4 out of 4 stars
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Do you have a desire to travel and see the world? Have you dreamed about living on the beach and watching beautiful sunsets from your balcony? Would learning the local language be an obstacle? In his novel, Gringo, author Dan “Tito” Davis, relates the experiences he had in several foreign countries. He describes how he entered these countries and why he relocated so frequently.
Dan grew up in a small town in South Dakota. He was the oldest of five children. He started working when he was ten-years-old and took a job assisting a crop duster. While in high school, he worked as a jockey. At this young age, he was already earning large sums of money. He admits that he was obsessed with making money. After entering university, he kept raking in the millions by selling White Cross pills to fellow students.
Even though White Cross pills were actually ephedrine, a legal substance, the sale of these pills eventually connected him with other dealers. For a short time he expanded into stronger substances. A bad decision led him to work with a friend who eventually accused him, before the authorities, of being a meth dealer. To avoid going to prison, he fled the country and spent the next thirteen years hiding in several different countries.
Dan chronicles his life on the run. Obtaining legal documents was a struggle and a challenge. Using his fake documents for travel also created constant stress. He gives vivid descriptions of the different places where he lived. The book covers the years he spent in several Latin American countries, India and Germany. He describes his business deals but also writes about his cultural ventures.
The story is fast paced and thrilling. The shifting scenery, from country to country, is fascinating and also educational. The mood varies. Dan recounts his tense encounters with law enforcement that resulted from some foolish decisions. He frequently calls himself the “stupid gringo.” Simultaneously, we witness his constant search for love. He longed to see his family and endeavored to start a family of his own.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The story line was compelling and adventurous. One thing I didn’t like about the book was all the misspelled Spanish words. I wondered if this was done purposely since the author constantly mentions his inadequate language skills. I recommend this book to mature audiences as the book portrays some adult themes such as drug use, kidnapping and prostitution.
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