La Perdida

La Perdida

Book - 2006
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From the Harvey and Lulu award--winning creator of Artbabe comes this riveting story of a young woman's misadventures in Mexico City. Carla, an American estranged from her Mexican father, heads to Mexico City to "find herself." She crashes with a former fling, Harry, who has been drinking his way through the capital in the great tradition of his heroes, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Harry is good-humored about Carla's reappearance on his doorstep-until he realizes that Carla, who spends her days soaking in the city, exploring Frida Kahlo's house, and learning Spanish, has no intention of leaving.When Harry and Carla's relationship of mutual tolerance reaches its inevitable end, she rejects his world of Anglo expats for her own set of friends: pretty-boy Oscar, who sells pot and dreams of being a DJ, and charismatic Memo, a left-wing, pseudo--intellectual ladies' man. Determined to experience the real Mexico, Carla turns a blind eye to her new friends' inconsistencies. But then she catches the eye of a drug don, el Gordo, and from that moment on her life gets a lot more complicated, and she is forced to confront the irreparable consequences of her willful innocence.Jessica Abel's evocative black--and--white drawings and creative mix of English and Spanish bring Mexico City's past and present to life, unfurling Carla's dark history against the legacies of Burroughs and Kahlo. A story about the youthful desire to live an authentic life and the consequences of trusting easy answers, La Perdida--at once grounded in the particulars of life in Mexico and resonantly universal--is a story about finding oneself by getting lost.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375423659
Characteristics: ix, 275 p. : ill. ; 23 cm


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Jan 11, 2018

I thought it was alright, a bit too self-indulgent perhaps. No idea how I was supposed to think of Carla by the end, just another stupid American who lost her ideals, was changed in the process, and lost her self.

All of the other Americans in Mexico City kept together and were generally asses, while none of the many named Mexican characters had any real redeeming qualities either. Only the unnamed masses were held up as innocents, if you will.

Just not sure what I’m supposed to take away from it and I can’t find a lot of depth other than perhaps “people and life are messy,” and that isn’t very deep and has been told much better a thousand different ways before.

Oct 11, 2017

I have visited Mexico City 5 times; I have family there. I am also the author of an 1800-page guidebook to the city and its environs. I thought highly enough of "La Perdida" to include it in my chapter about books on the theme of Mexico, for those wishing to explore the subject before travelling there.
Mexico City has more museums than any other city in the world. Frida Kahlo's house is a popular one with visitors as are ones associated with her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera. The same part of the city has the fortified home of Leon Trotsky, where he was murdered, on the 2nd attempt, by an agent of Joseph Stalin. The 1st attempt to kill Trotsky failed entirely, but left the bullet holes which can still be seen in his bedroom wall.

Nov 14, 2011

wed book club ... graphic novel

Feb 26, 2011

Lovely drawings and empathic insight of selfish young girl.She learns something from her foolish choices. Also, if you plan to travel to Mexico city, read this.

Jan 10, 2008

The reviews are right, this one's really good. Rounded characters, keenly observed setting, and story that spins more and more frighteningly out of control. Relentless storytelling.


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