Tommy's Reviews > Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border

Across the Wire by Luis Alberto Urrea
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's review
Mar 04, 2011

really liked it
Read from May 26 to June 01, 2011

While not quite as compelling as Urrea's later "The Devil's Highway", this is still gripping writing. At his best, Mr. Urrea feels like non-fiction's answer to Cormac McCarthy. Using sparse, visual language, he creates imagery that cuts straight to the truth. He is the son of an American mother and Mexican father, and he has seen the wire from both sides.

No matter how you feel about the challenges that haunt the U.S./Mexico border - and I know that's an emotional, politically charged argument - this book tells personal stories of men and women who have lived on one or both sides, and the struggles they face, whether trying to find a better life, outrun demons or dealers, or simply survive in a world that seems to know few pleasures outside of mere survival. The book peaks with "Father's Day", the story of Urrea's father's tragic death.

This book was written in the early 90's, I believe. Keep that in mind as you read it. I truly recommend "Devil's Highway", a compelling true story of 20+ Mexicans attempting to cross over into the U.S. Urrea puts you right there in the desert, amid the scorpions and the heat.

If you pick it up, be prepared to keep reading. "Across the Wire" is a hard one to put down.


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05/26/2011 page 137
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