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Drowning Tucson : a novel
Aaron Michael Morales
Adult Fiction MORALES

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Morales's sometimes powerful but disappointing debut portrays Tucson as a crumbling city teetering on the edge of disaster, where violence triumphs over every character and even the most hopeful of circumstances. The streets are run by the Latin Kings gang; their fates, like nearly all of Morales's characters, are sealed at birth. Among the expansive milieu, there's Jaime, a straitlaced teenager seeking revenge for the murder of his boyfriend; Mr. Gutierrez, a kindhearted old man overwhelmed with grief; Peanut, a gang member who wants a better life for his younger sister; and the women of Tucson, who seem to have little choice outside of becoming rape victims or prostitutes. Unfortunately, Morales's willingness to fall into scenes of graphic violence-not only to drive his point home, but for shock value and, often, to stand in for more original or artful prose-becomes woefully predictable. For a novel that wishes so earnestly for a better future for its downtrodden characters, it does everything in its power to obliterate those hopes in the reader. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This new work depicts the hellish lives of several young Hispanic men in a world of gang violence, rape, and murder in Tucson, AZ. First novelist Morales is ambitious in his attempt to portray empathetically multiple characters-men and boys who are put in impossible positions by circumstances of poverty, race, or culture. It's unfortunate that he falls short, since this work has potential for both fans of literary and YA fiction. The novel is a string of over-the-top descriptions, with graphic violence so ridiculous that plot development gets lost and characters' actions become cartoonish. Verdict Don't waste your time with this when there are so many good books out there waiting to be read.-Shalini Miskelly, Seattle (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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