Past and present mix in a fast-paced intellectual adventure, when Chicano graduate student Brian Mendoza discovers intrigue in Mexico City while researching the dark, mysterious religious journey of sixteenth-century shaman Xotl. By the author of Skin Deep.
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The author of Skin Deep (1989) this time takes as his protagonist a bright but annoying Berkeley Ph.D. student who uncovers an anthropological gold mine in the cities and remote countryside of Mexico. Brian Mendoza catalogs museum artifacts in Mexico City at Templo Mayor, the sanctum of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, while he pursues his research on ritual sacrifice. He is the kind of pompous grad student who interrupts his professors' lectures, and his arrogant attitude immediately sets him at odds with his supervisor, Arturo Torres, into whose office he sneaks at night to read the translation of the Xotl codex. This tells the story of the fall of Aztec empire to the Spaniards and the flight of Xotl, a priest of the god Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, who was overthrown but vowed to someday return and reclaim his rightful throne. Ascertaining Xotl's destination and the mysterious bundle he transported could solve a 400-year-old anthropological puzzle and help a turbulent country reassert its identity in time to welcome the new dawn for Mexico that Quetzalcoatl prophesied. Brian theorizes that Xotl headed toward the Yucat n; despite the hostile presence of government soldiers and Mayan rebels, he heads there with Greg Stone, an old Berkeley roommate, and Marina Soto, a local journalist with whom he falls in and out of love. His progress is followed closely by two powerful Mexico City rivals, Professor Xavier Zapata, director of Templo Mayor, and Alejandro Villalobos, a wealthy businessman with an acute understanding of Aztec culture. As his academic research assumes political dimensions that he could never have imagined, Brian reconnects with his Mexican heritage, which teaches him more about himself and the father he lost as a young boy. With the help of his sophisticated lover and renewed ties with his family, he even becomes slightly less stubborn. A solid story skillfully blending mysticism with historical fact. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
In this slick but timely work, Garcia ( Skin Deep ) pits a tale of small-fry anthropologists against the backdrop of civil unrest in Mexico, drawing a far-fetched parallel between the two. Brian Mendoza, a highly Anglicized Mexican-American, is a doctoral candidate at Berkeley specializing in Aztec ritual sacrifice. His particular radical theory--on which he hopes to base a career--is that Motecuhzoma, the Aztec king enslaved by Cortes, allowed himself to be debased for some grander purpose. Landing a job at Mexico City's Museum of Anthropology, Mendoza gets sucked into a political vortex, with both his boss and a shady power broker vying for his allegiance. As the country sinks into civil war, Mendoza finds himself in love with a beautiful reporter who has been teaching him about the inequities in Mexican society. Garcia ( Skin Deep ) writes with conviction, although certain passages (particularly the diary entries of a conquest-era Aztec) are unevenly crafted. In addition, the story doesn't resolve any of the social and historical questions it raises. The author knows his subject matter, however, and his use of Aztec mythology lends a particularly exotic hook.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97806718647981.0
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0671864793
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