“An ambitious, wonderful novel that illuminates the modern U.S.-Mexican border.” —Chicago Tribune 

Crossers-by-Philip-CaputoWhen Gil Castle loses his wife, he retreats to his family’s sprawling homestead out west, a forsaken part of the country where drug lords have more power than police. Here Castle begins to rebuild his life, even as he uncovers some dark truths about his fearsome grandfather. When a Mexican illegal shows up at the ranch, terrified after a border-crossing drug deal gone bad, Castle agrees to take him in. Yet his act of generosity sets off a flood of violence and vengeance, a fierce reminder that we never truly escape our history. Spanning three generations of an Arizona family, Crossers is a blistering novel about the brutality and beauty of life on the border.


Crossers is a novel of grief and recovery, a love story, a thriller, but it is most of all a novel about a place, one that can break your heart and make it soar.” —St. Petersburg Times 

 “A complex story, unfolding in varying viewpoints, all of them as rich and real as a home movie.” —The Dallas Morning News 

“[A] remarkably ambitious book that packs a meaty, multi-generational story with enough scope, insight and realism to illuminate the modern U.S.—Mexican border. . . . Enthralling.” —The Washington Post Book Review 

“Caputo gives us characters with credibility and individuality. . . . An intense, clear-sighted account of the times in which we live, of 9/11, the Iraq war, the ‘war on drugs’ and the conflict over illegal immigration. Caputo succeeds in showing how our contemporary paranoia and homeland insecurity are rooted in the inescapable past.” —San Francisco Chronicle 

“A satisfying story, with memorable characters moving against a backdrop of beauty and brutality.” —The Boston Globe  
“A historical story line involving the grandfather of Gil and Blaine, a legendary Old West lawman and killer . . . [is] so strong that it could be Mark Twain.” —Los Angeles Times 

“Caputo tells Ben’s story with power and verisimilitude. . . . The reason I enjoyed Crossers as much as I did . . . is that it hints at how difficult it can be to draw conclusions—about evil, about Ben, and above all about the crossers themselves.” —William T. Vollmann, The New York Times Book Review 


“Caputo writes with authority about all aspects of his story, including the drug and immigrant smuggling trades, what it was like for a soldier in the Mexican Revolution, how the Mexican-American border was once a fluid boundary, and the details of ranching in contemporary times and a hundred years ago. Crossers provides an accurate portrait of the violence, greed, and desperation that has cropped up around the border for generations. . . . A nuanced, panoramic portrait of lives lived and lost on the Mexican-American border.” —New West 

Buy the book

Crossers (Vintage Contemporaries)

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Comments (6)

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  1. Roy L. Wilson says:

    As a retired Border Patrol agent I always read books about the U.S. Mexico border with a critical interest and am amazed at how you “got it right”. You said things and said them in ways that led me to believe that you have lived on the border or were raised there. The details and nuances were a real treat to read. I am going to the library tomorrow to find some of your other books. Thanks again for a great and realistic book.

    • For the past 21 years, 4 or 5 months a year, I’ve lived in Patagonia, Arizona, which is 18 miles north of the border. I’ve been on or across the border numerous times, twice on undercover missions with Border Patrol intelligence agents. Also, several of my friends own, or work on, cattle ranches near Patagonia, so I’ve absorbed a good deal of lore over the years. I’m very pleased to hear that I “got it right” from someone like you; I tried to achieve a high degree of verisimilitude in writing the novel.

  2. Michael Williams says:

    Mr. Caputo,
    I absolutely loved “Crossers” and hated to finish reading it. I would like to talk to you regarding a possible TV show with a similar theme. Please let me know how to contact you.

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