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Publisher's Summary

A raw account of a young American abroad grasping for meaning, this pulsating story of violent protests, illegal border crossings, and loss of innocence raises questions about the futility of borders and the irresistible power of nationalism.  
Illegal tells the true story of love, deception, revolutions, and deportations as it chronicles the trials of John Dennehy. A naïve New Yorker, Dennehy refuses to be part of the feverish nationalism of post 9/11 America. His search for hope takes him to Ecuador, where he falls in love with firebrand Lucia, who perfects his broken Spanish while they find solidarity in the brewing social upheaval. Amid the unrest, Dennehy is arrested and deported to the United States but he has found something worth fighting for.
©2017 John Dennehy (P)2018 John Dennehy
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By AudioBook Reviewer on 05-07-18

engaging and interesting

John Dennehey shared his experiences and life journey when he decided to leave the U.S. and relocate to Ecuador.  Trying to escape nationalism that the US experienced following 9/11, Dennehey decides he wants to become an activist, and not be confined by borders any longer.  Oddly, his moving to Ecuador requires him to cross borders every 90 days or so and be reapproved for entry, otherwise, he is illegal.  In his naivety, he tosses out the easy way to maintain his VISA only to resort to illegal means to stay with the woman he fell in love with and stay in his new home.

This book deals with the violence, political issues and unfairness between classes, ethnicity and lifestyles of two countries (North and South America).  Dennehey matures and sees the world slightly different with the passage of time and experiences, but not before he becomes an illegal alien, liar, and manipulator.

I found the book to be engaging and interesting. While I knew it was difficult for people to enter the US, I never understood how difficult it is for Americans to immigrate until now. Dennehey writes clearly and with passion.  His skill at wordsmithing is excellent.  He is a visual writer leaving no question as to the emotion he is feeling or his experiences – he writes with such passion.

I did find moments in his journey where I really wanted to smack him on the head and tell him to grow up; i.e. his romance with a married woman … among other things.  However, after finishing the audiobook, I reflected on my own youth and realized, sadly, that while I am older and wiser – I too had experienced “dumb” moments in my youth.  I also wished I had had the drive to strike out on my own and make a difference or at least experienced life in a more complete manner.

The narrator, Joe Passaro provided an excellent performance.  The book and Passaro seemed to become one – as if the journey and life experiences were his and no one else.  His voice reflected the same passion and emotion as the writer.  His youthful voice gave credence to the story that an older voice would not have given.

As I said, I enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it.

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By jstep on 07-16-18

Enjoyable, sometimes hard to believe story...

Illegal by John Dennehy was a pleasant surprise. I kind of felt like I was listening to an extended episode of A&E's Locked Up Abroad, except Mr. Dennehy wasn't getting locked up (for the most part). You almost expected him to throughout the entire then though! This was a fun listen that takes the reader through the almost unbelievable story of how a disillusioned Mr. Dennehy ended up in Ecuador after school with basically no qualification to teach and no knowledge of the Spanish language and somehow ends up teaching English and living in Ecuador for a number of years and meeting and falling in love with his long term girlfriend, all in the midst of major social upheavals in the country. He was deported and crossing borders back and forth to make his way back to Ecuador and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff. I enjoyed listening to this one and got through it in one day. There were a few slow parts, but with it being a true story, I was happy to see that Mr. Dennehy got little periodic breaks in his crazy life! In all seriousness, it was fast paced, so those few times where things moved a bit slower weren't really a bother to me at all.

Joe Passaro did a great job narrating this story and I strongly believe that it was his narration that made the story that much more enjoyable to listen to and easy to fall into. He brought the characters to life and I would happily listen to more of his narrations in the future. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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