Carlos, a young man who has grown up near El Paso, Texas, succumbs to the allure of Mexico and crosses the Rio Grande to embark on a mythic journey. Bearing the scars of a cruel childhood, Carlos is eager to escape the United States, a country he finds insipid, inauthentic, and hypocritical. In contrast, the northern Mexico countryside offers him a chaotic reality in which he battles a gigantic foe in a boxing match, eats snakes, and befriends a hunchbacked dwarf who tells tales of brutality and revolution in Carlos' newly adopted homeland. It is from this dwarf that Carlos learns of Chavez, guerilla champion of the oppressed who is engaged in a battle of attrition and vengeance against the militia henchmen of Joaquin Mueller, a land- and power-hungry hacendado. Carlos joins the outlaw Chavez and his band of men in their struggle against Mueller. It is a struggle that will overwhelm Carlos with death and loss, setting him on a path for revenge of his own. ""When the dreams come I taste the dust, the dry, swirling Mexican earth kicked up by galloping horses and running men.
W. C. Jameson is an award-winning songwriter and performer and is the author or editor of fifty books, including Hot Coffee and Cold Truth and Legend and Lore of the Guadalupe Mountains (UNM Press). Beating the Devil is his first novel.