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Toronto, ON, Canada | Member Since 2010

  • 1 reviews
  • 57 ratings
  • 244 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • American Desperado: My Life - From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jon Roberts, Evan Wright
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall

    In 2008 veteran journalist Evan Wright, acclaimed for his New York Times best-selling book Generation Kill and co-writer of the Emmy-winning HBO series it spawned, began a series of conversations with super-criminal Jon Roberts, star of the fabulously successful documentary Cocaine Cowboys. Those conversations would last three years, during which time Wright came to realize that Roberts was much more than the de-facto “transportation chief” of the Medellin Cartel during the 1980s, much more than a facilitator of a national drug epidemic.

    aaron says: "BEST First Person (realistic) Criminal Account"
    "Cocaine Cowboy allure gone"
    What disappointed you about American Desperado?

    I first was introduced to Jon Roberts from the documentary "The Cocaine Cowboys". In the documentary he was articulate, intelligent, and insightful. In this book he was no different with the exception that, unlike the documentary, in this book he shows an evil side of him which he took great care to hide from the previous encounter.I have no issue reading/hearing stories from the underworld or the battlefield but Jon was simply so unrepentant, graphic, and I couldn't help but think: proud, of his ultra-violent past, that for me at least, it took away from any narrative he was trying to string together. Jon comes off as a deeply conflicted, yet very distributed person. I think the thing that finally put me off the most from Jon was, he seems intelligent, and aware enough of what he was doing, to know the consequences of his actions, to the people he was harming but he still chose to embrace evil. I suppose that may have been the point of the book.Listing to this book was a big downer for me, and I was left simply disgusted with Jon Roberts. Any of the allure, glamour, and flash of the 80's cocaine cowboys is simply gone from me.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Jon Roberts and Evan Wright ? Why or why not?

    Evan Wright is a great author and journalist. I will always read anything written by him. Jon Roberts is now dead, so I guess I don't have an issue here.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I felt it was an adequate performance. Roberts writing is not very good though, so at times the performance felt amateurish, but this was no fault of the narration.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It exercised any semblance of glam I had for the crime word, and despite the fact that I felt this book was a negative, Evan Wright's occasional insights and publishing skill made it at least palatable enough for me to finish.

    Any additional comments?

    I'm hoping Evan Wight's next work will be better. But I am sure it will be.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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