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Book Review
By

Vincent Bosquez


Book Review: Crazy Loco Love

by Victor Villasenor
 

         

It's been almost half a century since Victor Villaseñor — then a teenaged eclectic spirit if there ever was one — had an epiphany while driving through the rolling plains of Wyoming, screaming an oath to God and the heavens that he would become a writer and tell his people's story with all his heart and soul.

Since that dramatic declaration, Villaseñor has given the literary world the highly acclaimed best-seller "Rain of Gold" and the Pulitzer Prize nominee "Burro Genius," two volumes that detail his family's immigration to the United States from Mexico, along with other memorable works of nonfiction.

Now he adds to his remarkable portfolio "Crazy Loco Love," a compelling memoir depicting his journey into manhood that is filled with teen angst, sexual awakening and spiritual introspection. It will compel you to see the author in a new light.

Those familiar with Villaseñor's works will quickly recognize the underlying theme of hopelessness and frustration he endured during his childhood when those who could have helped him the most — teachers, religious leaders and friends — instead ridiculed him for not being able to communicate the internal conflicts that caused him to question himself.

His memories of events from 50 years ago are passionately vivid, and at times they seem to leap off the page, striking with such an impact that you wonder how one person could face such abuse of the heart and soul and still emerge with his dignity intact.

He verbosely chronicles his sexual awakening and shares with the reader the pleasures his body, and those of the opposite sex, bring him. If that weren't enough, his blasphemous conversations with himself about his Catholic faith may prove shocking to some, while others will recoil when they discover what he hides in between the pages of his Bible.

"Crazy Loco Love" solidifies Villaseñor's status as an enchanting Mexican American storyteller. What makes this memoir so intriguing is that he isn't afraid to bear his soul and serve up every aspect of his life under the powerful, grueling lens of self-examination. Though readers may feel they know Villaseñor through his earlier works, this book gives us young Victor — defiant, rebellious and sexually charged — and the results are simply fascinating.


 

Vincent Bosquez is president of the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio, and director of public relations at Palo Alto College

 

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Last Updated: July 06, 2009