Gringo: Used as a disparaging term for a foreigner in Latin America, especially an American or English person. He who speaks an unintelligible language, thus he who is a foreigner, a stranger. The American Heritage Dictionary The first installment of Travis Barrett's magnum opus was Strangers, a nightmarish look at illegal immigration that became recommended reading for Mothers Against Illegal Immigration and described by a Barrelhouse reviewer as Barrett's "masterwork," and "The Most Important Book of the Twenty-First Century." The review went on to say, "THANK GOD someone has finally mustered the courage to write this book" and called Barrett a "great American." Like its predecessor Strangers, Gringo de-romanticizes immigration, legal or illegal, by depicting it as a Darwinian struggle for survival, an act of desperation. Gone is the time when immigration could be seen as a building of a glorious new nation and civilization. In the 20th and 21st centuries, it has become a process of cultural and national disintegration and dissolution.
Thus, Gringo is more than just a story of illegal immigration; it is a depiction of America's decline and fall.Written in the naturalistic tradition of Zola, Crane, Norris, and Dreiser, Gringo does not seeks to lighten the burden of reality, but to give a truer representation of it. It seeks not to light a candle in the darkness, but to extinguish the flame so that the darkness can be more fully appreciated.