#Excerpt “El Gringo: A Novel” by Edmond Salus


Date Published: January 2018
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Sonny Galas is an only child being raised by his mother-a widow—and the loving help of his grandfather, also widowed. Living in a Santa Monica apartment complex owned by ‘Grandpa’ all is well and average for this close-knit family until a certain French family come into the picture, in need of a place to rent. They soon show their colors in various ways, topping it off by slapping a suit on their patient, kind landlord. Sonny’s family sees no better option than selling their only asset-the apartments-and getting far away from their Lawyer-packing tenants. Far, as in ‘leaving the country’, and this is where their true adventure begins. South of the border becomes their new home.

From their journey through third-world narrow roads, small towns where no English is spoken, to long, hot unending desert roads and through humid coastal towns they continue toward their big city destination, Guadalajara, where their life begins and they encounter everything and everyone from kind helpers to con-artists and crazies and from strangers to good friends, both Mexican and American. From young boy to teenager, as the years pass, Sonny sees it all: his family’s ups and downs, the country’s ups and downs with its own political third-world corruption, and his own transformation from a simple boy in a new country to a growing youth, fully fluent in Spanish; a devilish yet fun-loving teenager now with roots firmly planted and sprouting happily in his new home, his new country. From the adventures and joys of boyhood with his friends and pals to the wild days through grade school, junior high and high school with the opportunities given him as a bi-lingual kid to living through the set-backs that could trouble any family-Mexican or American-even scare of the faint of heart, he takes it all in; after all, now he’s Mexican. The fiestas, the friends, the awesome busy modern streets of Guadalajara in the early Seventies to the early Eighties, Guadalajara, the country’s capital of Mariachis.

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“I sat in the backseat, staring behind at the apartments as we took off in that little lemon of a car we had–a 1970 Ford Pinto–that gave my mother trouble at least once every  other week, to the point that even the mechanics had given up on it. In any case, we puttered off southbound toward the international border…” (chapter 3)

“At nine o’clock the very next day they came by the house, picked up Mamma, and headed straight to Peraza’s office… Peraza was Lawyer, businessman, consultant, and Godfather, all wrapped in one.” (chapter 11)

“On any given weekend they’d be playing the clubs. Little did I know they would become famous on an international scale, as the top Latin American Rock band, whose name later became Mana`!” (chapter 20)


Edmond Salus


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