Sunday, January 27, 2008

"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" part II

On a critical level, one could find certain flaws with Dito Montiel's "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints"; a tighter edit, a more focused expansion on main themes, etc. So let's get that shit right out front so nobody accuses me of being a sycophant.
"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" is a memoir, a riff, a road opus and beat anthem, a time and a place, and an internal wide-eyed joy ride. Every once in a while a book shimmers with sheer enthusiasm and joy, a rare earnestness and love... and this is one of them. Like Michael DeCapite's "Through the Windshield" and with nods to Kerouac, Montiel composes a memoir rich in the real flavor of his hometown neighborhoods and deep affection for his fatally flawed friends, acquaintances, and lovers, right alongside his own flaws, all the while finding the inspiration in these unlikely "saints".

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