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Download Playing for the Devil's Fire Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Playing for the Devils Fire, by Phillippe Diederich Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Phillippe Diederich Narrator: Ozzie Rodriguez Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The bittersweet odyssey of a boy coming of age in a landscape broken by drugs, crime, and corruption.

Thirteen-year-old Boli and his friends are deep in the middle of a game of marbles. An older boy named Mosca has won the prized Devil’s Fire marble. His pals are jealous and want to win it away from him. This is Izayoc, the place of tears, a small pueblo in a tiny valley west of Mexico City where nothing much happens. It’s a typical hot Sunday morning except that on the way to church someone discovers the severed head of Enrique Quintanilla propped on the ledge of one of the cement planters in the plaza and everything changes. Not apocalyptic changes, like phalanxes of men riding on horses with stingers for tails, but subtle ones: poor neighbors turning up with brand-new SUVs, pimpled teens with fancy girls hanging off them. Boli’s parents leave for Toluca and don’t arrive at their destination. No one will talk about it. A washed-out masked wrestler turns up one day, a man only interested in finding his next meal. Boli hopes to inspire the luchador to set out with him to find his parents.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s that rare book that addresses moral issues and current events in a story that never stops tugging at the reader’s heart…We need these kinds of books so different minorities can see themselves in the pages but also so that other realities can be experienced and perhaps understood by a general audience.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Impressively well written.”

    Midwest Book Review

  • “Diederich…portrays Mexico with a stark intensity and raw emotional turmoil as Boli navigates a mercilessly cruel world.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This fictionalized depiction of the real terror the drug war has brought to Mexican communities will have readers rooting for Boli as he tries, in vain, to save his town.”

    Horn Book Guide

  • “Though he filters this narrative through Boli’s starry-eyed perspective, Diederich doesn’t hold back in his depiction of corruption and loss…Full of grim and shocking violence.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Diederich…brings firsthand experience as well as tremendous compassion to this poignant coming-of-age novel.”


  • “Diederich provides some welcome diversity with a realistic portrayal of the crime and violence riding roughshod over the daily lives of ordinary Mexican people.”


  • “Narrator Ozzie Rodriguez sensitively portrays Boli’s confusion, fear, and anger as he witnesses the changes encroaching upon his village…Rodriguez’s narration reflects the atmosphere in the story, beginning with a slightly slower pace to describe the village, then building as violence and emotions escalate, and, finally, slowing to the conclusion…[A] gripping story.”


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