Coverart for item
The Resource The devil's highway : a true story, Luis Alberto Urrea

The devil's highway : a true story, Luis Alberto Urrea

Label
The devil's highway : a true story
Title
The devil's highway
Title remainder
a true story
Statement of responsibility
Luis Alberto Urrea
Title variation
devils highway
Title variation remainder
a true story
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Tone
Award
YALSA Outstanding Book for the College Bound, 2009.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ In May 2001, 26 Mexican men scrambled across the border and into an area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil's Highway. Only 12 made it safely across. American Book Award–winning writer and poet Urrea (Across the Wire ; Six Kinds of Sky ; etc.), who was born in Tijuana and now lives outside Chicago, tracks the paths those men took from their home state of Veracruz all the way norte . Their enemies were many: the U.S. Border Patrol ("La Migra"); gung-ho gringo vigilantes bent on taking the law into their own hands; the Mexican Federales; rattlesnakes; severe hypothermia and the remorseless sun, a "110 degree nightmare" that dried their bodies and pounded their brains. In artful yet uncomplicated prose, Urrea captivatingly tells how a dozen men squeezed by to safety, and how 14 others—whom the media labeled the Yuma 14—did not. But while many point to the group's smugglers (known as coyotes) as the prime villains of the tragedy, Urrea unloads on, in the words of one Mexican consul, "the politics of stupidity that rules both sides of the border." Mexican and U.S. border policy is backward, Urrea finds, and it does little to stem the flow of immigrants. Since the policy results in Mexicans making the crossing in increasingly forbidding areas, it contributes to the conditions that kill those who attempt it. Confident and full of righteous rage, Urrea's story is a well-crafted mélange of first-person testimony, geographic history, cultural and economic analysis, poetry and an indictment of immigration policy. It may not directly influence the forces behind the U.S.'s southern border travesties, but it does give names and identities to the faceless and maligned "wetbacks" and "pollos," and highlights the brutality and unsustainable nature of the many walls separating the two countries. Maps not seen by PW . (Apr. 2) Forecast: Urrea has received coverage for his previous writing projects in numerous arts-related publications and has a loyal fan base. A six-city author tour and radio interviews will expand his audience further. The book has been optioned as the debut movie of Tucson-based Creative Dreams Inc. and is scheduled to begin filming in October 2004. --Staff (Reviewed March 8, 2004) (Publishers Weekly, vol 251, issue 10, p66)
  • This is a book about death and dying along the Mexico-Arizona border—the Devil's Highway. It is not a simple book but instead a powerful account of 26 men from Veracruz, Mexico, who tried to enter the United States illegally in May 2001; 14 died in the Southwest desert as a consequence. Urrea (Wandering Times ; Across the Wire ) tells the story in the vernacular, adding to the impact of a tragedy that could have been averted. All of the men fell victim to the scalding sun and to dehydration, but the real culprits were the "coyotes" (or middle men) who recruited the Mexicans, taking their money with a promise of jobs in Los Estados Unidos , and the runners who led the crossing. Twelve of the men survived, providing Urrea with testimony of what has been a serious problem in Mexican-U.S. relations—exacerbated by the events of 9/11. Highly recommended for all libraries.—Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., AL --Boyd Childress (Reviewed March 15, 2004) (Library Journal, vol 129, issue 5, p96)
  • /* Starred Review */ The rueful, fate-wracked tale of 26 men who tried to cross into the US from Mexico but chose the wrong time, place, and guide. More than half would die, turned to cinder in the sun-blasted desert of southern Arizona. American Book Award–winner Urrea (Wandering Time, 1999, etc.) tells this grim story wonderfully; like the Border Patrol's trackers, he cuts back and forth, looking for signs, following tracks wherever they might lead. This means relating the various biographies of the "walkers" themselves and discovering what drove them north, from the desire for a new life to a season's work in the orange groves to a job putting a new roof on a house. It means delving into the disastrous Mexican state, with its "catastrophic political malfeasance that forced the walkers to flee their homes and bake to death in the western desert." Urrea notes the shift in tactics, thanks to the Border Patrol's extremely effective interdiction and prevention policies, which now compel guides to take walkers over the most remote and dangerous routes. They will often be abandoned if the going gets too tough, as happened here. Urrea spends time in the ratty border hotels and towns ("Sonoita smells like bad fruit and sewage. Blue clouds of exhaust leak from the dying cars"), and he spends time with the Patrol, especially the trackers, who can read so much from a footprint that it's scary. But not as scary as hyperthermia and its ugly progress: the first stages of stress and fatigue, on through syncope and cramps, to the dreadful sludge of exhaustion and stroke. This is not the peaceful sleep-death brought on by freezing; it's reeling and raging, and when a man's son dies in his arms, "the father lurched away into the desert, away from the trees, crying out in despair."A horrendous story told with bitter skill, highlighting the whole sordid, greedy mess that attends illegal broader crossings. (Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2004)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
189668
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Urrea, Luis Alberto
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Human smuggling
  • Illegal aliens
  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Mexican-American Border Region
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a true story
Label
The devil's highway : a true story, Luis Alberto Urrea
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Back Bay readers' pick"--Cover
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Cutting the drag. The rules of the game -- Dead man's sign. In Veracruz ; The coyote and the chicken ; El guía ; Jesús walks among us ; In Sonoita ; A pepsi for the apocalypse ; Bad step at bluebird ; Killed by the light -- In desolation. The long walk ; Their names ; Broken promis ; The trees and the sun ; Helicopters -- Aftermath. Aftermath ; Home
Control code
587765
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First Back Bay paperback edition.
Extent
xvi, 239 pages, 11 pages
Isbn
9780316010801
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
map
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780316010801
Label
The devil's highway : a true story, Luis Alberto Urrea
Publication
Note
"Back Bay readers' pick"--Cover
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Cutting the drag. The rules of the game -- Dead man's sign. In Veracruz ; The coyote and the chicken ; El guía ; Jesús walks among us ; In Sonoita ; A pepsi for the apocalypse ; Bad step at bluebird ; Killed by the light -- In desolation. The long walk ; Their names ; Broken promis ; The trees and the sun ; Helicopters -- Aftermath. Aftermath ; Home
Control code
587765
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First Back Bay paperback edition.
Extent
xvi, 239 pages, 11 pages
Isbn
9780316010801
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
map
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780316010801

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
Processing Feedback ...