- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; 47532nd edition (4 March 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416534407
- ISBN-13: 978-1416534402
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
- Customer Reviews: 143 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,28,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre Paperback – 4 March 2008
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"This is exactly the book you're hoping for when you pick it up: a crazy, sprawling story so well-written, you can't decide whether to keep reading or go to Mexico to see for yourself. Keep reading: You have an extraordinary book in your hands." -- Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm
About the Author
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Review this product
Top international reviews
Granted it would have been pretty hard to get into the scene much further without getting killed, but I kept expecting him to do so. (Go deeper, not get killed.) Recommended though overall, and did make me want to go see for myself.
Grant is a good writer and an observant, honest journalist. He describes his experiences in a readable and entertaining way and always puts them in an historical context. He really does make the history come alive and for this alone I am indebted to Grant
All books I have read have a common theme. He launches himself into adventure with a minimum of planning and a maximum of faith and most of all a sense of adventure. But he lacks the gigantic ego and self-aggrandizement that one might expect from this kind of book. He is actually more interested in talking to people and getting an honest take on the culture he is experiencing.
He is a very different writer than Hunter S Thompson but he reminds me of him. A large part of each book consists of him drinking or doing drugs with locals. That is one way he makes friends and gets beyond the surface of the culture.
Having said all this, God’s Middle Finger was the book I found the least interesting. It had the most personal danger for the author but the Sierra Madre culture stayed pretty impenetrable to me and not one I wanted to learn more about. There was one trek after another but I didn’t get the same sense of curiosity about place and culture that I did about say Africa or Mississippi.
Still he is a very good writer and anything he writes is worth reading.
His adventures are true modern day great stories of wonderful people trapped into growing and selling marijuana and being surrounding by very, VERY bad guys who will get too drunk with alcohol, too high from drugs and too ego-stung with power so will shoot you with little provocation just to feed the trigger finger.
Like the author, Itoward the end, grew tired of the macho male attitude and was glad to get out when he did.
Am a big Copper Canyon fan and a lot of this centers in the region.
Liked it so much, bought a second used copy for my cousin.
He had several DEA friends at one time and said that Grant's writing reminded him of their "war stories".
The big flaw is that he obviously gets bored by the last of his travel because no one will engage with him.
I was disappointed that He skims over places he previously talked up. He avoided Sinaloa, after the first and only time he is treated disrespectfully.
He apparently attends a religious ceremony with a Shaman and gives no detail.
Even with the flaws, it was a really fun read.
The Sierra Madre is an expanse of gnarly ridges, towering peaks, immense canyons, and high desert landscapes all scrunched into a 200-mile wide by 900-mile long swath that runs south in Mexico starting just below the US border states of Arizona and New Mexico. It is a violent and shadowy area inhabited by drug growers, narcotics traffickers, bandits, Indians, and poverty-stricken natives trying to hold on to a scruffy existence. And Grant can't wait to get in the middle of all this loveliness to explore its intriguing history.
Warned about traveling in the wilds of the Sierra Madre where strangers are not welcome and often murdered, Grant thumbed his nose at the concerns, survived, and has written a compelling story of his adventures. He sought out unusual folk healing processes, strange religious practices, exotic food and drink (including mind altering recreational snacks), corrupt law enforcement officials, narcotics bigwigs, and macho bullies to get perspective on living tough in the neighborhood. In general, he just prowled around with his notebook, sometimes violating preferred guest behavior, and recording the reception he was given. Most of the time it was unfriendly.
You'll find the author's audacity somewhat startling and will be amazed at his willingness to venture into uncomfortable situations. I kept turning the pages wondering when he was going to get the ass-kicking (or worse) that he seemed to be inviting. I'm not going to tell you whether or not it happened, because this is a book of suspense and I don't want to ruin it for you.