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The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle (2014)

by Francisco Goldman(Favorite Author)
3.75 of 5 Votes: 1
0802122566 (ISBN13: 9780802122568)
Grove Press
review 1: Just starting and really enjoying it. The books opens on Avenida Amsterdam, which I remember well. I wasn't particularly daunted by driving in Mexico City. However, I confined myself mostly to within a few square miles of where I was living. I did have more fender benders in my four years in Mexico City than I've had in 24 years in Los Angeles. And I agree with Goldman's observation that "peseros [are] hulking minibuses whose bashed and scarred exteriors attest to the Road Warrior aggression of their notorious pilots..." My only really scary encounter during a minor accident was when a pesero driver side-swiped me. We both pulled over to inspect the damage and suddenly six other pesero drivers stopped their vehicles and were loudly advocating for the idiot who hit m... moree. Ah, memories. I handed the driver $10 to go away and the problem vanished.My fondest memory of driving in Mexico City (at least in hindsight) was with my friend Joan, looking for a gallery in a dodgy neighborhood. There was a group of attractive women who appeared to be waiting to cross the street. I rolled up for directions. A beat or two too late, I realized they were hookers, and as I got closer, I realized they were cross-dressing hookers who were more than delighted to see me (all of 29 at the time). I think one or two offered to show us personally how to get where we needed to go. Effusive thanks later, we sped off...Now finished and kind of depressed. The way the book is organized is a little confusing. The first 7 chapters are numbered. The last chapter is not numbered. The first seven chapters are a fun, slightly spooky journal as Goldman 'hits bottom' figuratively and literally in the wake of the tragic death of his wife, Aura, five or so years earlier. The last, really long, and unnumbered chapter is about the murder of 12 or 13 young people who were abducted at a Condesa night spot called After Heaven. Goldman is NOT a fan of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Goldman basically accuses the President of orchestrating the murder or at least manipulating the aftermath in a way to consolidate the PRI party's power in Mexico City. The last sentence of the Appendix is a quote from journalist Diego Osorno: "This is the situation now. Pena Nieto has decided that there's going to be no other capo of capos but himself." Ugh. Not a cheerful note about a city I love.
review 2: When we last left Mr. Goldman, he was bereft and just grieving the loss of his young wife, Aura, in an ocean accident. Say Her Name is one of the most moving books I've ever read; I was warned not to read it on the bus because I wouldn't be able to stop crying. Goldman examines Aura's life with the eye and detail of the journalist he is, but with the heart that only comes with someone completely smitten.​The Interior Circuit ​gives us a still recovering Goldman, but one who's ready to tackle new challenges, like learning to drive in Mexico City. We get memories of Aura, and it's nice to be reminded of his other friends and family (like Fabis) but Goldman turns his heart outward to the city he loves to call home and he examines it, again, like the journalist he is.I'll admit this book lacks total cohesion and focuses on the unpleasant (to say the least) results of the "narco-war" (which the D.F. has largely been spared, at least in the media). This is not an Anthony Bourdain love story to a city, it's the I've-lived-here-and-can-call-out-bad-behavior love story that only a townie can write. Five stars is generous, but I can't not love ​the writer who keeps the galoshes his dead wife bought to clean the bathroom. That is to say, smitten. less
Reviews (see all)
Fine content. Each essay was a little unstructured though. I didn't finish.
I had a hard time getting into the book - will try again another time.
Some good bits but too much on the narco trade for me.
What a gripping story. Recommended!
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