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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Lyrically written, beautifully told, this haunting book documents the tragedy in the brief life of an illegal alien in New York City. The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Gutierrez is a major new work from one of America's best-known journalists. Jimmy Breslin gives us a tour de force combination: a back-story of what life is like for those who risk all to cross from Mexico illegally, and a classic investigative report on a shady building operation in Brooklyn that ends a dream and a life in an instant. Scandal followed for many connected to the corrupt construction project. But for Eduardo Gutierrez, the illegal alien from San Matias, Mexico, the worksite cave-in not only took his life but virtually erased his identity; he was virtually unnoted in the media blitz that followed.
Breslin does for Eduardo's story what he does best: skillfully restoring the human dimension, reminding us it is not just another tale of corruption with an unhappy ending. He reveals the larger tragedy within: the plight of those beyond our borders who also want and need a better life, who also have dreams. This story goes far beyond mere facts and legalisms. This time it has a name: Eduardo Gutierrez.
Breslin's narrative gives dignity to the man, thus personalizing what is usually spoken of as an abstract problem. Sweet Dream is stunningly written, almost poetic in style, filled with powerful images that are hard to forget. It is a wonderful achievement, both in investigative journalism and in the lyrical narrative tradition. (Elena Simon)
Elena Simon lives in New York City.