The Illegal

The Illegal

Audiobook CD - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Keita Ali is on the run. He is desperate to flee Zantoroland, a mountainous black island that produces the fastest marathoners in the world. Keita signs on with notorious marathon agent Anton Hamm, who provides Keita with a chance to run the Boston marathon in return for a huge cut of the winning purse. But when Keita fails to place among the top finishers, rather than being sent back to his own country, he goes into hiding in Freedom State a wealthy nation that has elected a government bent on deporting the refugees living within its borders in the community of AfricTown. Keita can be safe only if he keeps moving and eludes Hamm and the officials who would deport him to his own country, where he will face almost certain death. This is the new underground. A place where tens of thousands of people deemed to be illegal live below the radar of the police and government officials. As Keita surfaces from time to time to earn cash prizes by running local road races, he has to assess whether the people he meets are friends or enemies: John Falconer, a gifted student intent on making a documentary about AfricTown; Ivernia Beech, an elderly woman who is at risk of being forced into an assisted living facility; Rocco Stanton, a recreational marathoner who is the Immigration Minister; Lula DiStefano, self-declared Queen of AfricTown and Madame of the community s infamous brothel; and Viola Hill, one of the only black reporters in the country, who is investigating the possibility of corruption linking the highest officials in Freedom State and Zantoroland. Keita s very existence in Freedom State is illegal. As he trains in secret, eluding capture, the stakes keep getting higher. Soon, he is running not only for his life, but his sister s life, too. Fast-moving and compelling, The Illegal is a literary thriller that addresses the fate of undocumented refugees who struggle to survive in nations that do not want them.
Publisher: Prince Frederick, MD : Recordrd Books, 2014
ISBN: 9781470394066
Branch Call Number: COMP DISC FICTION HILL...L
Characteristics: 10 sound discs (12 hr., 15 min,) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Emery, Gideon 1972-
Notes: Title from container
Compact disc
In container (17 cm.)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
JordanPedersen Jul 26, 2017

This was the first book that I have read (or should I say, listened to) by Lawrence Hill, and I greatly enjoyed it. For me, the narrator was mediocre, but the story itself was interesting, timely, and flowed naturally. The fictional Zantoroland and Freedom State were believable and thinly veiled amalgamations of the best and worst real countries today.
"The Illegal" is compelling for the way it personalizes the refugee crisis happening globally, and it's hard look at racism and political apathy.
Overall, I would certainly recommend it, though I agree with one of the other commenters that the ending tied up a little too neatly for my liking.

bandblair Apr 11, 2016

Excellent narrator. The story itself didn't thrill me like The Book of Negroes. Everything tied up too nicely at the end.

lotuslori_8 Apr 04, 2016

Those who are expecting another Book of Negroes, may be disappointed. This story is a bit more light-weight and predictable. I would hardly describe it as a "taut political thriller". However, I did enjoy the story.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GL

To Top