Books for Adults: Mexico Stories by Josh Barkan

Mexico Stories Josh Barkan 4

Books for Adults: Mexico Stories by Josh Barkan

Mexico Book Cover Mexico
Josh Barkan
January 24, 2017

"The characters in Josh Barkan's remarkable story collection Mexico are ordinary people-everyday citizens, expats, and travelers visiting the country for their own reasons-who find themselves inexorably caught up in and impacted by the criminality and brutality of the Mexican cartels. In these pages readers will meet a tourist who is kidnapped off the street, a teacher whose students risk death if they fall in love with the wrong person, a chef who must cook for a gangster under pain of death, a plastic surgeon forced to alter a fugitive drug lord's appearance, and many more compelling and memorable characters suddenly thrust into harrowing, life-changing situations. But for all that the characters in Mexico have their lives touched by crime, these are much more than simple crime stories. Rather, they are complicated and deeply human tales that touch on universally recognizable themes such as a parent's desire to connect with their children, an idealistic belief in young love, and the struggle to maintain faith in a world full of hardship. Josh Barkan has a keen eye for detail and an authentic sense of place, polished over many years spent living in Mexico, and he brings this world to life with uncommon grace. As extreme as the events in these stories may be, they are always grounded in recognizable and relatable human characters. Readers will see themselves in these pages, which makes the unflinching portrait of drug violence all the more powerful."

Mexico Stories Josh Barkan 1
Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan is a collection of short stories about normal people living in Mexico whose lives are touched by violence.  I love the indirect way Josh tells the stories…many of them starting with a specific event then every few paragraphs intertwines a related story to help fill in the character details or backstories.  This is a fantastic way to figure out why each person is responding to the situation the way they are.  The intersection of stories and vignettes help you understand the greater context and complexity of the situation.
Mexico Stories Josh Barkan 2
Each main character living in Mexico live seemingly normal lives outside of violence and criminal activity. However, it quickly appears that no one is safe from the terror that’s incited by drug cartels and illegal activities.  A chef, a teacher, a surgeon, an artist…all forced into horrible situations.  They survived but their perspective on life were forever changed.
I haven’t read a collection of short stories in a long time and found myself thoroughly enjoying this set. You can read more about the book here and the author here.
Mexico Stories Josh Barkan 3
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review.


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I'm one of those people who loves the experience of physical books and bookstores. Plus my daughter LOVES to read so we decided to put this site together to share these passions with others who feel the same. <3

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