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  • Illegal: A True Story of Love, Revolution and Crossing Borders

  • By: John Dennehy
  • Narrated by: Joe Passaro
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

A raw account of a young American abroad grasping for meaning, this pulsating story of violent protests, illegal border crossings, and loss of innocence raises questions about the futility of borders and the irresistible power of nationalism. Illegal tells the true story of love, deception, revolutions, and deportations as it chronicles the trials of John Dennehy. A naïve New Yorker, Dennehy refuses to be part of the feverish nationalism of post 9/11 America. His search for hope takes him to Ecuador, where he falls in love with firebrand Lucia.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • engaging and interesting

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 05-07-18

Timely, Compelling---Loved This

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-04-18

In Illegal, journalist John Dennehy takes readers on a guided tour of the precarious border crossings he took shortly after the reelection of George W. Bush. One such crossing ended with his deportation back to the United States from Ecuador. And yet he was driven to sneak back into that country by a blinding love, and a life that often seemed--and would often prove--too good to be entirely true. His decision to live outside the US was the result of his many brushes with an uptick in nationalism there, including getting beaten up by a mob in the streets of New York because he dared protest the lead-up to the Iraq War.

Illegal is narrative journalism and autobiography that goes by quickly at about 200 pages. But Dennehy uses his own story as a lens through which to address issues much larger than himself. It's not just self-indulgent travel porn. In a very self-aware, earnest way, he asks big questions. Is it possible to maintain your most deeply held beliefs and goals in the face of bruising reality? If goods are allowed to cross borders freely, why can't people (with the minimum amount of necessary security in place)? Are people who they are or are they who we perceive them to be and who they present themselves as? At the outset of Illegal, Dennehy is a recent college graduate with a robust set of ideals. As the story progresses he doesn't lose them but they are tempered. One gets the sense that were the story to begin with an older, more mature Dennehy, he might have been able to get close to anticipating the very mess his country is in now