29 September 2011

Train to Nowhere: Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation

OK - back to non-fiction. In 2002, a grain elevator employee in Denison, Iowa opened a grain hopper (train car) for a cursory check and discovered the skeletonized remains of eleven undocumented immigrants.

Colleen Bradford Krantz does an excellent job of making these victims come back to life. She tells their story with sensitivity and impartiality and leaves the reader to understand all sides of the ongoing issues of undocumented immigrants in the USA. The horror of the death of these eleven people is not sensationalized but the stark portrayal of their experience makes an indelible mark on the readers mind (and on my soul). Ms Krantz expands her readers' understanding of life outside of our first world complacency and we are forced to see the reality of life in the third world.

There were times when reading that I did skip over the statistics to get back to the story but that didn't take away from the story, and I know there are lots of people out there who like statistics. I also found the pictures to be very dark - as in colour not content. But they were a nice addition none the less.

As a bonus, especially for those that like to compare books and movies, there is a documentary based on the book. The DVD can be found at www.TrainToNowhere.com.

A Taste:
Byron explained that he was in Texas, and needed money to pay his smugglers. Norma wrote down a phone number, promising that she would have Eliseo call back. It was the last time she would talk to Byron. (pg 59)


  1. Hey Bev, this one sounds like a hectic read and we do spend far too little time behind the safety of our high walls and security fences to care too much about the world around us. This reminds me of the Congo Rape issue I've been barking about.

  2. I enjoy reading your reviews, and thank you for visiting my blog.

    There is an award for you on my blog :)


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