The Devil's Highway

2012/12/22

The Devil's Highway: A True StoryThe Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A beautiful little book that really humanizes the issues at the border on both sides. The amount of research he must have done seems incredible. I have enjoyed his fiction so much, it was great to try his non-fiction as well.

What I loved:
His writing style is very engaging and beautiful even though it is informative non-fiction. I loved exploring the men involved as fully human characters.

What I learned:
A lot about the perspectives on both sides of the border. I think Urrea did a great job of staying impartial and showing the issues that all of the different parties deal with. I unfortunately also learned a lot about what it means to die of sun exposure and dehydration. Harrowing.

I love the very opening paragraph:
Five men stumbled out of the mountain pass so sunstruck that they didn't know their own names, couldn't remember where they'd come from, had forgotten how long they'd been lost... They were burned nearly black, their lips huge and cracking, what paltry drool still available to them spuming from their mouths in a salty foam as they walked. Their eyes were cloudy with dust, almost too dry to blink up a tear. Their hair was hard and stiffened by old sweat, standing in crowns from their scalps, old sweat because their bodies were no longer sweating. They were drunk from having their brains baked in the pan, they were seeing God and devils, and they were dizzy from drinking their own urine, the poisons clogging their systems.


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