The Beginning of His Excellent & Eventful Career is a fully realized novel about the Mexican revolution and Francisco “Pancho” Villa, the man who began it all. Cameron MacKenzie’s knowledge of Mexican history is extraordinary. So is his ability to weave that history into a fictional tapestry that reads as a novel should … as fast as Pancho Villa’s galloping horse. This is a remarkable debut by a remarkable writer.
—Pablo Medina, author of Cubop City Blues
Cameron MacKenzie has fused historical narrative with first-person memoir and the result is a tremendously compelling (and terrifying) amalgamation—part historical novel, part soliloquy, part sadistic bandit’s bildungsroman.… melds myth and legend, memoir and fiction to create an astounding psychological portrait of Villa … theater of cruelty meets American Psycho.… MacKenzie doesn’t soften the terrible facts of history … gives us the internal theater of the Mexican Revolution—ghastly cruelty, exuberant violence.… Villa’s psychological journey is a map governed by the facts of history. The result is a memoir that sounds like a war lord’s confession … a significant and troubling achievement …that allows for a gripping read.
—Marion Wrenn, co-editor, Painted Bride Quarterly
… captures the frenzy and ferocity of a time of great turmoil. Cameron MacKenzie expertly reworks the Mexican Revolution into a fast-paced, first-person narrative of cinematic vividness.…
—Alexander Pepple, Editor, Able Muse
… a novel that elicits equal parts jealousy and fascination.… MacKenzie has mastered the art of the sentence, each self-contained and threatening violence.… taps into the universality of the human experience and in an ethnically fluid narrative. A truly brilliant work.
—Tim Fitts, author of Hypothermia