Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Poor Man's Wealth by Rod Usher

"Tourism is too loud for my liking. And it blinds some people . . . Tourism in the end is stare and click, fluids in, fluids out. It makes visitor no longer your guests."

Poor Man's Wealth by Rod Usher is the tale of a sleepy, Spanish-speaking town as told by the mayor, El Gordo. Their main source of income is the tobacco crop. However, as people become more aware of the health consequences, the town begins to slowly die and the town must look into new places for their money. El Gordo has the idea of forming a committee to create a 'hoax' or town legend to attract tourists. 

Gentle - that is the word I'd use to describe the novel, Poor Man's Wealth. I enjoyed reading it, it wasn't too short or long, and it had an interesting idea. But, there wasn't any shocking twists or tense moments - it didn't capture my heart. The book seemed to go on a smooth ride and while Usher added some twists to the story, the characters reacted to them in such a calm manner that I never became anxious about it. In a sense, this created the atmosphere of the town. While reading, I felt I was transported to the sleepy town of Higot and even to the past (as the townsfolk still led old-fashioned lives). Usher was successful in depicting the scenery and creating his world, but as for the story, it wasn't very captivating.