El Güero by Tim Harron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
El Güero is the life story of T- told through the present and flashbacks. T- felt he only had three choices of what he could be growing up. A cop, clergy, or a crook. His grandfather who he adored was a cop and when he told him not to be one, he listened. T- seriously considered clergy until he learned the clergymen he knew were crooks. He then decided to be a crook because at least they were honest about their lives. As T- thinks to himself on numerous occasions, "It's almost as if this lifestyle chose me."
I wasn't sure what to expect from El Güero. It's certainly not my normal genre choice when reading books, but I've watched my fair share of mafia style films. The familiarities are undeniable and it's understandable. T- is Irish and in the Italian mob there are limitations to what he can do and where he can go. He's a company man though and follows every order to the letter.
The best part of the book is T- himself. He's a far more complex man than he may seem. From the Saint Jude's medal he wears, his concern for not harming innocents, and his utter lack of a concern of doing vile things helps him come to life. He's not a hero of any sort, but it's easy to know where T- is coming from.
My biggest problem with the book is it doesn't feel like it's heading anywhere for the majority of the book. It feels like a memoir of events with the author going from one to the next with little connection to the prior events outside of T- himself. I personally like a strong plot that helps keep the story moving for me and unfortunately I was missing that here.
All in all El Güero is a solid book, I imagine those who are fans of Mafia style drama will enjoy this one more than I did.
3 out of 5 stars
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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