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3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  395 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Fiction. MACHO! Has been chosen by the New York Public Library for its distinguished list of Books for the Teen Age. Victor Villasenor is the author of several works, most notably the national-bestseller RAIN OF GOLD and many screenplays, including the award-winning The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. In his first novel, seventeen-year-old Roberto Garcia has big hopes for a fut ...more
Hardcover, Second Edition, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Arte Publico Press (first published 1991)
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LonewolfMX Luna
Jan 16, 2010 LonewolfMX Luna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading Macho. It was a great story which took place shortly after the Bracero era in the Mid 60's just a few years before my father came to the U.S. in the early 70's. The story of Roberto is that wanting to provide for his family back in Michoacan, Mexico which was describe according to the book at the time almost frozen in time which is true according to my parents that their town of Maravatio de Ocampo in Michoacan was so isolated for a long time before the highway was Morelia- ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Thanks to Goodreads First Reads and Beyond Words Publishing, Inc. for a 40th Anniversary copy of Macho.

This novel by Victor Villaseñor covers the adventures and ambitions of 17-year-old Roberto Garcia as he works in the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico and dreams of a brighter future for himself and his family. Roberto's hard work in his community catches the eye of Juan Aguilar, a norteño, who offers Roberto a chance to join him working in the migrant fields of California. Norteños are mexicans w
This book is wonderful! It's considered a classic of Chicano literature, and I can see why.

It follows the story of young Roberto, oldest son of a family in a small Mexican town, as he becomes a Norteño trying to supplement his family's meager income in the rich Estados Unidos up north.

Interspersed between each chapter of Roberto's story are pages of historical facts which explain the backdrop of the story. These included many things I didn't know about, for example, the camp at Empalme set u
Juan Burciaga
May 26, 2010 Juan Burciaga rated it it was amazing
yea so this was a badass read! I liked tthis book a lot it reminded me of my own family in Mexico and how it is down there. If you feel like you're worth nothing and won't ever make it in life then you should read this book, because it shows you how you can and will become something if you believe in yourself. Its about an 18 year old dude named Roberto from Mexico who works hard to put food on the table for his family since his father is a drunk. One day he meets a man named Juan Aguilar and he ...more
Val Wilkerson
May 24, 2009 Val Wilkerson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second book I have read by Victor Villasenor, Rain of Gold being the first and one of my all time favorite books. He grabbed my heart with this book also. Its the story of a 17 year old, Roberto, who knew only his little village in Michoacan, and how he traveles to make an illegal entry into "Estados Unidos" to work in the fields & send money home to his family. You will love the innocense of Roberto, the commoradre of men crossing the border together, you will cry with them & laugh with ...more
Devin Pearson
May 07, 2014 Devin Pearson rated it really liked it
The writing in this book is powerful and effective; it doesn't filter anything and you can picture the story going on in your head. It has both some strengths and weaknesses...the more you read it the more you get hooked and hit with surprises. The only weakness I can think of is that there are a lot of Spanish words and if you do not know Spanish it can be difficult. I give the book 4stars would recommend it to all of my classmates. It tells a story about a boy growing into a smart man and he g ...more
carey lina
Feb 07, 2009 carey lina rated it really liked it
Via 3rd person narrative, Villaseñor provides us with sufficient intimacy to accomplish his first goal: give insight to some Mexican code of social values : pride, unity/pride in region y pueblo, what it means to be un macho, honor of the family, respect between generations, classes, and especially between father and son.

By mode of half page chapter divides, the author allows himself judgement. These exclamations, ancedotas, and information about the political and economic situation of the Mexi
Tevin Jackson
Dec 07, 2012 Tevin Jackson rated it it was amazing
"Macho!" was a very interesting book. It is one of the best books out of the three we chose to read. The reason I liked the book far better than the other two was because Macho had more of a story behind it. The main character, Roberto was on a mission to obtain money and bring it back to Mexico. I also feel this book was a journey about a young boy becoming a man. I feel I could relate more to this book. Something else I loved about this book was that they give a little history on certain words ...more
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Jan 03, 2011 Juan rated it it was amazing
In this book by Victor Villasenor he tells the story of 17 year old Roberto Garcia. Roberto lives in the mountains of Michoacan, Mexico with his poor family. He soon learns from another worker about the promising fields up north, across the border, in California. His ambitions for money and respect lead him on a journey to work in the fields of California where he proves his manhood. The problem is that Roberto is crossing into the U.S. illegally or without papers, if he gets caught he is sent b ...more
Randy O
This novel tells the story of Roberto García, an indio from the Mexico interior who leaves the stability and relative comfort of his pueblo in search of wealth in the United States. García meets with the usual danger, excitement, discrimination, and exhaustion that comes with this
passage, so that by the end of the novel he emerges as a norteño who understands with greater clarity the twisted relationship between his native land and el gran monstruo del norte. There are several compelling aspect
Alejandra Aguayo
Nov 28, 2011 Alejandra Aguayo rated it really liked it
What I like about Macho by Victor Villasenor is that it is a really realistic book that tells the truth about low-income people in Mexico, that come here hoping to get a better life and have all this dreams and hopes to improve their families life and their life.How they put all this ideas in their head, but when they get here they see how things really are and they suffer, but they put up with everything to give their families a better life and this book does a really good job showing us how pe ...more
Susana Benavidez
A captivating blend of history, facts and the human tale of sacrifice

The writing is powerful and draws you in with Roberto's mountain life and then keeps a firm hold of you as the chapters jump from his story to overlaying history of the times. I feel inspired, both by the plight of the farm worker and to sit down and write my own story.
Mar 23, 2011 Leilani rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-fiction
I bought this book like 5 years ago, and finally after staring at it for a while yesterday finally picked it up and read it in one sitting. Wish I hadn't waited so long, it's emotional and entertaining, and pretty damn enraging. Another reminder of how our country treats Mexican immigrants like garbage, but yet still relies on them to keep our economy running. It's hard reading about people getting swindled trying to cross the border by coyotes and fake immigration lawyers, knowing that it is al ...more
Dec 01, 2011 Alonzo rated it it was amazing
1. I like how Victor Villaseñor explains roberto, he shows that roberto is a hard working young man with big dreams, doing work to pursue what he wants out of life, going against the odds of life. i also like how roberto doesnt complain much. He has a I am here for a reason attitude.

2. I dislike how the book is divided into 3 different books, i wish it was more chapters. i dislike how he see California as the place to be, to succeed you can be any where i believe

favorite quote: "Whores are every
Oct 07, 2010 Brad rated it really liked it
This is a coming of age book about a Mexican immigrant who leaves his job in the fields and his home in Central Mexico with a worldly "Norteno" to make his fortune in the U.S. The book is set in the late 50s and early 60s when Cesar Chavez was organizing Latino farmers and shows the conflicted feelings that many immigrant farmers felt toward the American icon. Macho's title refers to the blood feuds which were common among the mountain men in Mexico and which Roberto, the main character, has to ...more
Mar 11, 2009 Adam82 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book takes place during the time of the brazeros. This book is written from the view of those coming over the boarder and working in the California agricultural fields. Not everyone approved of what Cesar Chavez was doing. I believe Victor Villaseñor has given good examples why certain individuals felt this way. This book is extremely personal and vivid in its portrait of those that came to this country to make a better living for their familias. It also shows the determination and spirit o ...more
Carolina Cruz
May 21, 2012 Carolina Cruz rated it liked it
Shelves: amazing-novels
This was an assigned reading during my Junior year, back in high school. The book has a lot of information I had already known, but it's honestly full of "Mexican culture." boring? hardly. But once it gets 'going' its good. Villaseñor did a great job describing situations and the plot was very well thought out. I like that it gives the reader insight to the immigration topic, without getting all political.[[Victor Villaseñor actually lives near me. Never met him though]]
Sep 01, 2009 Candy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It starts out slowly. However, Villaseñor does a nice job of intertwining his novel with a historical recap of the migrant farm workers during the time of the Braceros program when thousands of Mexicans were imported as cheap labor which was a unique twist.
Katie Andrist
Jun 17, 2008 Katie Andrist rated it it was amazing
Before you go on and on about how "those" people should learn to speek english and how those people are cluttering up your neighborhood or comming over illegaly and sucking dry the system, read this book.
Lupe Guerra
Aug 05, 2010 Lupe Guerra rated it really liked it
A small intro. into the life of a illegal migrant & how it effects everyone in his life...really it's not as graphic as something like El Norte!
May 09, 2011 alejandra rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2008 Sasha rated it liked it
villasenor's first novel. interesting, quick read, but hardely comparable to his later work rain of gold.
Oct 01, 2013 Rachel added it
A great story that kept my interest and really showed what life what like back in the 1950's and 1960's era.
Sorry I hadn't read this before. It was the author's first book and was compared to Steinbeck.
Ramon Bustillos
May 25, 2013 Ramon Bustillos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a all his books, they all are beautiful full of live, made you cry, smile, mad, etc.,
Sep 15, 2010 Karen rated it liked it
Interesting first book from an author I love. Historical fiction.
Jul 19, 2007 Tanish rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
interesting insight into being a dude in Mexican culture
Nov 11, 2012 Toby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
first reads giveaway
Cristy R
Cristy R rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2016
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Does anyone know what was the conflict in Macho by victor villasenor 2 2 Nov 12, 2013 07:23AM  
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Victor Villaseñor is an acclaimed Mexican-American writer, best known for the New York Times bestseller novel Rain of Gold. Villaseñor's works are often taught in American schools. He went on to write Thirteen Senses: A Memoir (2001), a continuation of Rain of Gold. His book Burro Genius: A Memoir (2004) describes his life. The author has received awards and endorsements, including an appointment ...more
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