The Milagro Beanfield War

The Milagro Beanfield War Joe Mondragon a feisty hustler with a talent for trouble slammed his battered pickup to a stop tugged on his gumboots and marched into the arid patch of ground Carefully and also illegally he ta
  • Title: The Milagro Beanfield War
  • Author: John Nichols
  • ISBN: 9780805063745
  • Page: 347
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Milagro Beanfield War
    Joe Mondragon, a feisty hustler with a talent for trouble, slammed his battered pickup to a stop, tugged on his gumboots, and marched into the arid patch of ground Carefully and also illegally , he tapped into the main irrigation channel And so began though few knew it at the time the Milagro beanfield war But like everything else in the dirt poor town of Milagro, it wJoe Mondragon, a feisty hustler with a talent for trouble, slammed his battered pickup to a stop, tugged on his gumboots, and marched into the arid patch of ground Carefully and also illegally , he tapped into the main irrigation channel And so began though few knew it at the time the Milagro beanfield war But like everything else in the dirt poor town of Milagro, it would be a patchwork war, fought by tactical retreats than by battlefield victories Gradually, the small farmers and sheepmen begin to rally to Joe s beanfield as the symbol of their lost rights and their lost lands And downstate in the capital, the Anglo water barons and power brokers huddle in urgent conference, intent on destroying that symbol before it destroys their multimillion dollar land development schemes The tale of Milagro s rising is wildly comic and lovingly ter, a vivid portrayal of a town that, half stumbling and partly prodded, gropes its way toward its own stubborn salvation.
    The Milagro Beanfield War By John Nichols,
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    About " John Nichols "

  • John Nichols

    John Nichols is the author of the New Mexico trilogy, a series about the complex relationship between history, race and ethnicity, and land and water rights in the fictional Chamisaville County, New Mexico The trilogy consists of The Milagro Beanfield War which was adapted into the film The Milagro Beanfield War directed by Robert Redford , The Magic Journey, and The Nirvana Blues.Two of his other novels have been made into films The Wizard of Loneliness was published in 1966 and the film version with Lukas Haas was made in 1988 Another successful movie adaptation was of The Sterile Cuckoo, which was published in 1965 and was filmed by Alan J Pakula in 1969.Nichols has also written non fiction, including the trilogy If Mountains Die, The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn and On the Mesa John Nichols has lived in Taos, New Mexico for many years.

  • 811 Comments

  • This is my favorite damn book of all time ever If you don t like it, I m liable to punch you in the genitals.Ostensibly, the book is about a water rights squabble in a small town in New Mexico But the book is so much the differences between the Mexican and American cultures, believing in miracles, political dissidence, and all of the ridiculously awesome characters that the author breathes life into There s Amarante Cordova, the ageless wonder who has been dying since birth, only to outlive man [...]


  • Que Viva Snuffy Ledoux I read this book 35 years ago for the first time when I was fifteen years old It remains one of my all time favorites After re reading because one of my friends told me I reminded him of Amarante Cordova and because I always considered myself to be of a Jose Mondragon the themes remain contemporary They remind me why I consider this timeless piece of literature to be such a great demonstration of artistry and craftsmanship.Milagro Beanfield War is an enchanting story, tol [...]


  • I was really enjoying this book for the first couple hundred pages, especially since I grew up watching the film and so I already had a huge affection for the story and the main characters However, somewhere around page 300 I couldn t take it any I don t know why everybody who pops into a scene has to have a lengthy backstory It contributes nothing to my appreciation of a novel when the author digresses for five pages every time a new character, however insignificant, wanders onto the page In th [...]


  • You can t buy bullets with food stamps, says Nick Rael, the store owner of the one store in Milagro, New Mexico, when Amarante Cordova peals off four one dollar stamps and carefully lays them on the counter This absurd scene in The Milagro Beanfield War, the first novel in John Nichols epic New Mexico Triology, serves well enough to illustrate the power of Nichols voice and the authority of his narrative, but Amarante takes his bullets and shuffles off to stand guard over Joe Mondragon s controv [...]


  • I m always sad when I decide to give up on a book It feels like euthanasia But sometimes I have to grit my teeth and put the book down This was one of those cases.I wanted to love The Milagro Beanfield War because of its quirkiness, but the sheer number of characters and amount of back story was overwhelming I appreciate Nichols taking the time to create an entire town full of people, past and present, but he didn t need to include every single one of them in his final draft At first it was cute [...]


  • My friend Cathy and I went to Santa Fe and found that Robert Redford was filming this movie So we decided to go watch them film We got to the gate and I lied by saying that we were with the press, but then Cathy had to go and tell the truth So, we didn t get in to see him That night we were at a bar in Santa Fe and ran into the crew, and one of their members said that we could come to watch them film the next day But alas, we were leaving town in the morning The book and the movie were good, but [...]


  • I enjoyed the sense of humor and the quirky, unforgettable characters The young job corps guy or whatever he was was a real hoot, and I could put my self in the shoes of the people of Milagro, though I doubt if I would have been as polite about it as they were.A nice twist was that the the system seemed to defeat Joe Mondragon, the he seemed to win.I think I would like to visit northern New Mexico to see if the culture was really as he described it Not that I doubt John Nichols, but I would li [...]


  • Great read and funny as heck Points out that water is the life blood of the west I think I met Joe Mondragon or his twin I think I want to visit New Mexico.


  • I can t believe I m saying this but the movie is better The whole reason I wanted to read the book and why I put it off for so long is that I love the movie I had the usual presumption that the book must be better than the movie but also feared it wouldn t be The movie does a lot of what Nichols should have done It distills what s good about the book into a potent story Instead of hauling in a hundred half baked characters and at least a dozen one off characters who unnecessarily get backstorie [...]


  • The Milagro Beanfield War was one of those books that thought I would like and I thought I should like But I couldn t even finish And I tried I made it through slightly than half of the book And while I found the characters compelling and their plight interesting the lack of a good plot kept me from finishing.My reading of this book languished for over two weeks with a few pages at a time being read FInally, I decided I needed a break, so I picked up another book and read it in my usual 3 to 4 [...]


  • I found myself within the first few minutes of reading this book, laughing out loud This has a particular appeal to me, because I am a native to New Mexico and a Chicanobut I would not necessarily say that it excludes others from understanding its very unique style Perhaps it can be noted that if you do happen to hail from the southwest, its charm and originality, along with the added plus of some very comical Spanish create a very delightful bonus Otherwise I recommend this book to any and all [...]


  • How could illegally irrigating a small field of beans cause such chaos and mayhem This is an uproariously funny book I enjoyed the characters mini stories throughout the book I was charmed by the nature descriptions Although this was set in New Mexico, it reminded me so much of the Colorado Rockeies where our family vacationed most of my life.I just borrowed the VHS tape of this movie from the library It was directed by Robert Redford Very Good A few minor changes from the book, but true to the [...]


  • ONE OF MY TOP 5 BOOKS OF ALL TIMENumber one in the New Mexico Trilogy Superb reading and funny as hell Character development that is absolutely unique Funny, moving, sensitive and educational A real story of the plight of poor Northern New Mexican natives as the face the problems and costs of new development Amarante, in his 80 s and as lovable as can be sits quietly and talks with ghosts, Joe Mondragon accidentally kicks out a water dam and begins watering his father s field, illegally This set [...]


  • Milagro is a dying town In northern New Mexico Water conservancy has routed their already minimal water supply to benefit big agriculture to the South and nearby resorts On a whim that even he doesn t understand, feisty Joe Mondragon diverts the water to irrigate his small beanfield In essence that was a declaration of war against the government and big money investors Wonderfully colorful characters Great sense of place What a fun read.



  • By far it was one of the funniest books I ve read up there with Hitchhikers Guide , and it accomplished this while presenting a representative portrait of northern NM.


  • Published in 1974, this is one of my ALL TIME favorites The writing is smart and it s definitely the funniest book I ve ever read Highly recommend it


  • This isn t the type of book I usually pick up, but it was so widely discussed back in the late 1970s, early 80s, that I read it and decided it was okay But I didn t keep my copy.A couple of years ago, I brought home a newer edition of the book, thinking that I should read it because it is a classic of the times and I didn t remember much about the story except that it was activism of some kind.While not a page turner, it did hold my interest The cursing and foul language often creative is a turn [...]


  • Although John Nichols has written some fifteen or books, this is the one that counted It stands out from the rest of his work as if from a Buddhist burst of contemplation Let s face it, some writers hit the mark at once in a big way, and struggle the rest of their careers to come close to it again No matter The Milagro Beanfield War is a splendid book, well worth reading by anyone and me, no less, who will be in New Mexico within a few short weeks I haven t laughed so hard for years For Nichols [...]


  • This was originally published at The Scrying Orb.Check out this cover A skeleton in a sombrero with a bottle of tequila Intentionally yellowed page edges A brick of mass market paperback in that unmistakable font that used to signify A BOOK to me before trade paperbacks took over and the construction of the book itself became stylized Along with the funny title, these are the reasons I picked this up for three dollars than its original sale price and took it home.Do you ever stop to contemplate [...]


  • Just finished a re read of this novel I read it every few years or so, and love it every time The characters are all so great Amarante Cordova is the guy that, if you don t know someone like him, is the guy who should exist, at least somewhere out there Let s face it life isn t fair, and Amarante is living or would be, if he weren t a fictional character proof of that fact.He is only the most memorable among a huge cast of memorable characters, though Horsethief Shorty Wilson so great he gets no [...]


  • When I posted a picture last winter of my annual haul at the University Women s book sale, my old college roommate said, Let me know how it goes with The Milagro Beanfield War I guessed from that comment that the book would be interesting and maybe challenging Indeed, it is a big and complicated novel, and my response to it is complicated.What I didn t like The novel is bigger than it needs to be I m coming to realize that I m partial to tightly written books, and this one is not It indulges in [...]


  • The Milagro Beanfield War has been on my bucket list since I saw the movie 30 years ago Last year I spied a tattered yellow copy in the free box of Blue Cypress Book Store in New Orleans It s been staring at me from my bedside table ever since When I finally dug into Milagro, there was no stopping It was like kapow a blast from the past an old school novel written when novelists saw everything and were not afraid to pound out each detail and backstory on their typewriters Every damn character wh [...]


  • Replacing the magical realism of One Hundred Years of Solitude with a healthy dose of earthy humor gives us John Nichols mini epic The Milagro Beanfield War Throughout Nichols chronicle of the eruption of a long brewing feud between the rich and poor, city and rural, Spanish and Anglo people of a small New Mexico ish region, we are treated to all sorts of entertaining folktales And these aren t just of the past, The Milagro Beanfield War is full of entertaining characters from Pacheco s Pig, who [...]


  • I first read The Milagro Beanfield War years ago, but in June 2009, while traveling, encountered the author s photo essay about how he came to write the book That got me interested in a re read It was worth it Nichol s prose is dense and rich, so descriptive that I find myself re reading paragraphs just for the joy of the images evoked by the words.This novel contains a large number of finely drawn characters with fascinating back stories, which Nichols manages to weave into the main narrative w [...]


  • Fantasy realism or realistic fantasy but either way John weaves magic over a story that you know but yet it is a novel He is one of the best character writers I have come across and moves them through a touching but funny and real storyline I have not read the other two books Magic Journey and Nirvana Blues , and I am almost scared to because I have heard they are not as good I tried to find a good used hard copy for Kirk a few years ago for his birthday So I went to the one good used bookstore [...]


  • This book is excellent It has incredibly intricate character depth Nichols introduces characters in the beginning of the book than the reader thinks he can handle and then proceeds to introduce the reader to all these characters in such a way that the reader feels like a resident in this small New Mexican town This book has a wonderful struggle of the people against the system and big money At times it is laugh out loud funny It also is powerful This book took about 10 pages for me to be very i [...]


  • I picked this one up because it was billed as part 1 on the New Mexico Trilogy Since, that is my home state and we don t get a lot of publicity, I was intrigued The story was boring beyond belief and choked with political correctness The book seems to have been written by one of those self loathing white people The brown people are cool and authentic and the gringos are a bunch of dolts It was offensive to me Enough so, that I didn t read the other books in the series Something I rarely do.


  • The Milagro Beanfield War as a recipe In a large bowl, add equal parts John Irving, Ken Kesey, Berkeley CA, and New Mexico Mix well and bake under a desert sun until parched Serve caliente with a side of frijoles, warm tortillas, and liberal amounts of hot sauce The result is a mildly satisfying yet complex dish with flavors of history, race and ethnicity, and land and water rights.Buen Provecho


  • This rather long novel was delightful, gutsy, ribald, funny laugh out loud , charming, sweet and colorful The story telling is the best ever, a little like Steinbeck, only funnier The story line offers a stretch to the imagination and a leap from your regular reality Set in New Mexico, the sites and smells and temperments of these small town characters jump off the page Highly entertaining I learned life is what you make it take a chance


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