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The Latin Americanist, June 2012 understanding of relevant topics for contemporary Latin American studies , especially in terms of the cost and consequences of the adoption of a late modernity. In Chapter 1, she studies Sepúlveda’s and Giardinelli’s novels in relation to the appearance of a new sublime–waste–as a byproduct of the neoliberal production machine. Chapter 2 deals with América en bicicleta , by Andrés Ruggeri, in which he recounts the experiences of his trip throughout the continent. Lindsay analyzes Ruggeri’s text based on the relationship the book traces with a similar journey carried out years before by Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Ruggeri’s own social position as an intellectual . The third chapter revolves around Mexico and three female writers, María Luisa Puga, Silvia Molina, and Ana García Bergua, while studying the influence of femininity and fiction. The last chapter revises two texts, which resemble an ethnographic study, in which Rubén Martínez and Luis Alberto Urrea write about the mobility of undocumented immigrants along the United States-Mexico border. Perhaps assessing Lindsay’s study from a perspective that dwells on the radical distinction between fiction and non-fiction, represented in more sociological or ethnographic accounts, is the wrong direction. Lindsay, although she mentions this idea at the beginning of her book, seems to forget about it halfway through the first chapter. And she does so intentionally. Current literary critics, though some might disagree, treat contemporary non-fiction as they would novels since novels nowadays adopt the bare style of a newspaper account – some others maintain more traditional styles and look like novels. Lindsay, with her book, certainly opened the analytical scope of travel writing and chose well to confide in the hybrid characteristics of the aesthetics of these times. The title of her book calls for the inclusion of contemporary texts. Her reading of travel writing is, from this perspective, truly contemporary. Julio Quintero Waynesburg University Department of English and Foreign Languages TRACKING THE CHUPACABRA: THE VAMPIRE BEAST IN FACT, FICTION, AND FOLKLORE. By Benjamin Radford. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2011, 216 pp., $24.95. For more than fifteen years, reports of the chupacabra—a blood-sucking beast of varying descriptions—have captured the imagination of people around the world. First “sighted” in Puerto Rico in 1995, subsequent claims have occurred all over the Americas. Intrigued by the phenomenon, managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer, Benjamin Radford, set out on a fiveyear journey to discover the truth about the creature. The result, Tracking the Chupacabra, is an insightful and entertaining book in which Radford sets the record straight, debunking many of the myths about the goatsucker. 194 Book Reviews The book tackles a number of themes and secondary goals. Radford strives to expose the sloppy scholarship of previous authors, especially Scott Corrales, who wrote Chupacabras and Other Mysteries (1997). Radford discusses the origins of the chupacabra myth, its connection to past representations of vampirism, its personification as a Christian symbol of end times, and its place in conspiracy theories involving the United States. In the end, Radford argues that the chupacabra is mostly the product of magical thinking stemming from the influence of science fiction movies. Because of the multiple angles that Radford approaches the topic from, his book exhibits a greater level of intricacy than provided by previous authors. However, the book reads somewhat disjointed at times. Transitions are not always smooth as Radford goes from “A Brief History of Vampires,” to “Chupacabras in Popular Culture,” to his research trips, then back to an analysis of the influence of popular culture on human psychology (23, 39). He also tends to change his writing style, switching back and forth between a concise and analytical word structure to a very journalistic and descriptive prose about his personal actions and feelings. Sometimes this works well, other times it does not. Similarly, some of Radford’s arguments are stronger than others. His claim that chupacabra vampirism is a manifestation of U.S. exploitation of Puerto Rico is largely unfounded. The author states the Puerto Ricans “feel that their cultural and social riches have been exploited and taken from them often by external...


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pp. 194-196
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