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Publisher's Summary

Keita Ali has nothing: no bank account, no papers, no legal identity. A runner, he has fled home - a brutal dictatorship that produces the world's fastest marathoners - to live as an illegal refugee in a wealthy Western nation, surviving on winnings from local races. But the government is cracking down on illegal immigrants, so Keita - who will be executed if he is deported to his homeland - goes underground.

Now a series of crises call for him to earn quick money: an unscrupulous businessman targets him, a serious health problem erupts, and, most troublingly, officials in Keita's native country kidnap his sister, threatening to execute her unless he pays a ransom. As Keita struggles to resolve these problems, he discovers a troubling political connection between his native and his adoptive countries.

The Illegal is a rich, riveting novel that weaves a complex moral and psychological web.

©2015 Lawrence Hill Creative Services, Inc. (P)2016 Recorded Books

What members say

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  • Ak7
  • 2016-03-01

Very good read

The narrator was captivating. I loved the way he could switch character and you knew who was talking. Job well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Si Jia Li
  • 2016-02-15

enjoyable read

the narrator was every engaging. the story was very well written. the style of writing from different perspective is very refreshing. it was a enjoyable read. thank you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • nyog
  • 2017-03-27

Needs a good edit to be great

The story here is fine, strong characters, and in a broad way-of-the-world sort of mode. But as with The Book of the Negro, there's a sense of slackness around the narrative drive at points, and a sense that a strong story-edit would help.

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  • Dewayne
  • 2017-02-10

The Illegal

Good story, and the narrator is on point with each character. One of my better listens so far.

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  • Schase
  • 2017-02-02

Very good read

I really enjoyed this book. Well written and well read. The story flowed nicely. Didn't dwell too long on one thing but moved on just when you would want it too. Plus I'm a sucker for happy endings!

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  • J. Rowe
  • 2017-01-26

Entertaining But Predictable

An entertaining story but a little predictable and the ending was too nicely wrapped up. I appreciated the timely social commentary, however. The narrator did a decent job but a few of the character voices were downright creepy.

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  • Timothy
  • 2017-01-22

OMG: SUPERB COMMENTARY

If you are interested in current political and social concerns this book is for you. the author addresses allegorically all the problems facing society in the United States and the Western world - especially as it concerns race relations, immigration status and refugee status. Once I started I could not put it down. Great job by Lawrence Hill.

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  • Amy G.
  • 2017-01-12

Different -good different

I liked that this is different than most books you'll listen to. It's not just another novel to pass the time. You'll get a glimpse into lives you'll never experience and develop empathy for people you probably don't even think about. The characters are real - flawed, emotional, gullible, complex. And so, so likable. You'll find yourself routing for the underdog.

Besides, there's a paraplegic, black, lesbian character. Kudos to the author for going there.

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  • Kathleen Yarrington
  • 2017-01-05

a hidden gem

This storyline is very interesting and gives one to think about people who need to leave a terrible homeland to live.

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  • samantha wallace
  • 2016-10-18

If you love running and a good story!!

What did you love best about The Illegal?

The character development.

What did you like best about this story?

This story's plot caught me from the very beginning and I didn't want to put the book down!

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