A Great Novel (with a not so great title)
The Milagro Beanfield War, by John Nichols, is quite a novel . . . it details a water-rights squabble in New Mexico, between the poor chicanos and the wealthy developers, and it is full of salt-of-the-earth characters, mock-epic hilarity, beautiful descriptions of the mountains and high desert plains, special agents, magical realism, guns, an incorrigible pig, local politics and astute social commentary . . . and it's got a page-turning plot to boot . . . the tone occasionally reminds me of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and while I admit Marquez came up with a much better title, you should really give The Milagro Beanfield War a try . . . I'm trying to read a shitload of books about the American Southwest in preparation for our family road trip this summer, and this one has given me an unusual and memorable perspective on northern New Mexico.