The Jaguar's Children

8 CDs. 9:30 hrs. Books on Tape. 2015. ISBN 9780553551402. $40. digital download. F
OrangeReviewStarHector is trapped inside the back of a sealed water truck as he is attempts to sneak into the United States. He and the 14 other passengers have been abandoned by the coyotes who have taken all their money and left them. Hector dictates his story over four days of dwindling food and water in darkness into a friend's cell phone with the desperate hope that the person attached to the name AnniMac in the directory will get the message and somehow save him and his fellow travelers. Vaillant's (The Tiger) story is simply masterly in its richness and detail of the desperate life in Oaxaca, Mexico. The difficulty of the lives of those who just wish for a chance to work as gardeners or busboys in El Norte is extraordinary. Ozzie Rodriguez and David H. Lawrence XVII's narrations are magnificent in inflection and accent and the palatable sense of death and desperation.
VERDICT Highly recommended. ["This terror-laden story will remind readers of Luis Alberto Urrea's The Devil's Highway," read the starred review of the Houghton Harcourt hc, LJ 9/1/14.]
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