Cover image for Travel advisory : stories of Mexico
Travel advisory : stories of Mexico
Lida, David.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2000]

Physical Description:
208 pages ; 25 cm
Bewitched -- Free trade -- Taxi -- A beach day -- La quedada -- Regrets -- Prenuptial agreement -- The recruiting officer -- Shuttered -- Acapulco gold.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A sensuously and meticulously observed collection of stories that presents a darkly riveting portrait of Mexico. Observant, engrossing, horrifying, warmly humane and coolly yet devastatingly satiric stories.--Francisco Goldman, author of The Ordinary Seaman.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lida's short stories, set in the secretive, smoggy, hectic sprawl of Mexico City and in the hothouse small towns of the Mexican coast, take off running and maintain a rapid-pulse pace right up to their often shattering conclusions. The conflicts he orchestrates flash between the rich and the poor, gringo tourists and the Mexicans who resent, serve, trick, abuse, disdain, and harm them. In "Bewitched," a 42-year-old woman travel writer--weary, bitter, and lonely--is either cured, cursed, or molested by a blazing-eyed brujo, or sorcerer. In "Free Trade," a maid is seduced by her employer's lazy son and betrayed by a doctor. A taxi driver becomes a bandit; a gullible American woman and her nervous British beau arouse the fury of the police; and a gay video producer ponders love in the age of AIDS in Mexico, where most men are too poor to buy condoms. Lida's evocations of place are almost hallucinatory in their intensity, and his tales of injustices great, small, and cosmic smolder like the fresh lava. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

True to its title, Lida's collection of 10 disturbing short stories is likely to give pause to tourists heading south of the border. The author, a former resident of Mexico City, portrays Mexicans and travelers alike as treacherous and unhappy, preying mercilessly on each other. In short, mostly slice-of-life vignettes, plump, pink-skinned North American and British tourists patronize their hosts, and servile or hostile Mexicans endure their presence. If the tourists are not being robbed, they are being raped--by the police. If the housemaids are not being treated like slaves, then they are being raped--by their employers. A travel journalist gets more than she had bargained for when she interviews a male witch in a provincial town; a wealthy American pedophile picks up a young street urchin; a woman takes a spur-of-the-moment trip to a Mexican beach resort with a virtual stranger. One of the few foreigners who stays in the country for any length of time is a British photojournalist, a defeated man who is drinking himself to death. The strongest story tracks a taxi driver and his buddies who routinely fleece customers by terrifying them into giving up the PINs of their credit cards. In this case, the gang is robbed by one of its own and the "customer" dies of a heart attack. Even the thieves have a hard time of it in Lida's Mexico. Gritty and unforgiving, these stories revel in the more cruelly exploitative of cross-cultural relationships. Lida's tone is sometimes shrill, but when he eschews easy satire he paints a convincing, unvarnished picture of a struggling country. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The dark side of life in contemporary Mexico is vividly portrayed in these short stories. In one of them, Aldrich Ames, a drunken, inept American intelligence officer, decides to give up alcohol after being asked to join the KGB. In another story, a scantily clothed American beachcomber is attacked and raped by locals, and in yet another story, a young native boy is rescued from a life on the street by two American men who molest him in exchange for food, shelter, and clothing. The Mexico of these stories is not one that the reader will want to visit anytime soon. Alcoholism, hunger, oppressive servitude, and an overwhelming feeling of loneliness are common elements in these bewildering tales. Lida's stories have been published in the New York Times, The Literary Review, Harper's Bazaar, and other periodicals. He is a former resident of Mexico who now lives in New York City. This collection offers well-crafted, riveting glimpses of life that will fascinate the reader. Recommended for all libraries.--Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Bewitchedp. 1
Free Tradep. 29
Taxip. 51
A Beach Dayp. 65
La Quedadap. 87
Regretsp. 103
Prenuptial Agreementp. 125
The Recruiting Officerp. 145
Shutteredp. 163
Acapulco Goldp. 187
Acknowledgmentsp. 209