THE DEVIL, DELFINA VARELA AND THE USED CHEVY by Louie Garcia Robinson

THE DEVIL, DELFINA VARELA AND THE USED CHEVY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Humorous romp through San Francisco's Mission District--with its Mexican-American gossips, political aspirations, passions and hanky-panky, pieties and wildly funny blasphemies. Short, stout, bunion-plagued widow Delfina Varela has spent her life asking forgiveness for sins she never had the chance to commit; having been trained to resist enticements, she's prayed fervently for God to send her a Major Temptation so that she can prove herself; when not even this prayer is granted, she resolves to sell her soul to the Devil in exchange for a car--preferably a Cadillac--so that she can visit her ailing sister without relying on exhausting public transportation. Delfina's quest, with its very funny consequences, gives this first novel its title, but she is only one of several protagonists, each with a (sometimes overlapping) storyline and personal mission: businessman Manny Caballos suffers through the satirically rendered inanities of ethnic politics in his quixotic desire to assist the rise to power of a Mexican-American JFK; sex-obsessed Ruy Lopez is seduced by a very willing but bland Anglo woman and her wildly sensual daughter, has absolutely tasteless (and hysterical) fantasies about the Virgin Mary, but when his wife cuckolds him, finds he cannot (and doesn't even want to) act out his cherished scenarios of macho revenge. Meanwhile, prostitutes work at the Marisol Emporium of Psychic Counseling and Healing; thieves and drug-dealers connive; a beautiful accountant falls for a punk; and a fat file-clerk is lifted to matrimonial glory. Whimsical photographs purport to show the characters as real. A charming debut.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1993
ISBN: 0-385-46868-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Anchor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1993