August Book Reviews

00:00 July 31, 2012
By: Emily Hingle

If you are a local writer or publisher and would like to submit your book for review, send a copy to: Where Y’at Magazine 5500 Prytania St, #133, NOLA 70115 NEW ORLEANS:The Underground Guidewhereyat_com-13436857455017047108f40.png

By Michael Patrick Welch 220 pages

UNO Press

Review by Emily Hingle

In its second edition, this all-encompassing handbook has listings of pretty much all of the city’s music, food, neighborhoods, and so much more. This book will appeal to locals who know everything, but need a refresher on what’s out there if they’re stuck in a rut going to their usual places. It’s also perfect for visitors who want that true local perspective and explanation of things; it’s about as close to having conversations with native people, which is the best way to accomplish that. The title of the first chapter sums up the guide and is called “Welcome to New Orleans! It’s not what you think.” The guide is very user friendly; it’s categorized by neighborhoods, music, festivals, food, hotels, family-friendly places, and so on. There’s also a key for your convenience. Welch includes breakdowns of some broader subjects like the rap and metal scenes, burlesque, Mardi Gras Indians and more in the pieces called “N.O. Moments.” He offers straight-up advice such as the disclaimer in the Mardi Gras Season section, “Mardi Gras is really a big, messy soup of a party. As much as you want to plan and see particular things, schedules are apt to get messed up. But whatever you do see will be equally as good as what you thought you’d see.” There are also short pieces of commentary by some musicians and artists that readers may find helpful in learning about what they think. This guide will help you immensely, knowledgeable of New Orleans or not. Y’ALL’S PROBLEM: A WILD COSTA RICAN LOVE

STORY WITH A SIDE ORDER OF MISTAKESwhereyat_com-134368578450170498cc4b0.png

By Michael Patrick Welch

267 pages

Dirty Coast Press

Review by Emily Hingle

“Y’all’s Problem” is a fiction piece about a man who escapes the drudgery of his tourist and redneck drenched Central Florida life to live in the jungles of Costa Rica with a young woman with whom he has a whirlwind relationship at work. Patrick is stuck at a miserable, yet somehow entertaining pizza shop waiter gig. A young, attractive, and already engaged employee originally from Costa Rica begins a flirting relationship with him, and he becomes consumed with thoughts of her as he strives to do well at his writing side job at a local paper, date women, and get over his cruel ex-girlfriend. He begins to see the young woman named Alana as an escape from the pizza dive, and the beginning of a more exciting life, and quickly plans a move to her hometown in Costa Rica where she will soon meet and marry him. In the small coastal village, he meets a host of colorful ex-Americans and native people who are content relaxing, drinking and otherwise enjoying a carefree life in the sleepy town. One in particular, a well-known author, acts crudely toward everyone, yet has a soft spot for Alana. Just as she arrives, events roll into place and Patrick may end up losing the love he traveled so far for to the author. With the odds against him, Patrick has to attempt winning Alana’s favor or leave the town to find new adventures.

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