The author of Across the Wire offers brilliant investigative reporting of what went wrong when, in May 2001, a group of 26 men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona. Only 12 men came back out.
©2004 Luis Alberto Urrea (P)2011 Hachette
"Superb... Nothing less than a saga on the scale of the Exodus and an ordeal as heartbreaking as the Passion.... The book comes vividly alive with a richness of language and a mastery of narrative detail that only the most gifted of writers are able to achieve. (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
Runner, Commuter, Dietitian with a passion for U.S. History.
Very graphic and not for everyone. Occasionally I'd have to switch the iPod to lighter listening, only to find it insipid, long for this horribly graphic, incredibly sad story and switch it back again.
This is one of many tragedies of 2001 that was totally eclipsed and further complicated by 9/11.
There is an interactive map and a few photos if you google the book title, as well as a National Geographic article available on the internet about one of the wildlife areas mentioned that I found to be excellent companions to this book. I wish this type of material was included as a PDF download in more audiobooks that have so much to do with a place.
There is also an afterward, consisting of an interview with the author and acknowledgements that gave additional context after the book.
Yes, I would definitely recommend this book. However, I would only recommend this book to a select group of readers who have an open mind and are searching for something a little different. I'm not too sure why I initially selected this particular download as it wouldn't have been my initial preference, but I had a surplus of credits. I'm so glad I picked this book. I am now googling the author, reading his interviews with Bill Moyers and now I'm hooked.
It's a haunting and harrowing read, much like Cormac Mccarthy's The Road. It's dark, gloomy, and in your face. While many readers get turned off with the grotesque details, I feel leaving out those details discounts the plight of the walkers and La Migra.
There were no favorite scenes, but I wish the author would have invested more time in doing more follow up research on the dead walkers, the survivors and the Border Patrol agents who played a role in the rescue efforts.
The Road to Perdition
Urrea's narration of his book was pure genius. His tone, pitch, mood, and command of the story was flawless. I stopped myself on several occasions fast forwarding to the key moments of despair due to the anxiety the was building inside of me.
I am using this book in a chicana/o literature program and it is by far my favorite book on the list. The author does a great job of narrating the story. This book is incredibly important, very well written, and a great listen. In spite of dealing with a horrible event, an event that is rendered with such a visceral realism that you feel you are dying in the dessert, it is still a well told, often funny, narrative. The story encompasses the complete experience of this boarder event and the people it involves. In fact, the empathy of the author for all who become involved is phenomenal. You get to know everyone in a very firsthand way: the boarder patrol, the immigrants, and the coyote. It is such an accomplishment.
By listening to a book while I walk the dog or cook,I can be enjoying two books at once!
This book covers a difficult subject matter. It is non-fiction, but the author makes it such a great book, you are able to stay with it.
Urrea paints a detailed picture of the impoverished Mexicans who desire to improve their lives, and the fate that befalls them en route to the fabled promised land of the USA. His research is astounding and covers all sides of the story. His voice reading the text enriches the content. If only the politicians would wake up and create reasonable immigration policies, 2-3 year work permits perhaps, perhaps these tragedies would not occur.
This book is beautifully written and read. One of the rare times the author can narrate. It's very difficult to understand how this kind of thing happens and very sad to hear about. The coyotes are the most despicable people.
Yes and no. Very frustrating at times the beginning is half Spanish.
Probably wont listen to another again
Yeah I guess so
I just could not get into it. I felt bad. I really thought I would like it. It is such an important story. It was all over the place and the narrator sounded like he was reading the phone book. He did not help in making it interesting.
I live in an area that has alot of illegal aliens so thier stories always intrigue me. The upside to this book is you learn alot about where they come from and the conditions they left. The most interesting part is the description of how illegals are approached by a "broker" who ultimately gets them to the border. That whole process was interesting.
Overall, the story drug out too long. It seemed as if they were lost in the desert forever but the description of the experience seemed the same - just repeated over and over.
The least enjoyable part was the performance. The pentameter of the speech was very jerky to me.
This isnt the worst book i've listened to but I just did not enjoy the experience of it as much as some others might.
Invaluable to Everyone.
The entire book was moving from the viewpoint of the illegal immigrants as well as the border patrols.
Sheds light on illegal immigrants that was invaluable to every American.
"Important, angry, beautifully written and read"
A true story written like an angry elegy. Hard to listen to in parts, but that's the point. Urrea wants us to face into the reality. It's true, it really happened, and it's still happening. It is an important story beyond the US-Mexican border also.
Urrea is a novelist and essayist; this is clear throughout this story which is full of facts and analysis but presented with a storyteller's skill. The book won several awards and shortlisted for the Pulitzer. I will seek out Urrea's other novels now.
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