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“Harrowing….The graceful, incisive writing lifts “The Beast” from being merely an impressive feat of reportage into the realm of literature. Mr. Martínez has produced something that is an honorable successor to enduring works like George Orwell’s “The Road to Wigan Pier” or Jacob Riis’s “How the Other Half Lives.”—New York Times
“The most extraordinary (and harrowing) book I read this year. Beautiful and searing and impossible to put down.”–Junot Díaz
“The world that Oscar Martínez, a Salvadoran journalist, set out to report on five years ago is so violent, depraved and hellish, you can hardly believe he survived to tell the tale... rugged prose, beautifully translated.” –The Economist
“Martínez is a powerful storyteller and his approach to investigative journalism is closer to anthropological immersion: He walks with migrants through bloody forests, eats with them at spartan shelters, and rides with them atop speeding trains.” –Columbia Journalism Review
“The Beast, like so many great books, lands on you with a revelatory frisson, the arrival of a story we didn’t know we were waiting to hear.” –Los Angeles Review of Books
“… Martínez’s debut is the hard-won result of immersive journalism."—Kirkus
"This searing account of the hardships suffered by Central American migrants headed through Mexico to the United States comes from true shoe-leather reporting." —Publisher's Weekly
“To understand the dramatic realities faced by the migrants who flee northwards to find work in the United States, Óscar Martínez literally jumped trains and dodged killers. He deserves praise not only for his efforts, and for what he writes about, but because he writes so very well.”
—Jon Lee Anderson, staff reporter for the New Yorker
“A heartbreaking book about the world’s most invisible people. A revelatory work of love and hair-raising courage.” —Alma Guillermoprieto, Latin America correspondent for the New York Review of Books, author of Dancing with Cuba
“Óscar Martínez is a journalist of uncommon bravery and a writer of prodigious talent. The Beast is a powerful, necessary book, one of the finest pieces of journalism to emerge from Latin America in years.” —Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles
Posted December 22, 2013
The Beast is a must read for anyone concerned about undocumented workers entering the United States. The Beast focuses on the tremendous challenges faced by people trying to enter the US to escape intolerable conditions in their home countries and the added difficulties faced due to increased efforts on the part of the US to reduce the flow. The influence of drug cartels was particularly eye opening..
Whatever your views on immigration reform, The Beast provides first hand insight into the often nightmarish conditions incurred by people looking to leave behind their old lives for something better.
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Posted March 13, 2014
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