Music of the Mill by Luis J. Rodriguez
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews



In a stunning literary achievement -- with a power and scope reminiscent of John Steinbeck -- Luis J. Rodriguez captures the soul of a community in this epic novel about love, family, workers' rights, industrial strife, and cultural dislocation

As the World War II cultural and industrial boom birthed a new California, a mighty steel industry rose with the potential to make modest dreams real for the workers willing to risk their lives in the mill's ferocious heat.

For the Salcidos, the Nazareth mill became an engine for survival. Luis J. Rodriguez chronicles the simultaneous evolutions of this American family and the enormous enterprise that drove them -- from optimistic and cohesive units questing for stability and prosperity to disintegrating entities whose dreams have long since lost their luster.

Spanning six decades, the novel conveys the drama, resilience, and humor of working-class life during a little-known era in American history.


About Luis J. Rodriguez

See more books from this Author
Luis J. Rodriguez is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including Always Running, The Republic of East L.A., and Hearts and Hands, as well as poetry and books for children. He lives with his family in California.
Published April 26, 2005 by Rayo. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Music of the Mill

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Always dominant is the mill itself, “an earth monster who can devour you.” Rodriguez veers haphazardly between the mill’s routines, its race-based politics and its disruption of domestic life, as the overwhelming stress drives the workers to drink.

| Read Full Review of Music of the Mill: A Novel

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

This is particularly true when Rodriguez uses Johnny's experience in the mill to explore such vast subjects as labor union corruption, battles for civil rights and equal opportunity employment, the decline of American industry and the gradual transformation of Los Angeles's Mexican neighborhoods ...

Jul 10 2005 | Read Full Review of Music of the Mill: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Within the multigenerational saga of the Salcido family and its deep ties to the Nazareth Steel Mill, Rodriguez's main character is 20-year-old Johnny, a second-generation mill worker who tries to fight the abusive powers-that-be inside the operation's corporate and union hierarchies.

Mar 28 2005 | Read Full Review of Music of the Mill: A Novel

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

towns where the steel mill ruled for so many years know about the economic and social decline the closing of those mills caused?

Mar 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Music of the Mill: A Novel

Austin Chronicle

The political fistfighting between the Nazareth management and especially among the laborers is where much of the book's drama lies, even when Rodriguez's apparently prodigious research on labor activism and social history get in the way.

Jun 17 2005 | Read Full Review of Music of the Mill: A Novel

Reader Rating for Music of the Mill

An aggregated and normalized score based on 5 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review