Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar
I thought that a book about 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine for months sounded claustrophobic and dark. Instead I found the story gripping, moving, and even inspiring. I remember seeing stories in 2010 about the accident, the excitement when contact was made after weeks when no one knew they were alive, and the jubilation when they were finally rescued. The author, a prize-winning journalist, was contacted by the miners to write their authorized story, and spent months talking with the miners, their families, and those involved in their rescue before writing a vivid, compelling account of what life was like in the mine. The men formed a community to stay alive, subsisting on a tiny amount of food and dirty water, and managing conflicts with each other. The reader learns about the miners’ varied backgrounds from different parts of Chile and meets the families camped above the mine, waiting for first contact and any information they can get from the officials. Finally comes the dramatic rescue of the miners, and their difficulties integrating back into a society that views them as heroes while they’re still recovering from their ordeal. Great reading for anyone who enjoys real life adventure stories.