Crossers Summary ã 100

Philip Caputo à 0 Summary

Crossers Summary ã 100 ↠ From the acclaimed author of Acts of Faith “A miracle You can hardly conceive of a affecting reading experience”— Houston Chronicle a blistering new novel about the brutality and beauty of life on the Arizona Mexico border and about the unyielding power of the past to shape our lives Taking us from the turn of the twentieth ceThe dark truths about his fearsome grandfather a legacy that has been tightly shrouded in mystery in the years since the old man’s death When Miguel Espinoza shows up at the ranch terrified after two friends were murdered in a border crossing drug deal gone bad Castle agrees to take him in Yet his act of generosity sets off a flood of violence and vengeance a fierce reminder of the fact that while he may be able to reinvent himself he may never escape his historySearingly dramatic bold and timely Crossers is Philip Caputo’s most ambitious and brilliantly realized novel ye. This book is a combination historical novel crime thriller romance but one that is guy friendly story of personal redemption philosophical reflection on our times The thing is it worksThe protagonist Gil castle whose wife died on 911 accepts his relatives’ invitation to come to stay at their ranch on the Arizona Mexico border While there he becomes embroiled in the schemes of drug traffickers the desperate plight of illegal migrants and a relationship with a woman who is also dealing with a lot of emotional baggage Ultimately he must confront the past in order to cope with the presentCaputo blends together a number of themes to produce a really good novel In the hands of a lesser writer some of the themes and seemingly stock characters could border on cliché the emotionally scarred man going into the wild to salve his spirit the healing power of love the gritty frontier ranchers the vengeful Latin etc Luckily Caputo is a skilled writer who is excellent at making these elements work He is an incredibly evocative writer able to make the reader see the sights and smell the smellsThroughout the novel 911 cast its shadow Through the character of Gil Castle Caputo muses on the ways in which 911 borders immigration and cross border crime are related and muses that ultimately the 911 terrorists and the narcotrafficantes are merely manifestations of the same monster Caputo tackles issues like the aftermath of 911 illegal immigration drug trafficking and the troubled relationship between the United States and Mexico – “so far from God so close to the United States” In a way Caputo’s use of familiar themes and character types serves his purpose These are all difficult issues that get people frothing at the mouth and which we as a nation are afraid to confront forthrightly and realistically By telling an engaging story he is able to get these concepts past people’s intellectual defenses so that they might engage them in a thoughtful wayI read this book at the same time that Arizona was passing laws making undocumented residency a state crime In the midst of all the overheated arguments on both sides of that issue it was good to read a nuanced approach to the situation While there are definitely villians aplenty most of the characters fit in the gray in between areas This book intertwines history in the form of Castle's frontier ancestor Ben Erskine with the present All of the characters have to deal with the blowback from the deeds of their ancestors For some such as the brutal head of a drug cartel or Blaine Erskine the brooding Vietnam vet who holds to his grandfather’s hard code of honor history or the skewed memory myth based on it is a constant presence One might say the same for the perpetrators of the 911 attacks Fanatics are often obsessed with a version of history It all made me think that while we cannot overcome the past we can learn to live with it

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From the acclaimed author of Acts of Faith “A miracle You can hardly conceive of a affecting reading experience” Houston Chronicle a blistering new novel about the brutality and beauty of life on the Arizona Mexico border and about the unyielding power of the past to shape our lives Taking us from the turn of the twentieth century to our present day from the impoverished streets of rural Mexico to the manicured lawns of suburban Connecticut from the hot and dusty air of an isolated ranch to New York City in the wake of 911 Caputo gives us an impeccably crafted story abou. The novelist John Gardner put forth the notion that fiction should evoke a vivid and continuous dream In other words it should immerse the reader in a world that feels alive from the beginning of the book to the end Creating this universe be it one that looks and feels like our own or a totally different time and place is the challenge of the novelist I thought about this notion of the vivid and continuous dream while reading Philip Caputo's Crossers I'd never read Caputo never even heard of him actually until a family friend recommended him to me and loaned me his copy of the book This guy he knew what was going on down there before anybody my friend said The down there he was speaking of is the Mexican border and in that sense I think he was right The book follows Castle a minor titan of Wall Street who loses his wife in the 911 terror attacks Grief stricken and broken he decides to retire from his career in finance and retreat literally to the Arizona desert taking up residence in an old cabin on the outskirts of his cousin's cattle ranch There he discovers that the desert is a perilous place overrun with undocumented immigrants making an often deadly dash across the arid landscape and lethal smugglers toting bales of marijuana on their backs It's a world where minding your own business is a way of life and riding into the wrong canyon can spell disasterCastle's attempts to seclude himself are thwarted first by a comely female rancher Tessa and then by the inescapable blight of the drug trade which finds its way into the business of his cousin Blaine's cattle ranch Weaving the stories of several characters Castle Blaine their grandfather Ben Erskine The last of the great Western cowboys a double agent called enigmatically The Professor and the ruthless and erratic druglord Yvonne Menendez Caputo creates a compelling portrait of life along the borderCaputo's knowledge of the Arizona Sonora desert the ins and outs of the drug trade along its border and the incredible details of ranch life and the lifestyle of the working cowboys or vaueros as they are called throughout is beyond impressive Following the rich cast of characters the thoughtful widower Castle the man of intrigue The Professor the hothead Blaine was a delight To be pulled along through the dream or accurately the nightmare of this book as it slowly unfolded was a pleasureIf I have a criticism of the book it's that Caputo's authority is so great when he's operating in an area of expertise such as cattle ranching that when he ventures out of what he seems to know he sometimes strikes a false note One such example is a description of the crowd at an alt country show on a college campus He describes the students as wearing the sweatshirts of the university they attend This detail minor to be sure struck me as incredibly false At times the book's one true villain Yvonne Menendez felt a little too broadly drawn that she drifted into caricature Caputo does a great job of making most of the characters morally ambiguous and while he does his best to show Yvonne's motives deeply rooted in history as they are it came up just short of the kind of nuanced detail that I would wanted In short I was hoping for The Wire of the Mexican drug trade and it didn't uite hit that lofty mark And in a book of such impeccable detail the descriptions of the mesas and canyons of the desert of the birds and beasts who inhabit it are so obviously from life that these brief moments of unreality had the jarring effect of breaking the dream of the narrative of ripping me out of the world and making me think about the author And that was a shameThankfully those sour notes were few and far between and the plot is so compelling and so well paced that I can recommend this book without reservation To live there in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains for a few weeks was a true pleasure and a terrific way to begin the year as a reader

review Crossers

CrossersT three generations of an Arizona family forced to confront the violence and loss that have become its inheritanceWhen Gil Castle loses his wife in the Twin Tower attacks he retreats to his family’s sprawling homestead in a remote corner of the Southwest Consumed by grief he has to find a way to live with his loss in this strange forsaken part of the country where drug lords have power than police and violence is a constant presence But it is also a world of vast open spaces where Castle begins to rebuild his belief in the potential for happiness until he starts to uncover. Blurbs from Jim Harrison and Robert Olen Butler may give the impression that this is a serious novelappropriately heavy elements911VietNamImmigrationSenecaare undercut by lightweight characters suited to a Movie of the Week from the 1970'slots of mini series regulars like the Porsche Progressive who learns Life Lessons by getting Back To The Landthe fiesty Pioneer WomanThe Single Mother with a Tragic Pastthe Latina SpitFire and many including my favouriteThe ToughTaciturn VietVet who is bitter because They Didn't Let Us Winbutas a vaguely familiarmindless BeachReadit's not the worst I've ever read