This article is from the March 1999 The Mexico File newsletter.
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Book Review
God and Mr Gomez

by Jack Smith

(Santa Barbara, CA: Capra Press, 1997, reprint edition. ISBN 0-88496-419-1; $12.95.)

Reviewed by Robert B. Simmonds, Ph.D.

Jack Smith was a daily columnist for the Los Angeles Times until his death in January, 1996, as well as the author of ten books and numerous magazine articles. God and Mr. Gomez is his hilarious account of an adventure he and his wife embarked on – building an escape-for-the-weekend dream house overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Baja California just south of Ensenada. The success of the project depends entirely on Mr. Romulo Gomez, who, they discovered, may or may not own the land on which the house was built. A variety of adventures keeps the Smiths on tinterhooks during the construction of the house, a reflection of the frustrating (for American minds) mañana attitude that often confronts Americans living and doing business in Mexico. The lives of all parties becomes intertwined over the years through their various marriages, births and deaths, always with an attitude of love and respect.

This is a delightful little book, and it has achieved something of a cult following among many norteamericanos who have built houses in Mexico. Even if you are just a Mexico traveler and have no intention of building a house there, read and enjoy this book. You will recognize the clash in cultural attitudes which prevail on both sides of the border...and you’ll delight in how they blend.