MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The House of Broken Angels

by Luis Alberto Urrea

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea X
The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2018, 336 pages
    Mar 2019, 368 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Outside, all the shorties and peewees were laying siege to the yard and the house. Squabbling and screaming and passing a half-flat soccer ball from foot to foot as they ran. The girlies were as loud as the fat boys. It was a freakin' chicken coop out there, but Pops liked all his grandkids and grandnieces and neighbor kids and waifs eating all the food and breaking stuff. Above their incessant caterwaul, he heard his dad shouting: "Lalo!"

"Coming, Pops!" he called.

"Hurry, mijo!"

"On my way!"

It seemed to Lalo that some days everyone shouted at everybody else, like they were all deaf or didn't understand English. Well, Moms—that was arguable. But she probably understood more than she let on.


"Coming!" Hungry Man snapped a salute in Big Angel's general direction. He looked in the mirror again, tugged the hem of his jacket down one last time, trying to hide that civilian gut. He had a little silver .22 automatic strapped to his ankle like some narco. You do what you got to do, no lie. "Good to go," he said to himself and stepped out to find his sister smoking in the backyard. "Minnie," he said. "Check it." He posed. "I got my hair did."

"You look sharp," she said. "Bubble butt."

"You're too funny, Orange Is the New Black. Look who's talking."

"Hey," she said, tossing her smoke into the geraniums, "I never got arrested or nothing."

"Yeah? You're the only one."

She lit up a fresh one, smoked, studied the end of her cigarette, elegantly tipped off some ash with her ring finger, looked sideways at him. "You know what? Most people don't get arrested."

"What planet you from?"

She blew smoke at him.

"You smoke too much," he said.

"Said the junkie."

"Say what?" he said. "Keep flapping your big ol' duck lips, girl. See what happens."

She sneered.

"I hate it when you look at me like that, Mouse," he said.


"I'm okay, okay?"

"Right." She blew smoke rings.

"Look," he said. "I'm clean. No lie."

"You sure about that?"

"I don't got a problem. Just takin' the edge off. I got reasons." He tapped his thigh, but sympathy moves no longer worked on his sister.

She held the cigarette away from herself and nodded. "Yeah, who doesn't?" Then, "And you stole my car last week."

"At least I ain't Braulio," he said.

"We don't talk about Braulio."

"I know, I know." But Lalo also knew, if he wanted a conversation to change, all he had to do was mention his dead brother.

They stood there, out of insults and accusations. Out of anything else to say. They looked at their feet.

"We have to get going," Lalo said.

"Pops," she replied.

"Yeah. Good ol' Pops. Got needs."

"It's what we do."

"Fuck it."

They went inside the house.

*  *  *

"I was never sick. I was never late. I banked my vacation time."

"How nice, Flaco," his wife said, patting his shoulder.

"And for what."

"I don't know."

"I wasn't asking, Flaca. I was saying."


"Maybe asking myself."

Excerpted from The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea. Copyright © 2018 by Luis Alberto Urrea. Excerpted by permission of Little Brown & Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  How to Get a Green Card

One-Month Free

Discover books that
entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Last Train to Key West
    The Last Train to Key West
    by Chanel Cleeton
    The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton received very positive comments from our First ...
  • Book Jacket: Tokyo Ueno Station
    Tokyo Ueno Station
    by Yu Miri
    Kazu is a ghost, seemingly condemned to haunt one of Japan's busiest train stations, the grounds of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Delayed Rays of a Star
    by Amanda Lee Koe
    Amanda Lee Koe's Delayed Rays of a Star begins with a late-1920s photo of three women at a party in ...
  • Book Jacket: Sleepovers
    by Ashleigh Bryant Phillips
    In Ashleigh Bryant Phillips' debut story collection, Sleepovers, it can be difficult to keep tabs on...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Voyage of the Morning Light
    by Marina Endicott

    A sweeping novel set aboard a merchant ship sailing through the South Pacific in 1912.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Wedding Thief

The Wedding Thief
by Mary Simses

Funny, soulful, and as sweet as buttercream, The Wedding Thief is the perfect summer read.



Solve this clue:

A S Louder T W

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.