed by a lot of critics, wrongly in my view. It contained less of the cheery party songs and more reference to the French chanson tradition. It also contained the hugely famous single 'Out of Time Man'. Following all this commercial success the group decided to take off to South America for two years of giving free concerts and exploring local musical traditions. Large tensions erupted in the group, not least between the Chao brothers, Manu and Antoine ('Tonino'). But this venture into the unknown paid large dividends. When the group came back to Europe they brought with them much more depth in their sound. The Latin influence in songs like the superb Senor Matanza was even more authentic and the album also featured the lead singer of the Argentinian band Todos tus muertos. An idea of the diversity is provided in the run of songs going from Mama Perfecta through to Sueno de Solentiname. Mama Perfecta was influenced by Colombian Cumbia. This led directly into the Clash inspired classic 'Love and Hate', sung in English, French and Spanish. That then becomes the very authentic sounding Jamaican reggae on 'She Drives Me Crazy' a song which ends with synthesised rat noises reminiscent of 'Down in the Sewer' by the Stranglers. This fed into 'Hamburger Fields' which closes with the 'I will **** you like a superman' reel from the end of the Beatles' Sargent Pepper album ('Strawberry Fields' oblige). The song then feeds into the brilliant danceable reggae of 'La Vida' which then feeds into 'Sueno de Solentiname' containing a brilliant dub bass line and a sound which wouldn't have been out of put on either of Manu's solo albums. On this album Mano Negra were no longer hiding behind their scene persona- for the first time the Chao brothers were refered to by their true names on the list of musicians. The musicianship on here is superb and the songs are varied. As someone once said: 'A splendid time is guaranteed for all'. This album is a must for all fans of alternative Latin music.
La primera vez que oi la voz de Manu (el cantador) fue en mi clase de espanol hace dos anos. Inmediatamente compre su disco solo "Clandestino" y lo amaba mucho. Por eso compre Casa Babylon, y ahora es uno de mis discos favoritos. Los ritmos son perfectos para las personas que les gusta bailar (como yo) y las letras tambien son muy buenas. Dos canciones son lentas e increibles, muy poderosas: "mama perfecta" y "sueno de solentiname," y las otras canciones son mas rapidas y igualmente fantasticas. A mi parece muy sofisticada, y hay muchisimos sonidos diferentes aunque el disco es muy unido. Otros grupos/artistas que me encantan: The Beatles, The Greatful Dead, Led Zeppelin, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, The Allman Brothers, y otros grupos americanos de los 60s y 70s (musica "hippie"). (lo siento por mi espanol ojala que no sea terrible)The first time I heard Manu's voice was in my spanish class two years ago. I immediately bought his solo cd, Clandestino, and i loved it, so I bought "Casa Babylon" and now it's one of my favorite CDs. The rhythms are excellent for people who like to dance (like me) and the words are also really good. Two songs are slow and incredible, very powerful: "mama perfecta" and "sueno de solentiname" and the other songs are faster and just as fantastic. It seems very sophisticated and there are a lot of various sounds although the disc is very united. Other bands/artists I like: The Beatles, The Greatful Dead, Led Zeppelin, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, The Allman Brothers, and other American groups from the 60s and 70s ('hippie' music).
Amazing to see everyone speaks so highly of this CD.What can you say about Mano Negra that has not been said? This CD is one of the best top 10 Castellano rock albums of all times. How do I know this? Well besides being from Buenos Aires I have traveled Latin America and España all my life and this CD is always in any hip rock bar's jukebox from Argentina to Mexico. It's real + what Manu did with Clandestino, etc... set this cd into eternal immortality. Rock, rap, reggae, Caribbean sounds, punk, English, Castellano, French (+ you begin to message Manu playing around with the sounds bites from TV and radio on this album) Buy it and you will not be disappointed. Amazon has all from Manu and Mano Negra on here which you should check out. Look for the Bolivian mountain sessions on MP3 Download sites, also has a rare Mano Negra appearance at a French prison early 90's. " 2 de la tarde 28 minutos con radio recuerdos...tu suerte merece un chance...._" Arturo
The final and most mature effort from Mano Negra, basically driven by Manu Chao before he went solo and ironic for that fact since it is so much more rock and electronic than his subsequent solo work. Mano Negra were a great, interesting, rocking band that were entertaining as well as thought-provoking. Some people have called them 'the latin Clash' and there are definitely similarities although the Mano Negra were obviously on the stage a small later. A amazing album for fans, but as others have noted, maybe Puta's Fever would be a better initiation to the band.
Even Clandestino (First Manu Chao's album) is not as amazing as MANO NEGRA's CASA ck, dub, rap, dancehall, and latin all together in an album that has created history in europe. From the launching of this CD, there are an uncountable number of spanish and french groups that test to imitate this "Babylon" Babylon is an album that even today is being sold in spanish shops, it is the reference for what you can call "latino rock", but it is more than latino, even more than r me it is one of the five best albums ever made. And I'm not kiddin'
Before we start: this movie is not a third installment to the "Demons" series and it has nothing to do with it whatsoever, except the fact that Lamberto Bava directed them. Regardless of the false advertising, "The Ogre" is worth watching. This film is quite atmospheric and even though there are a few unintentionally funny moments, I thought it had it decent share of creepiness. In a way, I see this as a not good man's "The House by the Cemetery", at least plot-wise. In both films, Paolo Marco is the man of the family, in both films, there's an irritating small son named Bobby, in both films, the woman of the house is a attractive thirty-something, who seems to be the only one to see that there's something really wrong in the fresh house, and in both films, there's something really, really wrong going on in the basement. Those who enjoyed "The House by the Cemetery" are probably going to have fun this film as well, keeping in mind of course, that "The Ogre" is less artistic, less scary and not nearly as gory. In "The Ogre", the story begins with a small girl, named Charel, who is tormented by a horrible nightmare. In said nightmare, small Charel is chased by a horrendous ogre, in what seems to be an old basement. Several years later, we see Charel as a grown woman, who works as a novelist, is married to a guy named Tom and has a son named Bobby. Charel and her family go on a vacation trip to an old deserted castle, located in the heart of an Italian villa called Trifiri. Shortly after their arrival, Charel has the feeling that she had been in the villa before, which she finds very odd, since she knows for a fact, that she had never been to Trifiri in her life. Charel begins to experience visions of that horrible nightmare that she used to have when she was little, but her husband tells her not to worry about it. Charel can't seem to obtain over her visions of that horrendous monster going after her, and her husband, who is not a very patient guy to start with, tells her to chop the crap and have fun the damn vacation, before he loses his marbles. However, Charel knows that the old nightmare from her childhood is actually becoming true and she's going to have to war that horrible ogre on her own, since nobody believes her. As it is expected, the plot somehow turns out to be a small bit simplistic, which makes it hard to fill an hour and a half. This means that "The Ogre" offers more than a couple of sequences with nothing but total silence and the photo of the main hero walking around the castle for several minutes, going on about her business and reviving the photos of her childhood, with a look of dismay in her eyes. Since this film deals with the premise of a main hero who is trying to figure out if she's actually seeing certain things or if she's having hallucinations, we obtain a lot of "Oh, is this actually happening?" moments... and, yes, it becomes tedious after a while. Like a lot of Italian horror movies that came out throughout the late eighties, this film is beautiful stylish and effective, but it also offers a nice dozens of unintentionally funny moments, that create the film unforgettable. For instance, the part in which Charel is brutally slapped by her husband and instead of going to her bedroom crying like I would have expected, she strikes back versus him by punching him on the face really hard and running away to the woods, like a maniac. The funniest thing however, is the fact that two mins later, they appear as a satisfied couple again, as if punching each other like that, was the most natural thing in the world. I know it's silly, but I myself, found it absolutely hilarious. The ogre (which is obviously the villain of the story) looks creepy and funny at the same time too and let's face it: a villain who can freak us out and create us laugh a small bit, it's twice as welcomed. It reminded me of Michael Jackson in "Thriller", but much more natural and human, of course. But if focusing on the genuinely amazing aspects that I mentioned before: the melody composed by Simon Boswell is one of the high points and even if it beautiful much always the same, it fits perfectly and it helps to make a rather dark atmosphere during the moments of tension. So if I have to give my final statement regarding this movie, I'm going to have to say that I can't support loving it, including the little flaws and most people who have fun these typical Italian horror films from the late eighties, won't be disappointed by this one. It has all the typical and always well received clichés, like the crazy old man who actually speaks the truth, the foxy local woman who is said to be a witch, a creepy castle, a large dark basement with a not good secret and the local folks who test to prevent the tourist with their hostility, to stay away from the infamous lands. I would say that "La Casa dell'Orco" deserves two thumbs up and a punch at your spouse's face, as a method to pay tribute to the heroine of the story. Take this film for what it is and have fun it.
Ill Manor. Gunfighters of Casa Grande is directed by Roy Rowland and written by Clarke Reynolds and Borden and Patricia Chase. It stars Alex Nicol, Jorge Mistral, @#$% Bentley, Steve Rowland, Phil Posner, Mercedes Alonso, Diana Lorys, María Granada. Melody is by Johnny Douglas and cinematography by José F. Aguayo and Manuel MerinoJose. After the battle between The States, when the Eastern part of the United States was beef starved and inflated prices were paid at Northern railroad points ... a border raider evolved a plan that would lead to the greatest stolen cattle herd and pay off in the history of the West. Out of MGM, this Spanish/American Western was filmed in Mexico and is a CinemaScope/Metrocolor production. What with that value and the opening salvo as written above, one wouldn't be unfair to expect a amazing movie. Sadly this isn't the case. The whole stolen herd thing is a bum steer, the narrative a muddled mess that ultimately loses focus on story telling sense. On breaking it down we have an uneasy group dynamic, where a handful of sharp shooting men - led by a devious tyrant wannabe called Joe Daylight (Nicol) - end up getting women problem whilst dealing with bandido baddies. It's all on testosterone overdrive, complete with what can only be described as a @#$%ing contest, with the acting close to being as not good as the choppy story. The musical score is schizophrenic, with some of it sounding oddly like a play on The White Cliffs of Dover and comedy fare that wouldn't be out of put in a Cary Grant screwball piece. Areas are nice, but the colour mix is method too bright, but at least we have two entries in the Victor Mature and James Caan look a like competition... Some competent action scenes, such as the finale and a defence of Casa Grande (the ranch) stop it being a complete dead loss, but it's not one that Western fans should seek out as a matter of need. 3/10
I like this app. I like being able to contact the owners directly which saves me money. Most Casas have an email address, but don't always have internet access so that's why the telephone number is more important. This application doesn't cost anything, and is a amazing resource.
Not worth downloading this app, just a list of casas which you can search without the app. I read the not good reviews before downloading but still did hoping they were simply pessimistic... Nope, this application is useless. Do yourself a favour and don't download
Knowing that in Cuba acces to internet is very difficult, after a long research we decided to take the Cuba Junky application and we discovered that it was the best decision. It has a lot of casas registered , with all the information you need and IT WORKS OFFLINE!! Everybody there wants to support you to search accommodation, but because they insist too much and because of the lack of my Spanish language, a lot of times a had the feeling that there is something fishy. Maybe they have amazing intentions , but I felt safety and calm having Cuba Junky and I used it a ter I dowloaded the application I opened all files with casas in order to be sure they are properly saved and it worked perfectly offline.
I'd give the application three stars if they had coordinates on the page. And five stars if those coordinates linked to an offline map, like Maps Me. To be fair you can obtain the coordinates. You need to access them via the map function online. Not much amazing when you're in Cuba with not good or no internet. It might come in handy, in some remote town. For bigger towns; there is lots of info on the web.
Amazing and useful info, but the application needs more work Used the application to search some nice casas which I would not otherwise have been able to find, so it was useful and I recommend it. That being said... The application is weak. The English is bad. There is no map. No method to search. No method to bookmark/star. That's just features I want were there off the top of my head, so with some forethought, this application could be grand.
Non serve spendere tutti questi soldi per poche e scarne informazioni. Se andate a cuba consiglio di muoversi di casa in casa chiedendo alla prima casa buona trovata. Dopo il commento dello sviluppatore toglierei anche l'unica stella fornita. Abbassate il prezzo a pochi centesimi se volete essere valutati meglio.
Outstanding Application and Essential for anyone Travelling Cuba I cycled Cuba for 32 days after years of wanting to do it. Only decided to finally go about three weeks before my flight out and luckily came across Cuba Junky. I had a rough idea of where I was wanting to go but also wanted to hold it quite rough and search where to go along the way. This Application was invaluable to me as I could have a look and identify two or three casas whereever I was going that day. Offline so no internet required. If you go to a casa and it is full then no worries as they will sort you out with another one. This application never allow me down no matter whether in the huge cities like Santiago or little towns. Can't stress enough how amazing the application is, obtain it.
Useful info, but without map The application has lots of useful info which seems beautiful accurate. However, in slightly bigger cities it is not ideal, since you cannot see the casas plotted on a map. So no method of knowing where they are except for when you do a lot of searching on another map that you brought.
While I can't say that "Aquella casa en las afueras" is on the whole a monotonous movie, sadly, I have to admit that I had a really hard time focusing on it and it's a true shame because I had higher expectations. The story gives the impression of being one of these really absorbing psychological thrillers that nobody knows about, regardless of how magnificent they are. The fact that Alida Valli, who earned my respect in "Suspiria", is one of the main actresses in the film, also led me to believe that I was going to be enchanted by her acting alone. Now that I have finally seen this film, after looking for it exhaustively, I suppose it works as an evident proof of how poor it is to anticipate our judgement and a gentle reminder of not doing it ever again. By that, I don't mean that I didn't obtain any pleasure at all out of "Aquella casa en las afueras", but frankly, I expected more than a easy slow moving thriller with some decent moments of tension throughout the latest minutes. I usually write a short synopsis to the films I review, but this time, I'm going to create an exception, since "Aquella casa en las afueras", unfolds the most revealing and worth mentioning parts at some point in the latest minutes. Writing a summary in this case, would be some kind of ruthless spoiler and I'm going to avoid. All I have to say concerning this movie and generally speaking is that it gets rather tedious more than once, which is a true disappointment. I hardly lose my interest when I'm watching a horror film and I tend to appreciate the amazing moments of silence and subtle psychological terror, but in this particular occasion, the lack of happenings ended up overwhelming me. In the end, I can't really say that it is a poor movie. As I stated previously, the latest mins somehow create up for the lack of tension and action throughout the first hour. My friendly tip to those who feel more than anything compelled to check out this movie because Mrs. Valli, is to think twice before watching it. The hero of Isabel in "Aquella casa en las afueras", has nothing to do with that evil, glamorous and strong Miss Tanner that a lot of of us remember from "Suspiria". Regardless of the fact that Mrs. Valli was indeed a remarkable actress, in this occasion, her hero is plain for the most part and not nearly as darkly attractive as she appears in "Suspiria". Some may think that my comparison is unfair, but we can't deny that Miss Tanner was one of her most memorable performances and it left a lot of horror fans wanting a small bit more of that. Concluding: "Aquella casa en las afueras" is not exactly a poor film. It is actually rather stylish and it has some really fine points to remark, like the opening sequence, in which we see the main hero getting an abortion, for instance. The scenes with Alida Valli over the latest scenes are quite amazing and atmospheric. Perhaps the main cause why the entire movie from being labeled as "boring" in the end. My concept of the movie is not bad, but I wouldn't bother re-watching it any time soon. At least not for now, unless I'm suffering from insomnia and I need some support falling asleep.
I really enjoyed this book. I live in Seattle and I remember Judith Gille's Capital Hill store, Town People's, fondly. Like her, I am suffering from too much grayness and rain. She sought relief in sunny Mexico and I, having fewer resources, sought relief in a book about sunny Mexico. We both found what we wanted. If you enjoyed Under a Tuscan Sun you will like this book too. Both authors expended the effort and time to obtain to know the people and the culture they have adopted and their books benefit from the bonds they formed and the perspectives those bonds opened for them. The movie, Under a Tuscan Sun, had hardly anything to do with the book beyond sharing a zone and including the restoration of a home, but it was good. In the back of my mind I'm hoping the producers of that film might work related screen magic with this book. I would love to see a film set in San Miguel de Allende..
Gracias sold me this book just the day before yesterday when I returned to her tienda after quite a hiatus. When I realized it was a story about Callejon de Chepito, I devoured it, and in doing so, caught up with the story of Gracias and Lupe and their family. I had rented a house on Callejon de Chepito 13 years ago. When we left the alley those a lot of years ago, Lupe told my daughter (after searching in a notebook for quite a while) "I wish to go to the U-netted states"! And while we thought it was funny at the time, small did we know how serious she of course this book brought back unbelievable memories. Those a lot of years ago, after dragging my daughter (and son) down the alley to meet some children playing, my daughter Sara spent virtually every day of our month long stay at the tienda with Lupe and her family. (My son was more interested in playing basketball in parque Juarez.) After two weeks, Hannah joined them, so the whole story brought poignant memories back to ough I never met Hannah's mom and author, Judith Gille, I feel like she could be my other twin sister. (I truly do already have one.) We were both born in Kansas, spent time here in Mexico in the 70's, and returned to SMA in the early 2000s. Judith's commitment to San Miguel, her love of Mexico and Mexicans is an inspiration. Her writing is evocative and emotional. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to feel the pulse of the heart of Mexico.
This was one of those 'perfect' books for me. It started with a possibility encounter of the author at a Book Publishers Northwest meeting in Seattle. Judith Gille and I chatted during a break, and we shared titles of books we had written. The View from Casa Chepitos has something for expatriots, wannabe expats, travelers to Mexico, anyone living in Seattle who has been in a Town People’s shop (nearly everyone). Judith was one of the founders of Town People’s, a beloved hardware/garden shop with several areas in Seattle. She has written this memoir/travel book with compassion, intelligence, and wit. To me, Judith is the quintessential expat. She bought a home in San Miguel de Allende (Guanajuato), embraced the culture, learned Spanish, allowed time and energy to establish friendships with locals. As I read about her journey from novice expat to committed expat, I learned about the struggles and joys she encountered. I learned much about Mexican history, and gained insight into the human/emotional side of immigration. This book can be fun, serious, educational, emotional—depending on which page you’re reading. If you’ve ever thought of being an ex-pat in Mexico, or anywhere else, read this book and luxuriate in its prose and lessons.
Judith Gille's book is both a unbelievable memoir and an insightful look at the relationship between two countries. It is told primarily as the relationship between Judith and the women of Callejon Chepitos where she bought a home on impulse during a difficult time in her e impulse to live in San Miguel Allende (SMA) is one that lay dormant for thirty years since the time Gille had traveled there as a free spirited student. She returns to SMA as a mother of teenaged kids, a wife, and the owner of a series of boutique hardware stores that have not weathered an economic recession. She has had to create hard choices about shrinking her business, laying off beloved employees and, in doing so, facing both internal and external a sense, she's struggling to figure out what to do for "Act III" of her life. Mexico answers the call, but it takes a lot of insightful pages for her and the reader to figure out why. What seems like an impulsive reaction to difficult circumstances, a desire to escape perhaps, turns into something bigger and more significant.Unlike a lot of expat memoirs, Gille isn't fully immersed in Mexico. She and her family go back and forth between SMA and Seattle though each trip south brings deeper insights into and love for the people in her neighborhood.Her children create fast connections, but it takes the author years to create real friendships with her neighbors. The story of these friendships and how they transcend nationalities and generations is the strongest and most enjoyable thread in the book. Celebrations and tragedies, marriages and immigration provide an emotional, cultural, and political backdrop for the a lot of interesting stories about life on both sides of the an U.S. woman, Gille is intensely aware that her values and attitudes that don't always translate. Things as easy for her as crossing the border are nearly impossible for her neighbors. She has a keen eye for our differences, but refrains from judgment except in circumstances where her sense of common humanity is violated as in the example where she breaks up a road war or helps her Mexican god-daughter deal with an unpaid coyote, a human smuggler, on the north side of the ere's also a bit of American cultural history here. Gille was a kid of the sixties and partook in the ambiance and cultural upheavals. Add to this an impulsive nature and a lifelong struggle to search favor with her stern, non-demonstrative mother and you have an interesting set of back stories woven into the basic theme of finding oneself amidst between two neighboring countries.I read this book while traveling in the region and finished it in San Miguel Allende. It illuminated my trip in ways a traditional travel tutorial would not have. Reading the book gave me a greater sense of knowing where I was and better understanding my surroundings.
Travel documentaries are favlorites of mine; this book is not a travel documentary. It's much more, much better than is book is about life in Mexico, about Mexican culture, about the problems facing Mexican citizens day-by-day. Traveling in Mexico (and I have traveled there several times) never reveals the truths that Ms. Gille exposes in this story, because she is not a traveler; she (and her family) lived there, in and among the natives, and she became accepted as a mate and an "adopted" family member. As a result, she is able to tell a story that a mere traveler can never this book if you wish to learn how people live and survive and thrive in a culture very various from that of the United States, their nearest neighbor. Gille and her family are able not just to buy property and live among the Mexicans, but also to become their mates and confidantes. As much as anything, this book is about love, and trust, and caring. It is inspiring on several levels.
Judith Gilles had visited San Miguel de Allende in 1974 when she was in her 20's to study art and Spanish, at the Instituto Allende and had loved the feeling of the put then. Returning 28 years later with her mother and sisters she fell instantly in love with a property on a run down alleyway. The author starts her first chapter with a quote ("Any given moment can change your life....you just have to BE there.") -Leigh Standley- and this moment had just happened to e writes beautifully, taking us back and forth between her home in Seattle, and back to San Miguel whenever the family is able to go. At first her husband and kids were a bit reluctant to spend their vacations there, but after a couple of trips and making some friends, they became a part of the life of the alley and their neighbors. The author gives a unbelievable feeling for the city and its people and later for the (ambiente), or atmosphere of the country, it's festivities, traditions, art etc.Well worth can goggle casachepitos and it will bring up a link to the property, I can see why she fell in love with it..
So a lot of unbelievable stories are woven into the telling of one woman's journey of boldly reaching out for her dream of owning a home in San Miguel De Allende. I cherished every moment with Judith, her mates and neighbors. My family had the pleasure of staying at Casa Chepitos in September 2006. One of the highlights of our visit was watching the fireworks for the festival of Archangel Michael from the awesome roof top terrace. Our stay was just 2 years after falling in love with SMA ourselves and 1 year after following our own hearts and purchasing 5 acres in the countryside. Having stayed at the attractive Casa Chepitos created the stories come alive in a more private manner. Now that I've finished the book there is a longing for more and I miss the closeness I felt to SMA while spending time alongside Judith through her unbelievable story telling. Even if you've never been to San Miguel I believe you will have fun this adventurous tale.
It's simple for me to search amazing things about this book, I suppose, because I love San Miguel de Allende. However, it's also simple to search fault with a story if you know a put and the book is not authentic. This one truly represents the city and its people. The author works at making mates in a foreign put and reaps the rewards of those friendships -- being accepted into the culture of the neighborhood and into the families. Casa Chepitos is not just a vacation house, it's a real home away from home for this author and her family. The descriptions/images come alive, as do the "characters" in this community. If you wish to see beyond the view of a tourist and explore what it's really like to live in a Mexican town, this book delivers.
In preparation for spending this coming winter in San Miguel, I have been reading books written by American and Canadian expatriates about SMA. Having visited SMA several times for shorter periods of time in the past, I wanted to be a small less ignorant this time around. For the most part, I have been fairly disappointed by the quality of what's available to read -- and often place off by the entitled viewpoints of the authors. Ms. Gille's book is an exception. She writes beautifully and I found her perspective refreshing. She has lived in SMA not just as a gringo enjoying a lower cost of living in a colourful culture, but has immersed herself in the lives of her Mexican neighbors with amazing empathy and appreciation for the meaning they have added to her life. There is also much meal for thought here about the impact of US immigration policy and xenophobia on Mexicans and the ironic contrasting ease and comfort in which U.S. and Canadian citizens can have fun the benefits of both life in Mexico and their home countries.
I could not place this book down. The writing is wonderful. Judith Gille impulsively buys a home in San Miguel de Allende and starts an adventure that she could not have imagined. She writes of the close friendships she develops with her neighbors, adjustments to a fresh country, traveling around Mexico and her yearning to be back there when she is at her home in the US. I was carried along for the ride and loved every min of it. Judith truly is a very amazing writer.
The simultaneous stories of Frida Kahlo following her divorce to Diego Rivera, Maria and Victor Ortiz in their find of their mother in Mexico City, and the wresting match between El Corazon and El Diablo are told by Laban Carrick Hill in Casa Azul. Fourteen year-old Maria and her nine year-old brother Victor board a bus from their little village to go to Mexico Town after the death of their grandmother. Maria seeks not only her mother but also the independance she was denied in her village. They meet Oswaldo, the accomplice of the wanted thief Oscar soon after arriving in Mexico City. Although Maria does not trust him, Maria and Victor have fun adventures together and view Mexico Town froma vantage point that few visitors ever see. Maria tells Victor of the matches of El Corazon and El Diablo, famed in Mexico when they are feeling down to hold him excited and entertained. However, this easy story turns out to dictate a lot to each of the characters in Casa Azul. Frida Kahlo's childhood home of Casa Azul is not only magical with her paintings talking and giving advice, but also caring with Fuland and Chico, her monkey and cat. Their animated conversations hold the reader entertained. This episode of art history gives the reader, whether an art lover or not, an intimate look at a popular artist often place in the backgound because of her popular husband Diago Rivera. The satisfying ending makes the novel well worth ban Carrick Hill does an perfect job of personifying the name, Frida Kahlo, that students often read in textbooks. The parallel stories especially add to the drama because the reader is constantly wondering about what is event to the other characters until they finally all meet each other. Casa Azul is a page turner not only because of the depth into which each story is told but more so because of the switching view points. Related to historical fiction telling the stories of figures of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Hill's art fiction draws the reader into the history a lot more than a textbook would and definitely gives a more personable acc of a popular person. I doubt that Casa Azul will become a best seller but it is definitely worth reading whether one knows anything about Frida Kahlo or not. I want the author would have included more historical facts about the Mexican Revolution istead of just hinting at ed by a student reviewer for Flamingnet Book Reviews[...]Preteen, teen, and young adult book reviews and recommendations