The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border

Francisco Cantú, read by the author. Penguin Audio, , unabridged, 6 CDs, 6.5 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-0-525-52828-9
Cantú narrates the stellar audio edition of his memoir about his time as a border-patrol agent in Arizona. He uses a manner that respectfully conveys the life-and-death struggles of the people he witnessed desperately trying to cross into the United States from Mexico. Cantú, raised in the Southwest by a single mother of Mexican heritage, resists the temptation to go for obvious ethnic vocal characterizations or demonstrative displays, instead opting for an understated delivery to relate the details of spouses separated from one another, parents separated from children, and border crossers facing the elements. When advocating on behalf of a friend who is a detained undocumented immigrant, Cantú speaks in tones that elicit understanding and empathy rather than pity. The passages recounting parent-child visitation at a detention center provide an especially memorable display of Cantú’s narration style working in sync with his writing style. Cantú first shared parts of this narrative on the radio show This American Life; his excellent audiobook will appeal to fans of that show and of first-person nonfiction storytelling in general. A Riverhead hardcover. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2018
Release date: 02/01/2018
Genre: Audio
Library Binding - 330 pages - 978-1-4328-5232-0
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-7352-1771-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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