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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Mexican holiday for me
In an age where journalists have sunk to the level of bankers and politicians in the public's opinion, this book is a welcome reminder that, at its best, journalism can be the noblest of professions. The drive and courage of Martinez in seeking out these searing and heart-rending stories is entirely admirable. The book itself is very readable (I didn't have the problems...
Published 6 months ago by Nostromo

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A boring read
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone I know and was very disappointed on reading it. Great effort was needed to finish it.
Published 5 months ago by Lynn Montague


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Mexican holiday for me, 3 Jan 2014
In an age where journalists have sunk to the level of bankers and politicians in the public's opinion, this book is a welcome reminder that, at its best, journalism can be the noblest of professions. The drive and courage of Martinez in seeking out these searing and heart-rending stories is entirely admirable. The book itself is very readable (I didn't have the problems with the translation mentioned by another reviewer) and its structure, matching the geography of the migrant routes, makes perfect sense and brings the reader into the journey (I found it helpful to have a big map nearby to refer to as the journeys progressed). If you know the novels of Cormac McCarthy you will recognise the casual Mexican brutality that pervades this book.

This is a book I will remember for a long time. Thoroughly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a very powerful book about man's inhumanity to man, 19 Dec 2013
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The Beast is a train that Central America would-be illegal migrants to the US often ride on their journey - 6 hours minimum at a stretch on the top of cars and often in freezing temperatures so that it's easy to fall asleep, lose concentration, fall off and be dragged under to death or lose a limb or part of one. And you can also be robbed by people moving along from one carriage to the next with arms of various kinds...

It's one chapter in this book long collection of journalism about illegal migrants passing through Mexico with a view to crossing illegally into the North. We get a sense of why people do this - e.g because they are fleeing gang violence and will die anyway if they remain back home, of just what the hardships are on the journey (you can't report any crime/hang around for any trial and so are fair game for exploitation of any kind by the local, by bandits, narcos, police etc - you can be kidnapped and ransom extorted from relatives, killed, raped, robbed at any point) and of the increased difficulties of crossing - whether the Rio Grande or various parts of the wall (normally into the desert with long hard walks ahead, going through the same channels as narcos who will extort a tax, and with the risk of being picked up on the other side and deported back to your country of origin).

This is a very powerful book about man's inhumanity to man. The first couple of chapters in particular pack a very powerful punch. I would strongly recommend this to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book., 30 Jan 2014
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It was interersting from start to finish. I never knew how much suffering and how much violence went on in some south american cities.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Beast what a read, 14 April 2014
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The book arrived packed well and at the due time and was a great read, amazing research, bringing it to life.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A boring read, 11 Feb 2014
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I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone I know and was very disappointed on reading it. Great effort was needed to finish it.
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The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail
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