08 (Quality PB) Alfredo Vea Gods Go Begging

ISBN 13: 9780452281158

Gods Go Begging

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9780452281158: Gods Go Begging

“Luminous... a beautiful book.” – Carolyn See
 
For Vietnam veteran Jesse Pasadoble, now a defense attorney living in San Francisco, the battle still rages: in his memories, in the gang wars erupting on Potrero Hill, and in the recent slaying of two women: one black, one Vietnamese. While seeking justice for the young man accused of this brutal double murder, Jesse must walk with the ghosts of men who died on another hill... men who were his comrades and friends in a war that crossed racial divides.
 
Gods Go Begging is a new classic of Latino literature, a literary detective novel that moves seamlessly between the jungles of Vietnam and the streets of modern day San Francisco. Described as “John Steinbeck crossed with Gabriel García Márquez”, Véa weaves a powerful and cathartic story of war and peace, guilt and innocence, suffering and love - and of one man’s climb toward salvation.
 

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Review:

One could argue that the war novel is an essentially timeless genre. Weapons are subject to long and increasingly lethal refinement--but from Homer's day to our own, the fear, fury, remorse, and anguish experienced on the battlefield have hardly changed a whit. Still, the stories told by Vietnam-generation novelists may differ in the telling. A writer like Alfredo Vea draws on a myriad of cultural and literary traditions to evoke the peculiar terrors of Vietnam--while invariably reflecting the outsider status of the soldiers who fought in the conflict. And for both of these reasons, his third novel, Gods Go Begging, is a remarkable work.

Vea begins his story in present-day San Francisco. The protagonist, Jesse Pasadoble, is a former Army sergeant who's now made a name for himself as a criminal defense attorney. Haunted by wartime memories, Pasadoble has found a way to channel his anguish: his impoverished clients remind him of his suffering comrades, and he seeks a compensatory justice for what he and his platoon lost.

Jesse hated death. He did not fear it, but he hated it with all of his heart and soul. A year and a half of incredible fear in the highlands of Vietnam had been transformed into an almost anguished love the living, intact moment, the moment that can never be possessed. Like many of the men who have witnessed the best and worst in themselves, who have been given a glimpse of the end of their lives at a very young age, he had lost the power to be lonely. The power had been replaced by something else: a soul sickness; a hunger for beauty, but only at a distance. Though he could not love his own life and the things within it, Jesse hated death.
His newest client is a 12-year-old boy, a child of the projects who's been charged with the brutal murder of two women. As the case unfolds, the barriers between past and present, America and Vietnam, erode and finally disappear. Meanwhile, Vea expertly marries the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez to his visceral accounts of battle. Indeed, whether we measure by the breadth of his imagination, the strength of his characters, or the hallucinatory power of his prose, there seems to be no novelistic terrain that Vea can't conquer. A chronicle of defeat and suffering, Gods Go Begging represents a paradoxical victory for the author--and, of course, for the reader. --Ted Leventhal

About the Author:

Alfredo Vea was born in Arizona and worked as a migrant farm worker as a child and a young man. He served in Vietnam and after his discharge worked a series of jobs, ranging from truck driver to carnival mechanic, as he put himself through law school. Now a practicing criminal defense attorney, Vea is also the author of two previous novels, La Maravilla and The Silver Cloud Cafe. He lives in San Francisco, California.

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Book Description Plume Books, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Luminous. a beautiful book. - Carolyn See For Vietnam veteran Jesse Pasadoble, now a defense attorney living in San Francisco, the battle still rages: in his memories, in the gang wars erupting on Potrero Hill, and in the recent slaying of two women: one black, one Vietnamese. While seeking justice for the young man accused of this brutal double murder, Jesse must walk with the ghosts of men who died on another hill. men who were his comrades and friends in a war that crossed racial divides. Gods Go Begging is a new classic of Latino literature, a literary detective novel that moves seamlessly between the jungles of Vietnam and the streets of modern day San Francisco. Described as John Steinbeck crossed with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Vea weaves a powerful and cathartic story of war and peace, guilt and innocence, suffering and love - and of one man s climb toward salvation. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780452281158

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Alfredo Vea
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Book Description Plume Books, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Luminous. a beautiful book. - Carolyn See For Vietnam veteran Jesse Pasadoble, now a defense attorney living in San Francisco, the battle still rages: in his memories, in the gang wars erupting on Potrero Hill, and in the recent slaying of two women: one black, one Vietnamese. While seeking justice for the young man accused of this brutal double murder, Jesse must walk with the ghosts of men who died on another hill. men who were his comrades and friends in a war that crossed racial divides. Gods Go Begging is a new classic of Latino literature, a literary detective novel that moves seamlessly between the jungles of Vietnam and the streets of modern day San Francisco. Described as John Steinbeck crossed with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Vea weaves a powerful and cathartic story of war and peace, guilt and innocence, suffering and love - and of one man s climb toward salvation. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780452281158

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