David Seth Micheal’s Tulum is a read that draws you in, grinning to yourself at the sweet honesty of the workings of the author’s mind. I found myself reading ever quicker as the story unfolded, not wanting to break the spell, not wanting my own reality to dare interrupt my foray into Tulum’s magical hold. Yet, I neared the end, I slowed, savoring, not wanting it to end.
Set in isolated and beautiful Quintana Roo, Mexico’s villages, Tulum is a journey of an un-average man in a relatively unspoiled place. It is pure Mexico, from the quirky inhabitants, to the arbitrary rules of the dog-police, to the bribes and communal sharing by its Mayan residents. His seedy past has drawn him to its isolation, a place to dream and write, yet circumstances entwine him, and suddenly his life changes drastically. You learn everything evolves, from the onslaught of touristas, to a “retired” man’s new vocation.
The world of Tulum paints beautiful pictures of both the mystical and mundane parts of human existence, through the ever-suprising and imaginative voice of the narrator. Its a journey of utter honesty, from manly desires for a beautiful woman, to the temptation of profits in the seedy underworld of drug traffickers, to a spiritual journey with an unlikely and bemused mentor.
A little bit Hunter S. Thompson, a little reminiscent of Castenada, but entirely unique, Micheal’s storytelling found me rapt in his story, and longing for the next installment. The writing was fresh and guileless, totally self-aware to both the glories and follies of the human mind; whether a lizard basking in the sun, or a wizard drinking tequila.
You will be amused. You will be intrigued. Mostly? You will fall in love with Tulum.