Book Review – Illegal by John Dennehy

Book Review – Illegal by John Dennehy

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by John Dennehy

I must admit that when I saw “Illegal” in its crowd-funding days on an American crowdfunding platform which I don’t want to mention by name, I never made much of it. See, I’m not big on memoirs. After I’ve learned that this American Crowdfunding Publishing firm had deicded to give “Illega”l the boot (in a very non-affable manner) I’ve decided to give it a chance. And boy am I glad that I did!

John Dennehy recalls from memory and scribbles, the account of his life in Ecuador as an “Illegal gringo”, during days in which the country have seen turmoil and citizen unrest, coup d’etat and more. He has been living in the heart of it all, a privilege kid from the states, who decided (post 9/11 and the growing nationalism Iraq war) to start a clean slate.

John teaches English in a few Ecuadorian institutes, falls in love with the beautiful Lucia, and become one of the locals in the city of Latacunga, a relatively unknown and un-touristical place.

The writing is virgin, if not naive, which makes this novel so endearing. John account of events is interesting, in a way which will hold you by the collar and literally would not let you drop the book (or Kindle Device). The author emphasizes throughout the novel the difference between reality as he sees it and common perceptions in the US, by publishing the State Department’s travel warnings in regards to countries such as Ecuador and Colombia. We also grow with him, and see how he evovles and get disillusioned with the romance of revolution, connecting the sites in the end of his story to the same nationalism he had fled from, in the states.

A must read for anyone with an open mind, for travel lovers, for “mochileros”, and for even for fiction lovers like myself! 5 stars without any doubt.


Free Book – Illegal by John Dennehy

Free Book – Illegal by John Dennehy

Free Book – Illegal by John Dennehy

Giving away:

  • 10 eBooks for Review only (ENDED)
  • 1 paperback giveaway



memoir, biography, travel



Illegal tells the true story of love and deception, revolutions and deportations as it chronicles the escapades and the trials of John Dennehy. Naïve New Yorker, Dennehy refuses to be part of the feverish nationalism of post 9/11 America. His search for hope in the midst of choicelessness takes him to Ecuador, where he falls in love with firebrand Lucia, who perfects his broken Spanish and they find solidarity in the brewing social revolution. Dennehy is deported but he has found something worth fighting for. This pulsating story of violent protests, illegal border crossings and loss of innocence raises questions about the futility of borders and irresistible power of nationalism.



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