I was impressed by the Cocaine Cowboys documentary, and Jon Roberts on screen.
Here we find the basic grandiose 1950s-60s male American teen-to-young-adult personality: plenty of drugs, a very movie-influenced imagination, all outrageous stunts and stories. It always centers on the one guy and always is beyond reality, more violent and risky, more famous people there, right in the crux of every big event. Most of these guys got a little humility or just burned out and disappeared; some are still here to drone on over dinner about this or that big prank. A lot grew out of the G.I. men's culture going back to WW2. But this guy still has to be the star of every show in history in his own mind. (Or at least, a clever salesman of books now, with a keen sense of what the "true crime genre" buyer wants to hear.) Yeah, some of it is doubtless true, some "larger than life" (in a very scumbag way). But hey, he was everywhere and met everyone? He was a jungle warrior in 'Nam, diving out of planes into the jungles, but there's no record of Jon's military service? Faced off with John Gotti with gangs of guys in Gotti's basement (how did his army get into Gotti's basement past Gotti's guards yet all carrying guns? I get all these big question marks. Dosed Ed Sullivan with acid, tracked down Sullivan's physician, intimidated the physician and effectively blackmailed Sullivan to shut up?
There is a difference between movies and reality; the actors survive these incredible scenes because it is according to a script. The enemies are playing along, the effects people carefully set up the stunts and use pro stunt personnel. There are many takes to get it perfect. Physicians and insurance companies stand by. It is in my opinion astronomically improbable that a real guy could squeak through all these daily death-defying events (straight out of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, far surpassing any Scorsese movie) and survive. Five times, ten times, two dozen times, OK, but hundreds of times? This is like the peak moments of continuous movies end-to-end. Always as colorful and dramatic as a movie? At is as if the guy is still hanging around a nightclub, BS'ing the impressionable. That is his schtick. Dude, even the 80s was decades ago. (Yawn.)
However, If a tenth of this is true, it is an amazing story, of a real sadistic creep. (In cleverer moments, he sees himself as a reflective of the society's dark side; hired to be what he was, in effect, by people who wanted to keep their hands clean but brush up against his danger; shades of Mike Tyson.) But its all hyped to the point of exhaustion. One way or another, Jon Roberts sold a cinematic sort of drama to the dumb money of this world, and made out pretty well. Is he still doing that here?
I loved how the entire book felt like I was watching a movie. Having several different voices for the 1st person accounts, i.e Jon's sister Judy, Mickey Monday, etc., gave the book a sense of realism. For this reason, I am so glad I listened to the book, rather than read. Wish I could find more like this.
John Riccobono, of course.
ALL OF IT!!!!
Get it already. You will not regret it
After watching cocaine cowboys, I knew I had to read this book. and it does not disappoint, Jon is very honest about himself and knows who and what he is, he doesn't try to paint a picture in hindsight to make himself look like a saint and pass blame on others. I highly recommend watching cocaine cowboys either before or after as it is a great companion.
I enjoy a good story . I usually listen to a book every month . I love anything by Ken Follett
I loved this book and the way it was read. Probably the best produced audio book on the audible.com Web site. The story of cocaine cowboys is reviting.
It is overlong and has many redundant stories.
No, but this was a terrific production. The amount of voice actors, the quality of the reading, and the way it was put together felt cinematic, if that makes sense.
I now deal drugs and kill for status.
this book was a page turner from start to finish. I really had a great time reading it. I recommend this book to anyone.