When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days. The entire world watched what transpired above-ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, but the saga of the miners' experiences below the Earth's surface—and the lives that led them there—has never been heard until now.
For Deep Down Dark, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Héctor Tobar received exclusive access to the miners and their tales. These thirty-three men came to think of the mine, a cavern inflicting constant and thundering aural torment, as a kind of coffin, and as a church where they sought redemption through prayer. Even while still buried, they all agreed that if by some miracle any of them escaped alive, they would share their story only collectively. Héctor Tobar was the person they chose to hear, and now to tell, that story.
The result is a masterwork or narrative journalism—a riveting, at times shocking, emotionally textured account of a singular human event. A New York Times bestseller, Deep Down Dark brings to haunting, tactile life the experience of being imprisoned inside a mountain of stone, the horror of being slowly consumed by hunger, and the spiritual and mystical elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place. In its stirring final chapters, it captures the profound way in which the lives of everyone involved in the disaster were forever changed.
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and novelist Tobar (The Barbarian Nurseries) presents the riveting story of the 33 men who spent 69 days trapped more than 2,000 feet underground in Chile's San Jos Mine in 2010. Noting that the abundance of minerals under the hills of the Atacama desert drew workers from all corners of Chile, Tobar who was granted exclusive access to the miners and their families compassionately recounts the miners' personal histories, experiences during the 17 days they were without outside contact, extended rescue, and the drama above ground with the families living near the mine in their makeshift "Camp Esperanza," mingling with government ministers, NASA advisors, engineers, mechanics, and drillers. Particularly moving is the reenactment of the first 17 days when the "33" banded together, drinking dirty water used to cool off the mine's drilling systems and sharing their meager food supplies. Feeling as though "they are living inside a Bible parable," the men keep their hopes up through prayer, and some gravitate toward particular roles: the pastor, the chronicler, the unofficial spokesman. Tobar vividly narrates the miners' lives post-rescue as they come to terms with their life-changing experience and the media frenzy surrounding it. Rich in local color, this is a sensitive, suspenseful rendering of a legendary story.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Remember watching the rescue on TV. This book took us behind the scenes and the years after. Would like to have seen a map of the mine included.
Compelling and Illuminating.
This book sheds light not only on the events that occurred in the Chilean mining accident, but also into the psyche of the men trapped inside. The book is a spiritual journey of survival and will readjust your perspective once finished.
Deep Down Dark
What a phenomenal story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days. This book was chosen for our book group.
It was so inspiring to read about these ordinary people who survived 2,200 feet below ground through their teamwork, faith, and the extraordinary people who worked above ground
to rescue them.