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Long Life, Honey in the Heart

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Martín Prechtel continues the narrative of his unique life in Santiago, Atitlan in Long Life, Honey in the Heart, an eloquent memoir replete with the subtle intelligence and sophistication of Mayan culture. Set against the dramatic backdrop of Guatemala's political upheaval in the 1980s, this heady mix of magic, humor, and spirituality immerses the reader in the experience ...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published October 20th 2004 by North Atlantic Books (first published January 1st 1999)
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Steph Winter
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I loved this book! Prechtel writes with such imagery, compassion, spirit, and heart. Plus each chapter begins with a segment from his wealth of drawings of Mayan people and their culture. Prechtel grew up on an Indian reservation in New Mexico and subsequently moved to Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. He became a member of the Mayan community with whom he lived as well as learning to play ancient flute melodies that were used for rituals, marrying a Mayan woman and having children, and serving ...more
Zackary Vignali
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a good book. Very poetic, very gentle with its elegance. It was deeply moving and profound. I did get however a bit of superstition in his writing. It was superstitious. I believe in everything he says. I believe in the Mayan ways and I support his ideas. I can't really judge a book by content in a non-fiction book because A Martin didn't really have much of a say, but regardless of everything, this book is worth your time. The lives of the Tzutujil maya are incredible. Their understand o ...more
Maria Park
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
A lyrically beautiful view into a spiritual journey. To say much more would spoil the experience of the reader. This is a must read for any spiritual seeker.
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
A beautiful depiction of the lives and culture of the Maya of Santiago near Lake Atitlán in Guatemala - but not without flaws.

Prechtel has a tendency to idealise the Mayan culture he has come in contact with. He is largely uncritical and accepting of the rituals and beliefs he is presented - the one exception being the brutal stoning of a man by the wider village. Even still, this incident is soon forgotten. I would expect he had more experiences in this vein - a few references are also made to
Oct 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lily :)
Shelves: latin-america
This book was absolutely amazing. The language in it can break your heart and heal it in the same sentence. I really appreciated how we were let into a world that most people will never see. What a beautiful way to live and to view the world. I hope that I am able to read this book again and again just because I really felt GOOD reading it (I can only say this for a few other books in my collection). My only regret is that it took me so long to read it since I've been so busy, so I read it in li ...more
Anna Bromley
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A sequel to Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, this book is equally fascinating and beautifully written. It gives such insight into the living culture of the Mayans of Santiago Atitlan - a cualture that we could all learn so much from. It highlights the importance of giving young people something to strive for, something to aspire to, so that they are turned into heroes and heroines instead of delinquents.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
So heart filled; the words are like honey to the soul and the stories so rich it is as if you are eating from a buffet of the most decadent storytelling. Prechtel is a master at weaving together a story that tears your heart apart, leaves you longing for more and fills your soul with beauty. The saga continues to pour from his pen and I cannot drink it in fast enough.
Alli Lubin
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Martin Prechtel is an amazing writer. I began reading this book while experiencing a Mayan initiation ceremony first hand in Vermont this summer, then finished it after I got back home. What a great way to read this book. I can't imagine reading it cold without any idea what you were reading about.
Jul 12, 2009 added it
If I wanted to pick favorites, I'd point to this book as one of them. An epic of tale, who I feel honors the teenage struggle, overlooked by the "modern" world. Still even when modern culture would deny us a respect for initiation, we search to find and understand our hearts anyway. And this book, tells of such a search.
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great in that it was like an anthropological journey into the heart of Mayan culture. This book is the 2nd in a trilogy. It was important to read, I found it to be rich in knowledge and a little dry compared to his other books. I still recommend reading it because it is an important part of the trilogy.
I love Pretchel's tales of his life with the indigenous Tzutujil Mayan in Guatemala... I've since heard, not surprisingly, that he is a very controversial figure. So be it. His story (embellished, biased, whatever) is a great lovely adventure, filled with magic, shamanism and spirit. Beautiful. I've read all his books and wish there were a dozen more...
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written about a time not so long ago but somehow like a thousand years ago, before the Maya of Guatamala were changes and removed from their ancient culture. Autobiographical. Lovely, such beauty. Sad, such loss.
Apr 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Oh dear. The image of the writer and the participants being on some sort of drugs, come to mind throughout the book...
Brilliant story telling, amazing explanations, brought me a new understanding of effusive.
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful beautiful.
Carah Naseem
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is so amazingly, heartbreakingly beautiful. I cannot physically wait to read his other work.
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A master of eloquence and innovative language, Martín Prechtel is a leading thinker, writer and teacher whose work, both written and oral, hopes to promote the subtlety, irony and pre-modern vitality hidden in any living language. As a half blood Native American with a Pueblo Indian upbringing, his life took him from New Mexico to the village of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. There becoming a full v ...more

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