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As a Bolivian born Australian, my antenna goes up straight away every time an Australian author publishes a book about Bolivia. When I saw the blurb on the front cover of this one, which reads 'a very funny story about tear gas, heartbreak, bad Spanish, COCAINE and deadlines', I thought "here we go again" - for it seems that there cannot be a book, an article or a program about Bolivia that doesn't focus on cocaine. And yet, there is so much more to this country, its landscapes, its culture and ...more
I used to spend a fair amount of time doing touristy things in Bolivia, including reading the odd and now defunct English-language weekly paper, published in La Paz, that supplies this memoir's title. I came across the book years later, and it took me back instantly and vividly via Elliott's experiences reporting for the Times. One thing that makes it so good is that Elliott doesn't try to pass himself off as a knowledgeable, or even particularly competent, expat. I think you had to be there, bu ...more