The Snakehead by Patrick Radden Keefe
An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 10 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

In this thrilling panorama of real-life events, Patrick Radden Keefe investigates a secret world run by a surprising criminal: a charismatic middle-aged grandmother, who from a tiny noodle shop in New York’s Chinatown managed a multi-million dollar business smuggling people.
 
Keefe reveals the inner workings of Sister Ping’s complex empire and recounts the decade-long FBI investigation that eventually brought her down. He follows an often incompetent and sometimes corrupt INS as it pursues desperate immigrants risking everything to come to America, and along the way, he paints a stunning portrait of a generation of illegal immigrants and the intricate underground economy that sustains and exploits them. Grand in scope yet propulsive in narrative force, The Snakehead is both a kaleidoscopic crime story and a brilliant exploration of the ironies of immigration in America. 


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Patrick Radden Keefe

See more books from this Author
PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE is a fellow at The Century Foundation and the author of Chatter. He is a graduate of Columbia College, Cambridge University, the London School of Economics, and Yale Law School, and the recipient of a Marshall Scholarship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. A regular contributor to The New Yorker, Slate, and many other publications, he is also a frequent commentator on NPR, the BBC, and CNN. Visit his Web site at www.patrickraddenkeefe.com.
 
Published July 15, 2009 by Anchor. 434 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Crime, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Snakehead

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Expanding on his intriguing New Yorker article, Keefe (Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping, 2005) tells the story of a multimillion-dollar smuggling ring that ferried illegal immigrants from China to New York City in the 1980s and early ’90s.

May 15 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

And yet, according to Patrick Radden Keefe, author of “The Snakehead,” none of New York’s major English-language newspapers even mentioned this violent crime.

Aug 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

“And indeed,” he writes, “to this day many of the men and women who were aboard the Golden Venture refuse to discuss the particulars of what happened during the months at sea, some of them because of an enduring sense of shame about the dishonor they endured, others simply skeptical that anyone w...

Aug 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

“The Fujianese thank two people,” a real-estate agent notes: Sister Ping and “George Bush the father.” Keefe’s meticulously sourced book is the product of three years of journalism, but it never gets bogged down in the usual curses of trying to show the research on every page: characters are all...

Aug 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

Christian Science Monitor

In some sense, The Snakehead was a book just waiting for Patrick Radden Keefe.

Aug 26 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

USA Today

A contributor to The New Yorker, Slate and National Public Radio and author of Chatter: Dispatches From the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping, Keefe tells the engaging stories of Golden Venture passengers, the snakeheads who transported them here, Chinatown gangsters who did the snakeheads' di...

| Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

San Francisco Chronicle

The protagonist in Keefe's book is a snakehead named Cheng Chui Ping, colloquially known as Sister Ping.

Jul 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

Newsday

"The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream" (Doubleday, 404 pages, $26), by Patrick Radden Keefe: Two police officers on overnight patrol in a remote stretch of New York City heard the screams from just offshore.

Jul 29 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

Bookmarks Magazine

The New York Times Book Review was an exception, noting that Keefe struggled to depict illegal immigrants as "three-dimensional individuals," and USA Today felt that the background research at times impeded the "mystery-thriller story line."

Aug 02 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

UT San Diego

In this book cover image released by Doubleday, "The Snakehead," by Patrick Radden Keefe, is shown.

Jul 29 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale o...

Reader Rating for The Snakehead
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 78 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×