GG Review 1
Thee Life and Loves of Gringo Greene - Book Review 1 - From Amazon.com
It’s hard to describe David Carter’s ‘The Life and Loves of Gringo Greene’ without this snicker on my face. At its best, it reminds me of some of Will Ferrell’s most famous testosterone-driven characters. But Gringo Greene can stand as his own man—his own story arc, from user to redemption, is so engaging as it unravels.
Essentially, ‘The Life and Loves of Gringo Greene’ is about the eponymous character in the title—Gringo is like Hugh Grant in ‘About a Boy’, when Grant’s character admits, “I am really this shallow.” Gringo enjoys a string of often meaningless relationships as a means to overcompensate for the one who got away. It’s easy for him to accomplish that—not bad looking, with a respectable social status and a certain way with women, Gringo is actually sort of attractive, to the point that the women who fall for him willingly submit to his crap. But there’s the rub—the women eventually learn about self-respect, and that little thing about finding your real happiness.
They leave, like disappointed customers, leaving Gringo mulling the emptiness of his relationships. In the ensuing personal crisis—perhaps better imagined with Gringo absent-mindedly sipping hard liquor in a bar, Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” blaring in the background—Gringo finally sits down and ponders the meaning and purpose of his life. Worse, he is finally compelled to admit that, yes, there is someone that he really loves after all this time—and perhaps he should start doing things in that direction.
The book is exceptionally well-written—there’s never a boring moment. Carter writes with that solid confidence you experience with only the most seasoned of writers—his knack for memorable, “catchy” dialogue, the way he builds up Gringo’s character, the way he could make you become totally conflicted about Gringo Greene and all the women in his life—Carter’s power to compel you to inhabit the book is uncanny—and immensely enjoyable.
The question that continued popping in my head while reading the book was, “Who the heck is David Carter and why am I reading something by him only now?” Clearly, this is a first-class literary achievement, something some Hollywood studio executive would snatch up, made into an actual movie, with Cameron Crowe to direct.
Overall, Carter’s book is a cleverly written, delightfully enjoyable read—one you’ll tell your friends. ‘The Life and Loves of Gringo Greene’ is one of those rare gems that will haunt you days after reading it. I can’t recommend it too highly—download the free sample chapters and see why I think it’s one of the best books I have read in months. Five stars, no less
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