Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

America South by Jesse Myner

america-southJesse Myner sent me this book of his, a collection of stories from his South American travels, a while back, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A former futures trader, Jesse wisely cashed out several years ago and now spends his time traveling the globe, getting himself into bizarre and hilarious situations:

I awoke to her glaring at me. She was withdrawn to the far side of the bed. Who was Maria, she said. I didn’t know what she was talking about. Who is she? Digame. I don’t know any Maria. Mentiroso. Tell me. Who is she? You talked to her all night in your sleep.

America South covers the gamut from sex (“My Ugly Nigger,” “Maria & Luciana”) to the various touristy sights of Peru, Argentina and other countries (“In Patagonia,” “A Tiny Crystal”) to crime and violence (“Papaya,” “Butch Cassidy”), totalling 25 stories in all. Most are brief enough to read in about a couple minutes, with Jesse’s laconic writing style and hilarious observations ensuring you’ll blow through the whole thing in less than an hour. I particularly enjoyed “Las Chinches,” a digression on the ubiquity of bedbugs in Peru, ending in a… strange encounter with a girl:

Delirious from a blood meal the bed bug goes into seclusion for ten days to digest, molt into its next nymphal stage, and to mate and lay eggs. The mating process is a most peculiar one termed ‘traumatic insemination’ and involves the male bed bug mounting the female and with his hypodermic genitalia piercing her abdomen and ejaculating into her body cavity. Sexual attraction between bed bugs is based primarily upon their size, and it is not uncommon for a male bed bug to attempt to mate with another male, bloated from a recent blood feeding, and will mount and wound him in the abdomen as he ejaculates inside him.

My primary issue with America South is that being a collection of stories, there’s no greater narrative; with the exception of the “La Guajira” series, nothing ties Jesse’s adventures together aside from the fact that they all take place in South America. Still, for the price, America South is an interesting and funny book and a good addition to the travel genre.

Click here to buy America South.

Read Next: A Dead Bat in Paraguay: One Man’s Peculiar Journey Through South America by Roosh V