I read this collection of short stories on my vacation in Costa Rica and I found it lent an interesting depth to my trip. Most of the stories are about hard lives of manual labor for the banana company, and grinding poverty. It's easy to overlook that part of the history while playing tourist because of the easygoing friendliness and warmth of the Ticos and the natural beauty of the country. So as travel reading, it's first rate. Speaking as a reader, many of the stories were good reading, but the book is worth the price just for the excellent and disturbing short story "Here" by Louis Ducoudray.