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David Lida’s First Stop In The New World

697 words - 3 pages

In David Lida’s journalistic chronicles of Mexico City, he divulges a wealth of information to the reader through a number of sources and in a variety of ways. Lida paints the picture of Mexico City for the reader using anecdotal evidence, statistical data, and knowledge gathered from his own research of Mexican history and other published works that complement his work. And ultimately, his goal is to let us all in on what the city that he calls home is all about.
The way that Lida breaks his work down eases the reader into the world of Mexico City, with all of its nuances and subtexts, little by little. The format that he chose for the chapter arrangement works particularly well. By interspersing very short stories of his various experiences in taxicabs and tequilas and colorful characters, with longer, more technically informative chapters written in a tone of journalist at work, Lida unfolds his analysis of Mexico City in a non-linear manner. In fact, it is quite the opposite. In his book, there is no beginning or end, only now, what was, and what might soon-to-be. By using this format of storytelling, some chapters become more illuminating or “deep” when read toward the end, once the reader has had a chance to gather all of the tidbits that Lida has laid out. For instance, his short narrative about the taxi driver that smokes crack on the job includes little details about Mexico City’s social and economic culture that perhaps a reader without the requisite knowledge would pass over unknowingly. In just one cab ride, the author experiences a minor struggle with bargaining for the fare, the chronic lying of chalingos, machismo behavior, drug use, and abandonment and abuse from fathers. All of these are topics of previous chapters from the book, and all served to allow the reader a more enlightened response to the situation that Lida experienced. In some instances throughout the book, it is almost as if he is attempting to sum up all that is Mexico City into two or three pages.
In fact, David Lida specifically refers to certain...

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