I am including a Goodreads review I wrote on the the book Beyond Honduras (Tales of Tela, Trujillo and Other Places) by Guillermo Yuscaran, which I read a couple of weeks ago while actually in Trujillo. I had read a lot of the book before, although I didn’t finish it, due to me losing it or getting pickpocketed; not sure which. Anyway, I bought it for a second time a couple of months ago from a bar in Santa Lucia, a town which has a library named after the writer of this book.
I have written about the writer before, having read a couple of other books of his. I thought they were good but I felt this was better and I gave it a 5 star rating. His real name is William Lewis and he hails from California, although he has lived three or four decades in Honduras, living between Santa Lucia and the Northcoast of the country. Along with lively narrative, he offers an fascinating insight of Honduran culture and the people. I recommend it to curious Hondurans, interested in what foreigners think of their country. He’s balanced and fair and tries to provide a wider panoramic view, kind of timeless (many things written thirty or so years ago still hold weight today), rather than the normal negativity. This book is more of a fictional portrayal, which suffice to say, I immensely enjoyed as I rarely give 5 star ratings, although my father also read it and thought it was more about “fucking and fighting”; those were his exact words, but then he also agreed the book grows in depth towards the end.
Here’s my short review, anyhow.
Extraordinary selection of short stories, well-written, artistic, poignant, riveting, containing magic realism, as well as a few harsh realities of poverty. He knows how to build flawed characters, narrating the build ups to their conflict well.
I read much of the book in Trujillo, Honduras, which gave me something of an emotional attachment to the book, which is the best I’ve read so far from this author.
It’s not the most conventional of anthologies, but it’s better than many famous short story writers I’ve read. Guillermo Yuscaran has something of a O Henry wit in his style, or maybe it’s just that both have written about the adventures of Americans in Honduras.
Nonetheless, loved it.