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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Richard Villegas Jr. is a Ystelei cabernet aged for I (Heart) Babylon, Tenochtitlan, and Ysteléi by [Villegas Jr.
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Here is a world where relationships fall apart at Disneyland, where the LA Public Library becomes a site of racial and sexual tension, where Cuba and Mexico seem only an arm's length away. Indeed Richard's stories reveal a transnational and transhistorical Los Angeles, a world of fleeting connections, severed heritages, raging desires; a hybrid world where race, language, sexuality and nationalism produce bizarre and unexpected assemblages.

Readers will laugh out loud and cringe, both tickled and appalled by the brutal honesty of Mr. Tony Villalobos, a character that is at once lovable and despicable. In his stories and poems, Richard also captures LA's lingua franca, Spanglish, with a delightful authenticity perhaps only true Angelenos can appreciate. Richard forces readers to re-consider the easy construction of teachers as either saviors or hacks, as either noble or inept: In sum, "I Heart Babylon I have no idea why I wrote the above title. I don't even think West Hollywood makes an appearance in this book. But I stressed about the title and this seemed to be an eye-catching compromise regardless of its relevance.

Villegas expertly weaves the shibboleth of both the heavily Chicano populated eastern part of Los Angeles and the homosexual spirit of West Hollywood into an engaging and surprisingly universal blend of fiction, poetry and short form essay. Though at times the raw and tangential sexuality of his language has the unintended or perhaps intended effect of shaking the reader out of the narrative, Sr.

Villegas skillfully pulls the reader right back into the story.

I [heart] Babylon, Tenochtitlan, and Ysteléi

The character of Tony Villalobos, like Bukowski's own Henry Chinaski, brusquely challenges us to identify with him. And like Chinaski, he's likable even when we vehemently disagree with his choices, both personal and professional. All in all, this is a great quick read it's under pages. It's the side of Mexican culture we rarely see: I look forward to what comes next from Sr.

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I (Heart) Babylon, Tenochtitlan, and Ysteléi

Rico made us buy and read this for his class. At first I was hesitant, but I am glad that I did. It was a great read and really kept my attention. There was one part of the book that jumped around a bit, so it was a little hard to follow at first. Other than that it was a great book. One of my favorite parts was when the main character dresses as Alien from Alien and scares the kindergarten class.

I think with the Main character getting fired should have been a good stopping point for the book. The subsequent chapters felt like they did not really belong and were put in as a last minute decision.

All in all, a good read. I will definitely read it again. This book is a slice of reality delivered with great humor, passion, imagination, and verve. On the path to the end, he breaks your heart several times over as well, describing the pathos of his or rather, the narrator's experience.

I will read his next book ASAP. He will be a remembered, I believe. One attribute shared by superior writing is its ability to surprise. Richard Villegas, in his debut collection, emerges as a sparkling new voice who surprises readers on every page.

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His setting is the polyglot Los Angeles of today in all its messy glory. Read his short stories on being a young Latino gay man invading the established female turf of the lower elementary grades. There are insights that illuminate, enrage and amuse on every page. Villages knows his city, and views it with a gimlet eye. This is a major new voice who deserves a wide audience. See all 9 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 1 year ago. Published on July 24, Published on May 20, Published on December 23, The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied.

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