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Crazy from the Heat – Review

By Jim Parisi

Crazy from the HeatWriting humor is a cruel, nasty and thankless endeavor more times than not. Trust me because I have tried. Telling a humorous story in person to a group of people is completely different because the speaker can control the pace, the cadence, the intonation and eventually, the punch line. Writing these same words onto a page, handing it to a complete stranger, walking away and allowing the writing to convey humor on its own takes a leap of faith and a unique storytelling talent for the humorist to succeed. And Matt Casseday has pulled it off.

Sr. Casseday is a fifty-something ex-pat who has been calling Costa Rica home for more than two decades. He has been living in the Quepos area for about half that time and writing columns for Quepolandia, the local monthly magazine there, for more than five years. He recently culled through his collection of articles, selecting fifty-four of them to compile into a publication of his own, titled Crazy From the Heat. I think the operative word in that title is the first one, and I mean that in a good way. Matt takes a wry look at the trials and tribulations of living within another culture, specifically, being a “gringo in Ticolandia”, as he calls it. Sr. Casseday has lived and worked in a few different locales as well as owned a car and a business in Costa Rica, is married with a Costa Rican woman, and in short, has easily garnered enough material for his book with first-hand experience.

Jaime Peligro Books and Music

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Armando and La Baula

by Jim Parisi

armando and la baulaArmando is a young Tico boy who has lived his entire nine years with his family, just a stones-throw from Playa Real on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. He’s a smart kid with an active curiosity and Playa Real has continually offered him an abundance of different ways to explore and learn. Upon his request, Armando’s father allows him to spend the night alone on the beach on the evening of his ninth birthday because Armando wants to witness the phenomena of the Baula turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. What transpires on that night has a huge impact on Armando: he does, indeed, see a Baula lay her eggs. In fact, the turtle introduces herself (Yes! She speaks!) as “Annabella”, or Bella for short, and has quite a story to tell the impressionable Armando.

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