I’ve just read Loose : Travels around USA and Central America, by Vanya Vetto. It took me an hour, and I can’t really think of a single redeeming thing to say about it.
It’s even worse than Fat Mac’s book, which I kindly agreed to proof-read a while back, about his trip to Ecuador with his friend Poisonous. That book purported to be a travel book, but it was mostly full of dull religious-type mumbo-jumbo ramblings about such things as how the seventeenth Kardashian emanated as a tortoise in the sixteenth century (or something like that – fortunately, I’ve managed to forget most of the details). It also contained small sections about his travels, but virtually nothing of interest actually happened on the described trip. Fat Mac and Poisonous arrive in a town, they take a walk to the plaza, and nothing happens. Later on, they walk to the beach and look at the sea. That’s about as riveting as it gets. But at least Fat Mac can write. The subject matter of his book about Ecuador might be boring, and not half as interesting or entertaining as some of his earlier books, but at least he knows how to put words together, build up chapters and characters, and make you want to read to the end, in this particular case to see if anything at all of interest happens (spoiler alert – it doesn’t).
But Vanya Vetto (surely not his real name?), in his book Loose, can barely write in sentences. Here are a few examples:
“We didn’t waste time and the three of us went the mission district for some Mexican food and with the promise to keep in contact when I got back from Central America.”
“She was a woman who was use to getting what she wanted.”
“The next day, the phone rings. It’s s Victor.”
“I quickly found the find quality writing: lesbian porn.”
“The mornings were one long coffees listening to seventies music.”
“At last I had someone to talk too who actually had something to say.”
“I was here to enjoy the live volcano. I had spent many a morning watching the volcano erupt from a coffee in Antigua.”
“I can still see that cloud of dope and the table full of empty bears over long card games where I raised high stakes with matchsticks.”
What is this tosh, how does it get published, and how can it possibly have several 5* reviews on Amazon? Is Vanya Vetto a real person, or is this garbage produced by some illiterate machine? Vanya Vetto seems to have published several ‘books’ available on Amazon.
Loose in paperback cost me about a fiver on Amazon. It’s only 43 pages long.
OK, so I bought it for two reasons. Firstly because, having had to cancel a proposed trip to Namibia, I’m currently planning a trip to Central America, and wanted to read some travel literature set in that area.
The second reason was because I was taken in by the book’s promotional blurb: “The author romps around the USA and Central America on a dime. He might not be the most ethical traveler, but he means well as he takes a road trip across the USA, and buses it around Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and hopefully offering a few insights along the way as to what it was like traveling in the 90’s. He’s a lot older and wiser these days, and is the author of Garuda’s Travels: Sins and Redemption. These days the author prefers luxury travel and staying in nice hotels. Yes, he’s much wiser now.”