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Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
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Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  10,420 ratings  ·  1,492 reviews
When the San Jos mine collapsed outside of Copiap, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days. Across the globe, we sat riveted to television and computer screens as journalists flocked to the Atacama desert. While we saw what transpired above ground during the grueling and protracted rescue ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Suzanne One family member's courage and devotion. The sister who stood up to those in charge and through her actions started the whole family camp at the site…moreOne family member's courage and devotion. The sister who stood up to those in charge and through her actions started the whole family camp at the site. She became a celebrity and her guts and determination drove others to get involved. For the miners I think their brotherhood kept them alive. From reaching deep down dark to rediscover their faith to putting someone else's needs over their own, they came together and kept each other going at the worst of times.(less)
Steph I believe the author stated that there were 2 Isabel Allendes associated with this event. I don't recall where in the book this is mentioned, but it's…moreI believe the author stated that there were 2 Isabel Allendes associated with this event. I don't recall where in the book this is mentioned, but it's somewhere in part 1 since I haven't ready beyond that point just yet.(less)

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Start your review of Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow. This is the incredible story of the 33 miners who were trapped in a Chilean mine for more than two months. Journalist Héctor Tobar had exclusive access to the miners, and his interviews and reporting make for an impressive read.

The San Jose mine, which was more than 120 years old, suffered a massive cave-in on August 5, 2010. Luckily, the 33 miners who were underground at the time were able to get to a refuge, where there was some food and water. The mine lacked numerous safety features, an
Nov 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Strangely, this was a bit plodding. There were many details that were not that interesting. I also had a very, v. difficult time visualizing the mine and the area that the miners were trapped in. I would have liked diagrams and pictures. It was cumbersome to flip to the beginning of the book to look at the pictures of the miners especially b/c they were not in alphabetical order. BUT, the actual story is quite amazing. The men all handle being stuck in the mine differently & that part of the tel ...more
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people looking for a nonfiction page-turner
3.5 stars.

I was going to start by saying that prior to reading this book, I was ignorant of the events described in it because at the time that they were unfolding, I was living under a rock. I then realized that I would be making the most horrible pun ever, so I'll just begin by saying that in August of 2010, I wasn't keeping up with the news. (Here's the wikipedia article for anyone else who needs to be reminded about the background info.)

This book's jam-packed title gives you some idea of h
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
”The San José Mine [on the fringe of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile] spirals down nearly as deep as the tallest building on Earth is tall, and the drive along the Ramp from the surface to the deepest part of the mine is about five miles.

The Atacama Desert is one of the oldest and driest deserts in the world. There was once a river, the Copiapó, which ran through a city of the same name on the edge of the Atacama, but mining and population pressures have long since bled the river dry. Copia
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Don't know about you, but when they announced in in September, 2010 that drillers had found all 33 Chilean miners alive that were trapped 700 meters down in a mine in the Atacama Desert, I, like millions around the globe, was glued to CNN for word on the rescue progress.

While my profile boasts "spelunking" as one of my interests, this is not exactly accurate. I do love caves (and have been to at least a dozen of the US State and National Parks that feature them) but mines (particularly the aban
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a lot of nonfiction, mostly because I worry that the stories will be dry accounts of whatever subjects they concentrate on. But this book was far from a dry account as it detailed the collapse of the San Jose Mine in Chile in 2010, and the subsequent rescue of the thirty-three men trapped inside it for sixty-nine days, two thousand feet below the surface. They lacked a source of fresh water and their original provisions consisted of only enough food for twenty-two men for a grand to ...more
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm feeling torn about my response to this book. The rescue of the 33 Chilean miners made for a gripping story that caught the world's attention as it unfolded. I remember watching the news 17 days after the cave-in. A drill with a camera attached finally broke through to the area where the miners were believed to be trapped. We were braced to witness a tragedy - video of 33 dying or crushed men. When the camera finally returned to surface that expectation was turned into riotous, joyous celebra ...more
Jana Salamanca
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I give this book 4.5 stars. I was completely intrigued from the beginning. I loved that the author was able to humanize the miners with an honest portrayal of emotions that included fear, humility, courage, anger, depression, defeat, happiness, with their personal stories of struggle and faith. In addition, the author also let you into their families own helplessness 2000+ feet aboveground. We also get to experience the miner's lives after their rescue outside of what we saw in the media.

The 33
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

A personable and evocative story told by a journalist that is capable of writing a narrative nonfiction book. Now, on to the movie.

Favorite Quote: It seems silly to Franklin for his fellow miners to think of themselves as national heroes when all they’ve done is gotten themselves trapped in a place where only the desperate and the hard up for cash go to suffer and toil. They are famous now, yes, but that heady sense o
Jenifer Jacobs
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the NPR Bookclub with Ann Patchett!! I'd better hurry - it's 13 hours long and the on air book club is on the 20th!!!
Book Concierge
Book on CD performed by Henry Leyva

From the book jacket: When the San Jose Mine collapsed outside of Copiapo, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for sixty-nine days. The entire world watched what transpired above-ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, but the sage of the miners’ experiences below the Earth’s surface – and the lives that led them there – has never been heard, until now.

My Reactions
What a gripping tale of survival, f
Sarah J.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
“All the evenness of life, the ‘light’ part of it, really stunned me,” Edison says. “It shocked me to see people walking around, living normally. It shocked me because I would say ‘Hey, where I come from isn’t like that. I come from a place where we were fighting desperately to live.’ I came out and found this shit called peace. It threw me off.

That’s my favorite passage of the book. Of course, Edison Pena is the miner who falls apart most severely in the aftermath of rescue.

The story was well
Hank Stuever
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Somewhat gripping and finely reported narrative of a major news event that I just didn't seem to care much about when it was happening in 2010, but was definitely intrigued by now, four-plus years later. I think I just needed this tale told to me in this form -- as a contained work of book-length prose from a trustworthy narrator, instead of round-the-clock and sensational TV coverage. I can't imagine the amount of notes, transcribing (and translating!) that Hector Tobar had to to sort through h ...more
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I enjoyed this book--found it riveting and revealing. My husband did not feel the same: He likes action, and there was very little action for the 33 trapped miners in the first 17 days. I liked it because I am very interested in what was going on in their minds--before, during, and especially after the mine collapsed around them. I remember seeing the first miner emerge and remember the relief I felt for him and for them. I plan to share this book with friends but will warn them it's NOT swashbu ...more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Deep. Down. Dark. The title says it all. Like the vast and terrible San Jose copper mine, this true story has many voices, many layers, many veins. The main narrative centers on how 33 disparate personalities—righteous and profane; egocentric and meek—survive their ordeal together. But the warnings and after-shocks stay with you, too, from the voice of the mine itself, a haunting wail that precedes the disaster, to the echoes of trauma and epiphany that alter the lives of the men long after they ...more
Cindy Gates
Made no sense why publisher didn't insist on drawings or diagrams to help the reader with logistics of their entrapment and eventual rescue. To not have the men with their photos listed alphabetically is ridiculous. Captivating story of survival but terribly frustrating with lack of helpful info. Jumped from measurements of feet and meters. Unnecessarily frustrating.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
In August 2010 the San Jose mine outside of Copiapo, Chili collapsed , trapping 33 men in the bowels of the earth. They were stuck so far down, it took 18 days for rescuers to discover the men were all still alive. At that point, the world came together and rushed to try to pull the men out. No one was hopeful, a rescue of this magnitude had never been attempted.

Hector Tobar's telling of the men's story is gripping. He writes with brutal honesty, of the lives of the men before, during and after
The book was great, I really liked how the story was written.
Lindsey Silvestrini
Who wasn't enthralled in the story of these 33 men buried alive? Everyone was tuned in, waiting the outcome, hoping, stressing, praying. I was really looking forward to hearing their story and what went on down there. It's such an intriguing real life story with an actual happy ending, Deep Down Dark goes behind the scenes and tells us their story.

33 men: 69 days unimaginable but it happened in Chile in 2010. Until now it was one of those news stories we all remember but Hector Tobar has brought
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because it was recommended by Ann Patchett on NPR's new book club. I wouldn't have read it otherwise. I remember watching this story unfold on CNN and was amazed that these miners were alive. This book is very in depth and detailed and that's where it became very slow reading. I believe that the author had the best intentions in recording every meal, every movement, every thought, etc. of these men but it doesn't make for compelling reading.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It was difficult for me to keep the 33 men straight in my head while listening to it on audiobook. I liked how the author reminded us with small phrases like "with the heart of the dog" or "the man who gave his wife a long hug," but I wish I had not needed those character reminders. Overall I liked this and am glad I gave it a try. I was pleased to educate myself about an event I knew little about but that was so important to Chile.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hearing Deep Down Dark (audio version) by Hector Tobar is amazing emotional experience. It runs through almost all emotions that man can experience. You are afraid with the miners, despondent, exhilarated, lighthearted, fearing, surprised, impressed, and inspired. This is the true story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped by a collapse of the San Jose Mine for 69 days. It would seem like a miracle if any of them survived but all 33 did.

The author takes us from the morning of when the men f
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, audio
This book was well reviewed which I suppose is why I wanted to read it. Though also I like stories of people surviving natural catastrophes. I thought, as I was reading the book, that it might only be a 4-star, but then around halfway through, it changed for me. I think it was from the point at which the miners were discovered that it changed. It is rare for me but I had tears in my eyes when the Note, tied to the drill bit that finally penetrated the miners' refuge, was discovered by the people ...more
Hector Tobar's Deep Down Dark, was not a miracle for me. When I tried to pinpoint how it could have been portrayed better I couldn't. I believe the nature and reality of the story is cumbersome. The events, lives and details were staggering. It was overload. And yet I kept going to the internet to get diagrams of the mine and pictures to put with the story. I read as much on line as I did from the book. On one hand it was to much, and on the other to little.

There are so many people involved with
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm ashamed to say that I don't remember when this happened (August 2010) and that I was probably on a Mediterranean cruise when after 69 days buried underground, these miners were rescued. Hector Tobar does an excellent job of personalizing the plights of the miners by giving us their backstories and anecdotes about their families and private lives. I feel that I came to know them well.
Imagine my excitement when I learned that this will be a major motion picture called The 33. It is being relea
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I got bogged down a bit in places as author it seemed told every minute detail of the entrapment but it was fascinating to read how the 33 made it through such physical, mental and emotional stress.
With this compelling narrative of a catastrophic mine collapse and the resulting burial alive of 33 miners and subsequent massive rescue efforts, Hector Tobar does a good job of explaining the various social and economic factors that contributed to the mine's collapse while presenting each trapped miner, despite his fears, failings, and character flaws, in an entirely humane and dignified manner. This is a compelling tale of perseverance amid devastating privation as well as a telling commentary ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this a couple of years ago and was reminded when I saw it on someone else's list. I was fascinated by the personalities of the men, their families back at home, and the whole mining industry. It takes brave men and women to work in such trying conditions.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pictures! This book so obviously needs pictures!
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This story of these men is absolutely fascinating. However, I didn't care for the writing style and was really craving some pictures!! So glad I read this, but I'm left wanting more.
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Play Book Tag: Deep Down Dark-4 stars (Polls) 4 stars 1 4 Jun 25, 2020 08:59AM  
Rolla Public Libr...: BotM Oct. "Deep Down Dark" by Hector Tobar 2 1 Oct 22, 2019 09:33AM  
Middle Chapters 1 1 Feb 14, 2019 06:36AM  
Prologue 1 1 Jan 23, 2019 07:26AM  
Play Book Tag: Deep Down Dark - Hector Tobar - 5 stars 1 16 Sep 16, 2018 09:01PM  
Monroe Public Lib...: The 33 4 1 Aug 27, 2018 08:06PM  
Around the Year i...: Deep Down Dark, by Hector Tobar 3 12 Mar 21, 2017 08:25PM  

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Héctor Tobar, now a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and a novelist. He is the author of Translation Nation and The Tattooed Soldier. The son of Guatemalan immigrants, he is a native of the city of Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and three children.

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