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Mexican Days: Journeys into the Heart of Mexico

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  236 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Tony Cohan’s On Mexican Time, his chronicle of discovering a new life in the small Mexican mountain town of San Miguel de Allende, has beguiled readers and become a travel classic. Now, in Mexican Days, point of arrival becomes point of departure as—faced with the invasion of the town by tourists and an entire Hollywood movie crew, a magazine editor’s irresistible invitati ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 410)
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Jun 03, 2010 Scot rated it it was ok
This is a pretty good read. I say pretty good because the writing is a bit too flowery and over the top for me. There are just way too many words for the points being made. That said, the author's most famous work, On Mexican Time, is one of the reads that got me thinking about moving to Mexico. This one has me thinking about exploring Mexico, seeing more of the interior, the older cities and cultural centers. If you're interested in visiting Mexico as a tourist, I highly recommend it. As a way ...more
Jan 10, 2008 Mark rated it liked it
A trifle self-serving at times, but this guy can tell a story. Plus, I find it pathetically exciting to see places I've visited show up in the book.
Lyn Fuchs
May 17, 2013 Lyn Fuchs rated it really liked it
Would you prefer to wander around Mexico with a horny drunken clown or a literary cosmopolitan? Would you prefer to meet narcos and hookers or journalists and artists? If the former appeals, my book Fresh Wind & Strange Fire will be out soon. If the latter entices, you need not wait. Tony Cohan's book Mexican Days is kind of like my work - but with some class.

Exhibiting a large vocabulary rather than a huge phallus, Tony treks a route similar to mine, including Mexico City, Tlacotalpan, Oaxa
Jan 19, 2013 Elliot rated it it was ok
Shelves: mexico
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read "On Mexican Time" first, as the familiarity with Tony Cohan's life and story would have added to this book. Without reading "On Mexican Time" first, this book comes off as a rather self-centered travelogue (that has not aged well) by a pretentious author. His writing style is so self-involved as to be distracting; even for a book about the author's own travels it's extreme. He is also rather repetitive in his stories, phrasing, and even w ...more
Apr 02, 2009 Kris rated it it was ok
Shelves: travelogues
I really enjoyed the author's first book, On Mexican Time, & assumed this one would be a good read, as well. It wasn't. The author comes off as very pretentious; I really don't care about all the important people he knows throughout Mexico, and don't care for the attitude.

Cohan writes about how San Miguel de Allende has changed, and is now populated with gringos & tourists, but he himself IS very much a part of this problem. The author just had a very condescending tone for much of the
Jim Rymsza
Apr 15, 2013 Jim Rymsza rated it really liked it
I love Mexico. I deeply miss going there, with all the drug violence and all. I've hesitated to take chances with my family and it breaks my heart. I miss Colima, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Jalisco. I want to go to Guanajuato and Chiapas and Merida. I miss the fact that I am missing them.

Tony Cohan's "Mexican Days" assuaged some of that longing for me. The book is a whimsical trot through Mexico, many of locales which were unfamiliar to me, by a man on a literary magazine assignment. He weaves pe
Kathy  Petersen
Cohan has a profitable wanderlust - profitable because he writes it for a living, profitable for his readers because he takes us on a peripatetic journey through much of Mexico, the real Mexico, even the "real" Cancun before it became the new Florida. Along the way he traipses after such characters as Frida Kahlo, John Huston, and local people just as interesting. I was somewhat put off by all the Mexican place names and phrases; but that's my fault, not Cohan's, as I would stop to attempt the p ...more
Jan 11, 2008 Kathleen rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
Kat's review pre-read: This book is set in the town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Anyone who gets the opportunity to go, please do. The colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and inviting people are what I cherish from my visit. I only hope the book lives up to my memories.

Kat's review post-read: Ok, so I finally finished this book and it was nothing like I thought it would be. Yes, the paragraphs illustrated with quaint villages and colorful people. However without a significant plot, it
Jun 11, 2015 Norma rated it it was ok
I dislike books where the author is so caught up in his own intellectual forays that he talks down to the rest of us.
Jun 17, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written travel book about Mexico. I liked it because Tony Cohan takes us off the beaten path to places that most of us, including seasoned Mexico travelers like me, have never experienced. I took the book along on a memorable trip to the Sierra Gorda in Queretaro (a UNESCO world heritage site in a remote area of central Mexico where Father Junipero Serra built five missions) and to Xilitla, in the state of San Luis Potosi, where an excentric Englishman, Edward James, built a remar ...more
Mar 10, 2008 Amy rated it did not like it
I read this book on the bus ride from Merida to Cancun. It was a good enough book to pass the time, but the author is extremely annoying. What annoyed me the most is that he throws in a spanish word in italics every paragraph. Ok, I get it, you lived in Mexico, you picked up on some Spanish. His tone is condensending and his "adventures" are boring. This is not a good book for someone who actually wants to learn something about Mexican culture. However, if you are stuck on a bus for four hours a ...more
Kipp Davis
Mar 21, 2008 Kipp Davis rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
I found Tony Cohan's writing to be very descriptive and colorful and at times very exciting to read. Since I was trying to learn some Spanish at the same time, his peppering in of Spanish words was a welcome element to me. I love to travel and was drawn into each of the villages he visited, almost as if I were there myself. I looked forward to each place as I moved through the book. I will say that it started to drag as the book came to a close and I thought it ended with more of a whimper, but ...more
May 03, 2010 Colin rated it liked it
I picked this one up in Montreal for two dollars. So far, the author tries to write in the Paul Theroux mode of travel writing. The author sometimes uses Spanish rather gratuitously - why use the Spanish word for screwdriver, for example? I felt that Tony Cohan talked about himself rather too much. If you choose a random page in the novel, you will find a plethora of "I's". The book did give me some sense, however, of how vast and how interesting Mexico can be. I will be back!
Luz  C. Johnson
Oct 10, 2013 Luz C. Johnson rated it liked it
Tony Cohan has very kindly indulged my homesick cravings for Mexico. Though he mentions my hometown, Cuernavaca, just once, he does cover the period of time I left Mexico and fills out the blanks of some interesting political events I missed in my absence. He captures unexpected aspects of Mexican culture, and covers regions I haven't have the opportunity of visiting. I consider him a savvy gringo of the Heart of Mexico.
Barron Fujimoto
The author's descriptions of the towns he visits was interesting, but the lack of a strong plot and infrequent character interaction left me bored. The two parts that interested me (his uncertain relationship with Masako and the mysterious past of the groupie) didn't seem like they were going anywhere. I gave up after about 100 pages. Just felt like I was wasting time when I could be enjoying other books.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Of all potential future destinations, Mexico is most possible, the closest, the most likely. That said, Mexico is impossible. I'll never go there.

I'm still intrigued with it and I love to think about a future there. Cohan makes Mexico dreamy and irresistible, fun and adventurous, exciting and homey.

I know it. I'll never move there. I can dream anyway.

Dec 31, 2012 Justin added it
Shelves: mexico
Don't listen to the peanut gallery who doesn't know good writing when they see it. The fact that the writer brings in his own life events and happens to know some interesting somebodies in Mexico only makes the book deeper. Travel and life abroad aren't objective, they're deeply personal. This is one of the better travel books I've read lately.
Feb 23, 2010 Ruby rated it it was ok
While I learned a few new Spanish words, and a bit about Mexico in general, this wasn't a book that "popped" for me. I couldn't connect with the author, so it made it harder to finish. While it was well-written, I honestly found it rather dry and dull...and condescending. It's not a book I would recommend.
Jul 25, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
This is the same author and it goes more in depth to traveling around different areas in Mexico especially the ruin-filled south/east/guatemalan border. . . beautiful descriptions of the small towns outside of the bigger cities, although I'm guessing even today, they are no longer small towns :)
Aug 22, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
Still want to be in Mexico, but this book is definately more meloncholy than the firt...but still interesting. He mentioned "the director of Frida" because he is at a dinner party she is attending...but never says Julie Taymor. I is cool to know details beyond what is given.
Dec 14, 2012 Craig rated it liked it
Fun read. Unexpected twist with the retelling of the Diego Rivera story. I read Lacuna this year and the stories intersected somewhat.

I hope to see some of these treasures Tony shares with us. Guanajuto sounds the most fascinating
Apr 25, 2008 Denise rated it really liked it
Getting a bit tired of San Miguel de Allende, Cohan explores and write about some lesser travelled areas of Mexico: Oaxaca, Veracruz area, etc. A good overview of art, music and history in these areas of Mexico.
Sheila rood
Nov 18, 2010 Sheila rood rated it it was ok
Interesting to read about the author's discontentment concerning the popularity of San Miguel when in fact HE is part of the problem.

His attitude and arrogance were thinly disguised.

Quien sabe.
Apr 25, 2010 Katie rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish it... I skipped to the parts about where I think I might go and skimmed over the parts about the author's life. I thought the writing was over the top and artificial.
Aug 09, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
I find the author to be a little self-righteous, that's why it is taking me so long to finish this book. The other one he wrote, "On Mexican Time" was much better.
Cheryl Schibley
Jun 09, 2009 Cheryl Schibley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel-memoir
Memior set in and around San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful colonial city in Mexico where there resides a large ex-pat population. Really great read!!!
Jul 26, 2013 Ananda rated it really liked it
I now want to go to Mexico :) I also read On Mexican Time both books are by Tony Cohen.....both were very interesting and make me want to move to Mexico.
Aug 09, 2007 Marion rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, travel
Travel memoir from Cohan's travels in's very well written and has fascinating stories from his travels and intriguing historical information.
Apr 21, 2008 Holly rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
This book read like a novel that was secretly a travel guide to Mexico. The authors love of the country, travel, and history translated into a great read!
Aug 10, 2008 Krista marked it as to-read
I picked this one up while on my cruise in the Mexican Riviera. I've never read a travel book, so we'll see if I like this genre.
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Tony Cohan grew up in Manhattan and Los Angeles, where at the age of fourteen he made his debut as a jazz musician. After attending Stanford and the University of California he spent two years in Europe and North Africa, performing with jazz artists Dexter Gordon, Bud Powell and blind Catalan pianist Tete Monteliu. Returning to San Francisco, he worked briefly at the University of California Press ...more
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