THE LONG ROAD NORTH by John Davidson


Email this review


It's that old familiar road north from Mexico, with illegal aliens and immigration officials trying to outsmart one another. This time, an illegal named Javier, in San Antonio, receives a telegram from his father to come home. Journalist Davidson goes along in order to experience illegal reentry into the United States (except that he takes his visa). We share their pointless sojourn in Mexico, where they never find Javier's father--picking up younger brother Juan instead; and then the return trip begins with a $20 boat ride across the Rio Grande. As the three climb through rugged terrain, trying to evade border guards, Davidson suddenly announces that his feet will go no further, and he tells Javier to call when he reaches San Antonio--all the while assuring us that there was no ""relief on finally getting a ride or getting home"" because he kept thinking of ""Javier and Juan's hats moving across the brush beneath the hot sky."" Javier calls ten days later, and Davidson--no longer an eye-witness--describes their adventures: captured twice and returned to Mexico; nearly captured a third time as ""seismic sensors"" tracked their journey through Texas (we can only imagine how border patrol conversations were recreated). In a final note, we learn that although deported again, by summer 1978, Juan and Javier were both working in San Antonio. Fatiguing--and it gets nowhere.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday