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Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men…

Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and… (2014)

by Hector Tobar

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Tobar's moving account of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 96 days is a must-read for anyone interested in the tragic and inspiring ordeal they went through.
Tobar conducted many interviews with the miners, their families and others connected to the saga. He also made himself familiar with mining in general, the San Jose mine in specific as well as the history of the area.
I was most pleased with his tendency to remind us who each miner is when he begins talking about him "Alex Vega, whose wife refused to kiss him goodbye the morning of August 5..." or "Franklin Lobos, the former soccer star..." Otherwise, it would have been much more difficult to keep track of who was who. As it is, some of the miners don't factor into the story much at all and others almost dominate the narrative.
Tobar does well by the miners as he tries to be objective painting each man as neither hero nor villain, just a man who was placed in extraordinary circumstances. Each man is sympathetic and real.
I am glad the miners' official account was handled so well. ( )
  EmScape | Aug 1, 2017 |
It may not be easy to take thirty-three different lives and write about them in a cohesive narrative that is both informative and spellbinding, but that is exactly what author Hector Tobar managed to do. Little by little, the story of these men, trapped in a mine in Chile, comes to life on the pages of this book. Reading like a novel, this nonfiction book will amaze you in its detailed information of the place and times of this doomed mine. One typical morning, these men left for what they thought would only be an hours-long shift, but without warning, turned into weeks and months of hellish existence. And in this book, the reader learns what these men endured while the world waited for the next news flash. Told in painstaking detail, hearing what they suffered and what was needed to be accomplished to free them, it seems impossible that all made it out alive. But they did. Tobar’s account doesn’t end with their rescue, but continues with their adjustment to normal life again. At times heartbreaking as well as uplifting, it is a fascinating story of spirit and determination, both above and below ground. ( )
1 vote Maydacat | Mar 20, 2017 |

Deep DownDark
The Untold Story of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free, by Hector Tobar

The disaster began on a day shift around lunchtime at a mine in Chile's Atacama Desert: Miners working deep inside a mountain, excavating for copper, gold and other minerals, started feeling vibrations. Suddenly, there was a massive explosion and the passageways of the mine filled up with a gritty dust cloud.

When the dust slowly began to settle, the men discovered the source of the explosion: A single block of stone, tall as a forty-five-story building, had broken off from the rest of the mountain and fell through the layers of the mine causing a chain reaction as the mountain above it began to collapse.

Thirty-three miners were sealed inside the mountain by this 770,000 ton megablock of stone. It was twice the weight of the Empire State building. Staring at that flat, smooth wall, Luis Urzua, the crew's supervisor, thought: It's like the stone they rolled over Jesus's tomb.

1 billion of us viewers around the world watched this horror tale unfold on live TV.

On Oct. 13, 2010, all 33 of those Chilean miners trapped for 69 days inside the San Jose Mine were raised to the surface of the earth as the mountain seemed to give birth. They were raised through a newly drilled escape tunnel into which a capsule was slowly lowered and raised by a giant crane. It was a feat of engineering and a triumph of faith. Neither the miners buried under half a mile of rock nor their families above ground in a makeshift tent city called Campo Esperanza ever completely succumbed to despair, despite the fact that for 17 days, before a drill finally broke through to "The Refuge," the room where the men were gathered, no one knew whether they were alive. Thankfully they didn't give them up for dead, even though at this time they were on the brink.

Hector Tobar, a former journalist for the Los Angeles Times, spent three years and hundreds of hours interviewing all 33 miners for his book.

After what happened, the men organized themselves into work shifts, participated in daily prayer sessions, and rationed their emergency food supply into one meal a day of two cookies and a spoonful of tuna fish, augmented by water drained from industrial waste containers. The water contained oil and other debris, but it was drinkable. Above ground, the mostly female crowd of the miners' families acted collectively too: banging pots and pans to get attention and shouting, "We want information," in police officers' faces.

On the 69th day, it took 30 minutes to bring each man to the surface and into the arms of loved ones.
( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
I could not put this book down last night until I had personally ensured the safety of all 33 miners. This is a short but detailed and beautifully written account of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in a mine for 70 days. It is mesmerizing.

I saw earlier that Hector Tobar and Hampton Sides (who wrote [b:In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette|20897517|In the Kingdom of Ice The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette|Hampton Sides|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1395935993s/20897517.jpg|28027377]) were asked to choose their favorite book of the year and each chose the other's. They were both right. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Cities in the desert -- I. Beneath the mountain of thunder and sorrow -- A company man -- The end of everything -- The dinner hour -- "I'm always hungry" -- Red alert! -- "We have sinned" -- Blessed among women -- A flickering flame -- Cavern of dreams -- II. Seeing the devil -- The speed of sound -- Christmas -- Astronauts -- Absolute leader -- Cowboys -- Saints, statues, Satan -- Independence Day -- Rebirth -- III. The Southern Cross -- In a better country -- The tallest tower -- Underground -- Under the stars.
Summary Relates the experiences of the thirty-three men who endured entrapment beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days during the San José mine collapse outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010.
  SMELibrary | Aug 26, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374280606, Hardcover)

When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days. The entire world watched what transpired above-ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, but the saga of the miners' experiences below the Earth's surface—and the lives that led them there—has never been heard until now.
     For Deep Down Dark, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Héctor Tobar received exclusive access to the miners and their tales. These thirty-three men came to think of the mine, a cavern inflicting constant and thundering aural torment, as a kind of coffin, and as a church where they sought redemption through prayer. Even while still buried, they all agreed that if by some miracle any of them escaped alive, they would share their story only collectively. Héctor Tobar was the person they chose to hear, and now to tell, that story.
     The result is a masterwork or narrative journalism—a riveting, at times shocking, emotionally textured account of a singular human event. Deep Down Dark brings to haunting, tactile life the experience of being imprisoned inside a mountain of stone, the horror of being slowly consumed by hunger, and the spiritual and mystical elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place. In its stirring final chapters, it captures the profound way in which the lives of everyone involved in the disaster were forever changed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:36 -0400)

A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist relates the experiences of the thirty-three men who endured entrapment beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days during the San José mine collapse outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010.… (more)

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