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Tequila Oil: Getting Lost in Mexico

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  138 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
An account of Hugh Thomson's first wild adventure in Mexico at theage of 18illustrateswhy itignited his love for Latin America, and is thenfollowed by his subsequent exploration 30 years later of the country, its people, and its history. Revealing a much more dangerous side of Mexico than that seen by package vacationers, this book takes the reader from the badlands of Chi ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Orion Publishing
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Linda Whiting
Apr 15, 2015 Linda Whiting rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Atmospheric road trip story. I wanted to read this as I was also meandering through Mexico in 1979 but by bus rather than Oldsmobile 98. My trip was a lot less wild but it still felt very adventurous, especially in 1979 - we really were lost in Mexico in those days pre mobile phones and internet. My parents received a postcard every three weeks if they were lucky.. I remember many of the things he mentioned - mezcal, mole, mariachis.. and places he visited. I liked the way the description of his ...more
Mar 03, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I loved this book. The "then" part was nostalgic, amusing and engaging,with just enough historical comment to whet your appetite for further reading. The "now" section was more reflective and not quite as amusing but still interesting. All in all a very informative and enjoyable read.
Jan 27, 2014 Maia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has some interesting reflections on reading (and misreading) a culture from the outside, but the book as a whole just doesn't really amount to much. I enjoyed myself quite a bit at times as I would get lost in the travelogue, but felt growing disappointment as the book continued in its episodic mode without really tying the narrative together.
Apr 20, 2011 Greenockian rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. The bulk of it tells the tale of the author's stint in Mexico as an 18 year old out on a mission: to see the country and to sell the Oldsmobile he is riding in. Written in a deceptively easy style you can imagine having a few drinks and just happily listening to Thomson tell his tales. The latter part of the book sees him return to Belize somewhat older and wiser and, it has to be said, sadder. The melancholy air of these last pages maybe reflects his marriage brea ...more
Sarah Keane
I think I liked the idea of this book more than the actual read itself. It held promise that never really delivered and the style of writing was disjointed. That said there was enough content and humour to keep me reading until the end.
Dec 23, 2015 David rated it liked it
This was a fun read. I love travel books and this one I will gladly add to my list of favourites. Its the tale of the author when he had turned 18 with the grand scheme to buy a Cadilac in Texas and drive it to sell inCentral America for "big bucks". Grand scheme and very naive man. makes for a good yarn. Lots of relatively stupid things that come across with a good sense of humour as the author looks back. This was in the seventies and it would be a different story now. driving across the desse ...more
Leah L Mills
Aug 05, 2014 Leah L Mills rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not one to read travelogues, but this one was so worth the gamble!
It offered an amazing insight into a land I have not even considered visiting. It was incredibly vivid- the food had me hungry at irrational times of the day- and Thomson's voice really comes across throughout the narrative.
Informative yet deeply personal and humorous. I WILL be picking this book up again some time!
Хасан Жамус
A fun book to read.
Jul 15, 2013 Eli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read it in 2 days, good fun and quite insightful at times. I found the structure of the book a little bit distracting, with not much background given on the author and some of the content lacks a clear flow. I agree with a previous comment, the middle aged ending was a bit melancholic and sad after the optimistic adventure and exuberance of the authors youth, but reflects tellingly on our journey through life.
Nov 22, 2010 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Hugh Thomson picks up the journey he made to Mexico when he was about 18, in an old Oldsmobile boat of a car. I love the the people and books he references to enhance his adventures. When he returns as a middle-aged man to Belize and Mexico to reflect on his current life and past makes this not only an exciting travel book but a progression and comment on life's transitions.
Dec 29, 2014 Arch rated it really liked it
Brilliant travelogue of a journey through Central America in two parts, separated by 30 years. The first part appealed a lot more to me than the second, particularly with the foibles of the car to contend with, but the return visit rounded off the journey well.
David Badgery
I didn't really relate to the many Punk and Reggae references and as a result, for me personally, the book felt a lot less satisfying than his other works
Tomasz Skórski
Od biedy można przeczytać, ale ani to nadmiernie ciekawa, wnicambitna, ani wyrafinowana lektura. Nie polecam.
Grace P.
Aug 16, 2010 Grace P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really entertaining travel memoir. And it's making me want to learn Spanish again.
Feb 09, 2012 Brandur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witty. Funny. Adventurous (and even somewhat educational). Top tier travel book.
Feb 10, 2013 Andie rated it liked it
Nicely written history/travel combo, especially if you're interested in Mexico.
Jan 14, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable travel book. Makes you want to just jump on a car and drive.
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Hugh Thomson believes strongly that the world is not as explored as we like to suppose.

He writes about the wilder corners of the planet, from the edges of Peru to the Himalayas, looking for Inca ruins and lost cultures. Geographical commented that 'He is a writer who explores and not an explorer who writes.'

In 2012 Random House published 'The Green Road into the Trees: An Exploration of England',
More about Hugh Thomson...

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