Dusty's Reviews > The Adventures of Don Chipote; Or, When Parrots Breast-Feed

The Adventures of Don Chipote; Or, When Parrots Breast-Feed by Daniel Venegas
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's review
Sep 19, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: graduate-school, read-in-2009
Recommended to Dusty by: John Gonzalez
Read in September, 2009

I don't necessarily mind a book that tells more about its characters' bowel movements than their souls and motivations. And I have been known to overlook not-so-good writing in a novel of obvious social or historical importance. But Don Chipote, which is generously introduced by Nicolås Kanellos as a picaresque depiction of the Mexican-American experience in the United States, pushes even my limits. I'm not sure who Daniel Venegas believed his audience was, but whoever he was writing for, he must've had low expectations for their intelligence. This book is like a transcript of a bad vaudeville routine: Paragraph-long descriptions of farts, sentence-long summaries of important plot and character points, and an occasional political side-comment from the author. It is not a good book.

Don Chipote is, however, the third consecutive book I have read for my Mexican-American Fiction class that is lauded in its introduction as the "First Chicano Novel". Apparently that distinction, like Chipote's dreams of wealth and fame in the United States, is neither uncontested nor easily won.

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Reading Progress

09/16/2009 page 36
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Leticia I am astonished by your response and upset that you did not like the book. I think that it is cruel to say "low expectations for their intelligence." There is appreciation for this book, it tells the story of a Mexican American indivual and should be appreciated for its style, remember this is not a modern book and the time and place it was written is GREATLY APPRECIATED. There are many authors who write long paragraphs and sentence and are included in certain genres and styles. Margaret Atwood writes long sentences, includes commas almost after each word but her books are still worth while to read and good just like Venegas book. Your response is offensive.

Dusty Clearly, you're welcome to disagree with me, but I'm not sure why you're personally offended by my personal response. I did not enjoy the book. I understand its historical importance. Thus, two stars. And Margaret Atwood, who I love, is a far superior (and far less vulgar) writer.

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