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  • Blood in the Fields

  • Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang
  • By: Julia Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Summary

The city of Salinas, California, is the birthplace of John Steinbeck and the setting for his epic masterpiece East of Eden, but it is also the home of Nuestra Familia, one of the most violent gangs in the United States. Born in the prisons of California in the late 1960s, Nuestra Familia expanded to control drug trafficking and extortion operations throughout the northern half of the state and left a trail of bodies in its wake. Award-winning journalist Julia Reynolds tells the gang's story from the inside out, following young men and women as they search for a new kind of family, quests that usually lead to murder and betrayal. Blood in the Fields also documents the history of Operation Black Widow, the FBI's questionable decade-long effort to dismantle the Nuestra Familia, along with its compromised informants and the turf wars it created with local law enforcement agencies. Reynolds uses her unprecedented access to gang members, both in and out of prison, as well as undercover wiretaps, depositions, and court documents to weave a gripping, comprehensive history of this brutal criminal organization and the lives it destroyed.

©2014 Julia Reynolds (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Blood in the Fields

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Profile Image for RUBEN AGUILAR
  • RUBEN AGUILAR
  • 09-04-20

horrible narrator

narration was horrible story jumped all over her to keep up with. over all history was ok

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rebeca L
  • Rebeca L
  • 23-10-20

Needs a different narrator

I think a book like this needs a bilingual narrative. The way the story was told made it difficult to keep my attention. I don’t recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for John Kenmore
  • John Kenmore
  • 09-12-19

Incredible Work of Writing and Narration

Very informative. Very well written. Great job on the narration. Really good work. A lot of effort went into this book and it is well worth the price. I’m impressed.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Half Hitch
  • Half Hitch
  • 07-02-17

Informative, but neither gripping or compelling.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I grew bored and lost interest - although detailed in some aspects, most of the material is from court documents/transcripts and not from what the "Ten Years Inside..." subtitle might suggest. As a result, it reads like an Academic paper with the occassional flash of artistry.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The material could be condensed into half or 2/3 volume while not losing thrust. A heavy reliance on transcripts/interviews/etc comes across.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Cassandra Campbell?

Yes, her efforts to inflect a Chicano/a accent into the characters dialogue should be noted. 1 thing though; "Tule" is not prounounced "tool", it's "Two-Lee". Gracias

Could you see Blood in the Fields being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes - more artistic license might actually breath some compelling life into the featured characters.

Any additional comments?

Not a bad book, but I'd skip it unless you are pursuing a career in Law Enforcement, Legal, and/or Social Services.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for rudolph campos
  • rudolph campos
  • 20-04-22

Annoying Pontificating

I should have spotted it in the introduction. The author takes a wild punch at Trump and you wonder "WTF was that about?"

But, it gets worse. Constant, annoying rants about how "The Cause" was not the same Cause as her beloved socialist Cause. And we are treated to the genius of Cesar Chavez. Another gangster in the guise of social justice.

Finally, the reader sounds like an annoying 13 boy trying to sound gangsta. After 13 hours, I was ready to confess to a crime, myself.

You managed to screw up a possibly good book because in your wisdom, you were stupid. Thanks, Karl Marx. You suck even in death. All 200 million. confusing, right?

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Desi
  • Desi
  • 29-09-21

Real. Brutal. Stark. Dark. Need to Read

First Cassandra Campbell is the best narrator out there.
The book takes you into a world that lives right next to us but seen only through the violence that boils to the surface. Julia Reynolds brings the lives of people in the story into the light & gives them humanity. The violence is ingrained, taught through families & loyalty.
After reading this book I have learned not to judge...there are children, families, love, loss, pain, pressure...real people with a story.


1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jonathan Robbins
  • Jonathan Robbins
  • 08-07-21

Absolutely awesome

This was such a good book that I wished it would go on forever. Easily the best book on CA gangs I’ve ever “read”—and one of the best books in general. Fully recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Sean
  • Sean
  • 27-04-21

Absolutely captivating

Julia did a fucking amazing job writing this I can’t say enough to completely convey my appreciation of this complete masterpiece of writings.

Cassandra did a lovely job with her cholo and Chicano accents throughout the whole thing; amazing job Ms Campbell!

You guys rock thanks for such a entertaining book

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Trinity
  • Trinity
  • 09-03-21

Informative Documentary

This book covers a 10 year time span in view of gang members. It’s a great inside look, but it’s sad of course. I recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for MK
  • MK
  • 06-09-22

Throughly Researched

Reads like fiction; grabs your interest right away.

Respect to the author. Wow. So. Much. Research had to be performed to write this book.

At times, it does feel a little like a Game of Thrones novel with the various storylines, characters, and back stories. I had to re-listen quite a few times.

The narrator was good until it came time to narrate the voice of a Chicana/o. It was painful to hear. So much so that I had to skip when she did it.