Calle 10: A Novel
In his first full-length novel, oft-anthologised short-story writer Romero does a good job of portraying the trials associated with an impoverished life. But simply because a novel showcases a Chicano protagonist in a barrio setting does not mean it is necessarily moving or powerful. Calle 10 introduces us to Zero, a college-educated 30-year-old headed nowhere in a rooming house on "Calle 10" -- Tenth Street -- in Ciudad Jimenez, near Oakland, Calif. With no prospects, drug-addled companions, addictive tendencies of his own and little hope for his own future, Zero often dreams of ways to escape his situation, but rarely does a thing, save ingesting drugs. Romero provides little insight into Zero's true motivations or lack thereof. It is both the lack of self-examination on Zero's part and the absence of a definitive conclusion to the work which makes Calle 10 a frustrating and disappointing novel. Despite some compelling writing, brazenly realistic at times, it reads like only a fraction of a much larger piece. As an author Romero has talent to spare, but one only wishes that in a novel-length book he had worked longer and more thoughtfully on his characterisations.
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ain't asked Henry asked Zero beer bitch bottle Boulevard bout cabron Calle Calle 19 Chicano cholo cigarette Ciudad Jimenez Codeine crackhead crazy dollars door doorway dope drink East Los Angeles eyes face feel floor front Fuck fuckin gabachos giant gonna grabbed hallway hand head Henry stood Henry's homeboy homefries inside jacket kids kitchen knew leaned Leroy lowriders malt liquor Metallica motherfucker mouth moved never night nose Okay old lady opened Pancho pocket pulled pushed remember Roberto sala Sarah scratched shit shouted side smiled smoke sounds stopped street sucked television tell Thee Midniters thought Zero took torque wrench Tribune Tower turned Tyrone waiting walked wall wanna What's Wilma window Yeah Zero could hear Zero looked Zero saw Zero stood Zero thought Zero's