Feeling old and unappreciated, Paul Theroux decides to undertake two journeys through Mexico: one along the contentious U.S./Mexico border, and then one into Mexico, traveling through Monterrey, to the central highlands on to Mexico City then to Oaxaca, and down south to Chiapas. Along the way, he talks to a wide variety of Mexicans: the destitute to the wealthy, those integrated into the Spanish language speaking mainstream, and those belonging to far more ancient indigenous cultures. He meets with corruption and with incredible kindness, generosity and welcome. He investigates the history of many of the issues troubling the country: the vast inequality and narco violence and he also delves into Mexico's incredibly rich artistic and cultural heritage. He heads back north to his home country feeling revitalized and fortunate to have had so many rich encounters.
This book is Theroux at his best, writing with passion and soul. Though I personally found the book about 75-100 pages too long, this is probably due more to my lack of interest in politics in general than to any flaw in the writing. Highly recommended to those wishing to understand the complex culture and history of Mexico.