by James A. Michener

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"Astounding...Fast-moving, Intriguing...James Michener is back in huge, familiar form with MEXICO."
Here is the story of an American journalist who travels to Mexico to report on the upcoming duel between two great matadors, but who is ultimately swept up in the dramatic story of his Mexican ancestors. From the brutality and brilliance of the ancients, to the iron fist of the invading Spaniards, to the modern-day Mexicans battling through dust and bloodshed to build a nation upon the ashes of revolution, James Michener weaves it all into an epic human story that ranks with the best of his beloved, bestselling novels.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780785769842
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date: 03/28/1994
Pages: 672
Product dimensions: 4.26(w) x 7.12(h) x 1.42(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

James A. Michener was one of the world’s most popular writers, the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tales of the South Pacific, the bestselling novels The Source, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas, Caribbean, and Caravans, and the memoir The World Is My Home. Michener served on the advisory council to NASA and the International Broadcast Board, which oversees the Voice of America. Among dozens of awards and honors, he received America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and an award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1983 for his commitment to art in America. Michener died in 1997 at the age of ninety.

Date of Birth:

February 3, 1907

Date of Death:

October 16, 1997

Place of Death:

Austin, Texas


B.A. in English and history (summa cum laude), Swarthmore College, 1929; A.M., University of Northern Colorado, 1937.

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Mexico 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
BryanThomasS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this. Another of my favorite Michener books. As usual, rich characterization and plotting mix with history and historical figures. Certainly a good look at upper class Mexican life and culture. Helpful to me in understanding Mexico better and a very worthwhile read.
griggit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Michener is always good, but this novel is sub par when compared to great books like Alaska, The Source, Caravans, and Centenial. I was hoping for more history and the detailed description of bullfighting became tedious at times.
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read most of this book during my first week in Mexico. It explains the unique culture of Mexico through the combined histories of its native and Spanish peoples. It relies heavily on the art of bullfighting as a metaphor. It's more captivating than others of his works I've read. I especially appreciate that, for once, the moral that always comes in the last 50 pages was more personal (involving the narrator, who resembles Michener, acting on his own inspiration). Now I just need to catch myself before referencing his city of Toledo and other fictional elements as historical realities.
santhony on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Typical Michener historical fiction novel, with Mexico as the subject.
BugsyBoog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I would call this one a historical epic! This is my first Michener epic, and I am sure I will read others. This novel was very long, but still a great story with great characters. Seems to me you need to have a decent amount of patience and time to devote to a book like this. It is centered on Mexico, specifically, the narrator¿s family history from ancient times to present. It shows a grand view of Mexico and its people and gives you many sides to the story of this very intriguing place. The narrator, Norman Clay, comes from a Mexican family with very important ancestry. Indeed this story could not be told from an average person¿s viewpoint. Norman¿s family line goes all the way back to important Indians who lived and worked to build the giant pyramid and on the other side, the Spanish settlers who came to bring Christianity and to see what they could take. Norman is an important journalist, back in Mexico after many years away to cover an important bullfight, mano y mano¿two matadors (one Spanish, one Indian) who are going to fight it out. Mexico is an amazing history of bullfighting, a well constructed novel with subplots that are all tied together. An epic, definitely a learning experience.
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TS_JoNo More than 1 year ago
I chose to read this book on my vacation to Mexico because no other author so consistently provides me with the flavor of a region like Michener. The frame story in this book is an epic show-down between two matadors in the bullrings of Mexico, and after the amazing bullfight descriptions, I had to avail myself of the opportunity to see a fight while I was there. Yet another great story by one of my favorite authors.
SDSteele More than 1 year ago
This is not a typical Michener novel. Nor is it historically accurate.This is a flight-of-fancy "Mexico a la Michener". And he has taken liberties in strange ways. But I still liked it as I am facinated by the history and culture of Mexico, especially now as we are unearthing more and more evidence of ancient advanced civilizations. Even though it is not spot-on in accuracy, Michener has painted the right feel, created the right sensory atmosphere for the setting and the tumultous historical backdrop. He apparently really loved visiting Mexico and treats in a very romantic manner. A major plus to reading this book is that you will have a much better understanding of the sport of bullfighting.It is very obvious that the bullfight was a sport close to his heart. It is a little evident that he wrote this in his early career, before honing down his magnificent approach to research. He started this in the early 60's and then abandoned the project.I suspect he just got too entwined in too many intricate plotlines, or realized that the main plotline suffered in comparison to the bullfight chapters. But he dusted it off in the 90's and offered it up 4 years before he died, and I'm glad he did. Regardless of it not being as well-researched and written as others, this is still a very worthwhile read and belongs in your Michener collection.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I agree with 15-year-old reviewer, John. I don't normally read history, but this book was truly great. The descriptions are absolutely amazing. I thot the book was about bullfighting at first. Bull preparation and action do play a large part in the novel, but the sad history of Mexico is also discussed. Then their is the eroticism, which seems to be Michener's own, which is strewn throughout and layered in through a present day cast of characters who are visiting Mexico. I can see why some might not find the book interesting: Michener goes into great detail. I, however, am sucker for detail. It's not a 'light read.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have loved many of Michener's books (Hawaii, The Source, Texas) - but this was thoroughly disappointing. There was no passion and certainly minimal history of Mexico in this book. Instead, it seemed to be an expository writing on bullfighting. If you want to read a good historical fiction on Mexico - read Aztec by Gary Jennings - an excellent captivating book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Names that were very hard to pronounce, and difficult to keep track of. You could tell that the thirty years between the start and end of the book were a change of the writers views. I enjoyed the bullfight part of the story, and a few of the facts of Toledo, but the rest was useless information.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The most boring book i have read it is too big and boring and when it does ever get intresting it goes to another topic that is boring. The book goes through ancestors too and it is hard to keep track of who is who and hard to remember people's names.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mexico, is a terrible novel. You should just read a text book. This is a soporific novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An exelent book, that keeps the reader so entraped in the book you cant put it down. Michner vividly describes the modern bullfight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a Reading Specialist and a true bibliophile to begin with and Michener never ceases to satisfy my unsatiable desire for good literature! I have read some of his other works (Alaska, Chesapeake, The Drifters, Hawaii) and of course, Mexico (2X). This is by far my favorite because in my opinion Micheners'style is best represented in this work. Michener brilliantly intertwines both interesting fictional characters with interesting historical events and people which makes a very entertaining and educational read. I particularly enjoyed Mexico because it was NOT just about Mexico; the novel delved deep into the history of Old Spain, the conquering of Mexico by Spain, the Civil War of the United States all under the umbrella of a contemporary visit to Mexico to learn more about bullfighting. When he does venture into the ancient history of Mexico, it is vivid, realistic and fascinatingly dramatized by well-developed characters that seem to be real. One really gets a sense of 'being' there and both laments and rejoices at Mexico's tragedies and triumphs. I enjoy learning about history through the use of colorful characters such as the one Michener develops. Much more interesting than when I was in school! When I finish reading a Michener book, particularly one as engulfing as Mexico, I feel like my mind and perspective has noteably expanded. Not only do I derive great please from the characters, but I also feel like I just did some heavy duty travel! A great book to read over the summer! I plan to re-read it as well as attack his Centennial, Hawaii and The Source. I am well aware that some (much?) of the history may not be verifiable, but the general idea is there and I still enjoy the learning experience.