Deep Down Dark : The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
by Hector Tobar and Henry Leyva

Overview -

The exclusive, official story of the survival, faith, and family of Chile's thirty-three trapped miners

When the San Jose mine collapsed outside of Copiapo, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days.  Read more...

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More About Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar; Henry Leyva

The exclusive, official story of the survival, faith, and family of Chile's thirty-three trapped miners

When the San Jose mine collapsed outside of Copiapo, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days. Across the globe, we sat riveted to television and computer screens as journalists flocked to the Atacama desert. While we saw what transpired above ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, the story of the miners' experiences below the earth's surface and the lives that led them there hasn't been heard until now.
In "Deep Down Dark," a master work by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Hector Tobar gains exclusive access to the miners and their stories. The result is a miraculous and emotionally textured account of the thirty-three men who came to think of the San Jose mine as a kind of coffin, as a "cave" inflicting constant and thundering aural torment, and as a church where they sought redemption through prayer while the world watched from above. It offers an understanding of the families and personal histories that brought "los 33" to the mine, and the mystical and spiritual elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place."

  • ISBN-13: 9781427244505
  • ISBN-10: 1427244502
  • Publisher: MacMillan Audio
  • Publish Date: October 2014
  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds

Related Categories

Books > History > Latin America - South America
Books > Social Science > Disasters & Disaster Relief
Books > Technology > Mining

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-12-22
  • Reviewer: Staff

Actor and audiobook veteran Leyva provides a perfect fit for Tobar’s acclaimed chronicle of the 2010 accident inside Chile’s San Jose mine and the harrowing experiences of the miners who were trapped underground for 69 days. Leyva handles the Latin American accents with finesse, never descending into caricatures. His portrayals of the complicated love triangles at the center of several of the trapped men’s households above ground never fail to entertain. Leyva also does a masterly job recreating the tensions surrounding matters of faith and spirituality, as evangelical Christian Jose Henriquez leads the men in organized worship services, which gradually become more polarizing. Any narrative with so many characters requires a bit of mental juggling from listeners, but it’s a captivating ride nonetheless. Leyva does an excellent job building anticipation with his speech patterns and changes in intensity, and he allows the national spirit of Chile to shine through. A Farrar, Straus and Giroux hardcover. (Oct.)

BookPage Reviews

Audio: Real-life listening

It happened four years ago and we know how it turned out, but that doesn’t diminish the utterly compelling power of Héctor Tobar’s Deep Down Dark. With a cinematographer’s bold eye, a compassionate heart and a reporter’s talent for telling a vividly immediate story, he follows the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in the hellishly hot San José mine, 2,300 feet below the surface. Not found for 17 days, the men had almost nothing to eat and only filthy water to drink. Then it took another 52 days to get them out. Tobar had exclusive access to the miners and to their wives, girlfriends and families, who waited in a makeshift camp above the mine. His detailed description of the lives of “los 33” in the deep dark, their roiling despair, collective faith and endurance is you-are-there narrative journalism at its best. And Tobar follows them in the years after their rescue, when the celebrity spotlight and their untreated PTSD made life difficult. Henry Leyva’s excellent narration captures the tension, triumph and tragedy of this kaleidoscopic chronicle.

The subtitle of Hampton Sides’ masterful In the Kingdom of Ice, “The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette,” lets you know that there’s a grim ending. Yet listening to Arthur Morey’s perfectly paced reading of Sides’ remarkable retelling of the voyage is hair-raising and mesmerizing, the horror and heroism palpable. The North Pole “loomed as a public fixation” during the Gilded Age, and James Gordon Bennett Jr., the eccentric, super-rich publisher of The New York Herald, wanted to fund an epic polar expedition that would bring his paper the same global attention it got when he sent Stanley to find Livingstone. He picked George Washington De Long, a young, gallant naval officer, to lead it. Naively believing that they could reach the pole through the Bering Strait, De Long and 32 seasoned men set sail in July 1879. In less than three months they were stuck in the ice where they remained for 21 months until the USS Jeannette foundered and sank. Then their harrowing ice odyssey began. With De Long’s journal, his wife’s letters and many survivors’ accounts, Sides brings these men’s stories and their era to life.

In 2012, when the Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the face, they intended to kill her and to stop her from publicly championing the right of girls to an education. Fortunately, it had the opposite effect. Malala lived and, after extensive surgeries and rehab in England, has taken a prominent place on the world stage, fearlessly and resolutely raising her voice to demand that every child go to school. Now, she has become the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She’s an amazing young woman whom we all should know and support. And the best way to do that is to listen to I Am Malala, written with Christina Lamb. Malala reads the prologue herself, and then Archie Panjabi continues in a voice just as spirited as the author’s.


This article was originally published in the December 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews