Down & Delirious in Mexico City: The Aztec Metropolis in the 21st Century

Daniel Hernandez, Scribner, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7703-4
In 2002, just out of U.C. Berkeley, Hernandez headed to Mexico City to trace his cultural roots. Five years later, he returned there as a journalist and immersed himself in the bewildering subcultures of the western hemisphere’s largest city. His explorations take him from fashion runways and cocaine after-parties, the street brawls of punk and emo kids, to the teeming festival of Mexico’s national icon, the Virgin of Guadalupe. As Hernandez wanders the labyrinths of the city, he also investigates his own uncertain identity as the American-born child of Mexican parents. Hernandez covers a lot of ground in his study of the city, maybe too much. Skimming from scene to scene, he doesn’t settle anywhere long enough to write with an insider’s perspective. Because of this, the observations rarely transcend the journalistic generalities found in the average feature story. Hernandez’s personal quest, which could have centered the book, never becomes compelling. While informative, his book often reads like a bulked up tour guide. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/13/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
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Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-1018-5
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