Magazine article World Literature Today

The Mexican Flyboy

Magazine article World Literature Today

The Mexican Flyboy

Article excerpt

Alfredo Véa Jr. The Mexican Flyboy University of Oklahoma Press 2016

Alfredo Véa Jr.'s The Mexican Flyboy is a novel likely to enhance its author's reputation as a writer primed to break through to a larger audience. His previous three books, La Maravilla (1993), The Silver Cloud Café (1994), and Gods Go Begging (2000), gave him an elite status as a writer admired by other novelists and Latino fiction specialists. The Mexican Flyboy has the potential to elevate Véa's standing to another level among such names such as Juan Rulfo, Julio Cortázar, and contemporaries Sandra Cisneros, Rudolfo Anaya, and Junot Díaz as a writer of the first rank coming into his prime.

A hybrid steam-punk, sci-fi, comic-book fantasy, detective fiction of a novel that is at moments hilarious and also deeply moving, The Mexican Flyboy follows the exploits of Simon Vegas, a man obsessed with martyrs and innocent people who over time have suffered needlessly. He seeks to understand how cruelty comes to those who deserve better in their lives-Joan of Arc, John Brown, Vincent van Gogh, Anne Frank, Malcolm X, Amadou Diallo, among others. To alleviate suffering, he steals a time machine from the US Army, jerry-rigs it as a mobile device for traveling through space and time, and rescues victims wherever they are in the world. …

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