Book Review: Tooth Man: Stories from Nicaragua’s Mosquito Coast
New NicaLiving member Eric Timar sent me a copy of his book to review. You can find out more about his work on his Wordpress blog.
Administrivia out of the way, I read the book and really enjoyed it. It a collection of short stories from his time living on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. While the book doesn't explicitly state this, I would assume it was from the mid-1980s. There are nine stories in ths 140 page book, each of which offers a slice of life in the region. Some are about superstitions, including one that is about baseball and also superstition, some events but all are about the people and culture in Bluefields and up the Atlantic Coast within RAAS.
While I have never been to the coast (yet), armed with the knowledge that you will find an assortment of cultures mixed together there, this book conjured of interesting images as it also informed me.
The following quote is from the story Seasons. It is but one paragraph going through the seasons and what there is around that is ripe. I selected it because it is a good combination of the book's style of presenting a story that also is filled with a lot of information.
By May and June bunches of small fruits appear which the people call mamones, another word borrowed from Spanish with no English equivalent, or at least no equivalent that anyone used. Each little fruit is protected by a green shell which is easy to split with one's teeth, and they taste something like grapes. Most of the space inside the shell is taken up by the pit. Mamones offer almost nothing to eat, really, and are just something to kill time with. Safer than cigarettes and free.