Blog Tour Review: Odd Birds by Severo Perez


ODD BIRDS
by
SEVERO PEREZ

Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
Date of Publication: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 278 pages 

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The year is 1961. Seventy-year-old Cosimo Infante Cano, a Cuban-born artist in need of inspiration, follows his lover to Texas in what was to be a temporary sabbatical from their life in France. Unexpectedly, he finds himself stranded in San Antonio, nearly penniless, with little more than the clothes on his back and an extraordinary pocket watch. His long hair and eccentric attire make him an odd sight in what he has been told is a conservative cultural backwater.

Cosimo’s French and Cuban passports put a cloud of suspicion over him as events elsewhere in the world play out. Algeria is in open revolt against France. Freedom Riders are being assaulted in Mississippi, and the Bay of Pigs debacle is front-page news. Cosimo confronts nightmares and waking terrors rooted in the horror he experienced during the Great War of 1914–1918. His friends—students, librarians, shopkeepers, laborers, lawyers, bankers, and even a parrot—coalesce around this elderly French artist as he attempts to return to what remains of his shattered life.

His new friends feel empathy for his impoverished condition, but his unconventional actions and uncompromising ethics confuse them. He creates charming drawings he refuses to sell and paints a house simply for the pleasure of making a difference. In the process he forever alters the lives of those who thought they were helping him.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
“A pitch-perfect picaresque tale” –John Phillip Santos, Texas Monthly
“Judge this book by its cover. It’s a stunning… captivating read.” –Alice Embree, Rag Radio Blog

An “elegantly conceived tale–boasting a culturally and historically astute plot–that demands to be read.” –Kirkus Reviews
CLICK TO PURCHASE!

The first thing that really drew me to this book was the cover.  It’s beautiful, filled with vibrant but muted colors that reflect the tropical beauty of Cuba.  This is the story of a seventy year old artist who finds himself stranded in San Antonio through a series of unfortunate events.  Cosimo is an artist with old-world style sensibilities and he embodies ethical decisions in the face of adversity.  Though he is a Cuban born artist who has lived for quite a long time in France, he travels to the United States with his partner, Sarah Hunter, for a break from the Parisian lifestyle.  After many struggles, Cosimo is left with virtually no money and very little prospects for rescue.  Set in 1961, this story plays out against a tapestry of historical events, Freedom Riders being beaten in the South, the Bay of Pigs in the Caribbean, and the Algerian revolution.  The United States is still reeling from World War II (though it’s been 15 years) and people continue to shun outsiders.  Cosimo makes his way through this strange place with the help of strangers.  All the while, he spreads his own brand of kindness.

Being a historian, this book was made for me!  I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the setting!  Cosimo is a wonderfully written character with his own very real sense of self.  The other characters are also very well written, but I’d say Cosimo is my favorite throughout the book.  I felt the pacing was very good and the book is just about 300 pages, a perfect length for a weekend read.  I think there are many lessons to be learned from this book and would recommend it to fans of history, art, culture, and even book clubs!  I think this would make a great story to discuss, particularly with the historical events happening in the background.  Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and I am so glad that I was able to review it on tour with Lone Star Book Blog Tours!  Thank you to the LSBBT crew and the author for having me on tour! 

SEVERO PEREZ, an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and writer, grew up in working-class Westside San Antonio and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. For over forty-five years he produced programing for PBS and for network and cable television. His feature film adaptation of Tomas Rivera’s novel . . . and the earth did not swallow him (1994) won eleven international awards, including five for Best Picture. His first novel, Willa Brown & the Challengers (2012), is historical fiction based on the real-life African American aviation pioneer Willa Beatrice Brown. Odd Birds is his second novel. Visit his website to learn more. 






GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: Autographed copies of Odd Birds
(US only. Ends 4/8/2022.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
or visit the blogs directly:

3/29/22

Excerpt

Chapter Break Book Blog

3/29/22

Review

The Book’s Delight

3/29/22

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

3/30/22

Author Interview

Sybrina’s Book Blog

3/30/22

Review

Jennie Reads

3/31/22

Review

Forgotten Winds

3/31/22

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

4/1/22

Author Interview

StoreyBook Reviews

4/1/22

Review

Rainy Days with Amanda

4/2/22

Review

Book Fidelity

4/3/22

Bonus Story

All the Ups and Downs

4/4/22

Author Interview

The Page Unbound

4/4/22

Review

It’s Not All Gravy

4/5/22

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

4/6/22

Review

Shelf Life Blog

4/7/22

Review

Book Bustle

4/7/22

Review

Reading by Moonlight

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