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The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis…

The Devil's Highway: A True Story (2004)

by Luis Alberto Urrea

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7934116,670 (3.99)75

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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
A non-fiction novel, The Devil’s Highway tells about 26 immigrants getting lost as they cross the desert into Arizona with only 12 surviving.

I like listening to podcasts, and recently RadioLab had a three-part series on immigration. They began reading from a book and talking about how a man got interested in the people who die in the Arizona desert crossing the border. He wanted to help people learn what happened to their family members. The series also dealt with El Paso and why crossing the border changed, causing immigrants to choose the desert when it’s a place that is so inhospitable that humans cannot live there long. This book is the book they began their series with, quoting from it. Coincidentally, Audiobook Sync released it as one of their novels this summer. It was meant to be--I absolutely had to listen to it. I would recommend reading it because there’s a lot to remember and process. I would have done better reading it--I would forget something, and because it’s hard to backtrack on audio, I wouldn’t, so I know I missed some connections and some content.

The author explains the history of the area, discusses the biological facts of the body in a desert, and tells the story from both points of view--the border agents and the immigrants. Only after the deaths could the story be pieced together--Urrea finds the missteps that caused the deaths of these men. It’s a fascinating tale of the coyotes who take advantage of the desperate who seek a better life, of the border agents who work day and night in remote locations risking their own lives to help and detain those who cross, and of the people who find their lives shortened by a planned, short outing in the desert. It’s brutal but a story to know about. No matter your opinion on immigration, this explains some of the history and the dangers involved. ( )
  acargile | Jul 17, 2018 |
I wish they'd picked a different reader for the audiobook. The "story" was wonderful and heartbreaking and infuriating and fascinating, but the narrator was SOOOO BAD. Stilted. Look Alberto, I get you wrote it and did all the research, but you CANNOT read aloud. Please don't try! It was like really bad spoken word poetry. ( )
1 vote benuathanasia | May 10, 2018 |
An unforgettable, moving account of the plights of the immigrants who steal over the U.S./Mexico border in the desert. We often forget - or don't think very long and hard about - the sacrifices they make to come here, why they do, and those they leave behind back in Mexico/Central America. After reading this I'll never again think this is just a cut-&-dried legal issue. ( )
  catzkc | Mar 23, 2018 |
This was such an intense and oftentimes painful read. I’m so glad to have read it, to have learned some dire truths about this issue that is rife with shades of gray, and that I believe everyone should be further educated upon. At a certain point, it’s not about what you believe regarding immigration, but that you be educated before forming your thoughts on the matter at all. We owe that to ourselves and each other, and Urrea’s book is a fantastic place to start. ( )
  christina.h | Mar 2, 2018 |
The first fifth was interesting about the routines and procedures of the border patrols in Yuma vs Tuscon.

If you haven't already read Ted Conover's Coyotes read it first (or instead). ( )
1 vote mtdewrock | Dec 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Working with material from numerous interviews with many of the survivors of the ill-fated expedition, their families and the Border Patrol officers, and dramatizing -- which is to say, conjuring and imagining -- the links between the facts he has and the facts he doesn't have, Urrea, a poet, goes further than most previous attempts by journalists of every level of ability who have tackled this subject before.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316010804, Paperback)

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. "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."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:12 -0400)

An account of "twenty-six men who in May 2001 attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadly region known as the Devil's Highway ... Only twelve of the men made it out."--Cover p. [4].

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Average: (3.99)
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1.5 3
2 2
3 20
3.5 16
4 69
4.5 10
5 45


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