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When Chile's San Jose mine collapsed outside of Copiapo in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking 69 days. Across the globe, we sat riveted to television and computer screens while journalists flocked to the Atacama Desert. While we saw what transpired above ground during the gruelling and protracted rescue, the story of the miners' lives buried below the earth's surface - and the lives that led them there - hasn't been heard until now.
In Deep Down Dark, this masterwork of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Hector Tobar gains exclusive access to the miners and their stories. The result is a miraculous and emotionally textured account of the thirty-three men who came to think of the San Jose mine as a kind of coffin, as a "cave" inflicting constant and thundering aural torment, and as a church where they sought redemption through prayer, while the world watched from above. It offers an understanding of the families and personal histories that brought "los 33" to the mine, and the mystical and spiritual elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place.