Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: SOMETHING LIKE A DREAM by Robert Richter

Expatriate beach bum Cotton Waters is known to his cantina buddies as "Algo," meaning Something in Spanish. An illegal alien and ex-political activist with old and unresolved legal problems in the U.S., Algo scrounges a lazy fishing village lifestyle and a little beer money out of the Puerto Vallarta tourist trade as a private hustler of a Mexican Riviera lost-and-found--helping some people get lost and finding others--if the price is right or the client's cause worth the time and interest. 

In the summer of '82 the worthy cause is Corina Springfield, possibly the most beautiful woman Cotton Waters has ever seen, even in a town like Vallarta, searching for her husband, heir to the Springfield Foundation, missing and presumed dead for over three years. When Corina shows Algo evidence that her husband may be living among the Huichols, one of Mexico's most mysterious indigenous peoples; and when it's evidence she's held for over a year without bothering to investigate until now, Vallarta's Something" isn't sure he can find her husband, but he knows he wants to try. 

On a search for a lost hero-husband living as a shaman in a tribe of peyote worshipers, Cotton Waters leads Corina Springfield into the center of tribal dissension deep in the sierra heart of Huichol territory. On this strange pilgrimage Waters will find a whole new perspective on reality and dream, on deceit and self-deception, and experience a healing ceremony that will change his life forever or simply end it.

My thoughts: Poetic and well-written. I enjoyed the Mexican richness flavored throughout the book, even though it was a tad too political for my taste.

Cotton Waters seemed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of Spanish and Aztec culture. The reader joins Waters in his investigative efforts across the rugged terrain of Mexico’s ancient villages. Richter paints illustrious scenes through this daunting search; however, the search for Brian Springfield was not compelling enough to hold my interest. The information regarding the shamans was difficult to comprehend and follow along. And how exactly did dreams tie into this story? Were they a metaphor?

It seems that this book would be best suited for those interested in history and archeology. This was not a bad book; it just wasn’t for me.

My rating: 2 stars

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