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Recommended and reviewed by

Fr. Bruce Krause, CM

Deep Down Dark:

The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free

by Héctor Tobar

Héctor Tobar’s epic work recounts the extraordinary efforts of survival for 33 miners trapped in the San José mine outside of Copiapó, Chile, for 69 days beginning in August 2010. Enveloped in darkness and the rumblings of thunderous, collapsing rock two thousand feet below the surface, the author carefully narrates an account of these men’s fears and their faith in God. Theirs is a story of survival under the harshest conditions, which press us to wonder how anyone of us might fare under similar circumstances. o we pull together through leadership that can transcend personal interests for the sake of the good? Not without tension and even outbursts of fighting, these 33 men learned how critical their survival depended on one another. From outside the mine and within, Tobar narrates the complexity of relationships that puts a spotlight on ourselves as to what we value most in life.

Of interest to Vincentians is his work, Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States (Riverhead Book, 2006). Tobar devotes a chapter to Ashland, AL, where the Eastern Province once had served. I personally knew some of the people he mentions in this book.

Héctor Tobar is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author who lives with his family in Los Angeles. The reviewed work was made into a movie titled, “The 33.”

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