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Blake

Saint Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 71
  • ratings
  • Darkest Hour: John Alite

  • Former Mafia Enforcer for John Gotti and the Gambino Crime Family
  • By: S.C. Pike
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 12

A college baseball scholarship was his way out of the inner city, but his dreams of going pro were crushed by an arm injury. John Alite was forced to return home to the only life he knew, where having to live on the streets of New York meant one thing - earning how to survive. From a young age, he found himself influenced by the wrong crowd. Enticed by the wealth, power, and prestige of the mafia, he immersed himself in a world that was foreign to most. But the cold, bitter truth was he was expendable, and his sworn allegiance was rewarded with betrayal.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • All his childhood, no mafia content whatsoever...

  • By Blake on 03-04-19

All his childhood, no mafia content whatsoever...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-19

I really wanted to like this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Gotti’s Rules, which was a thorough accounting of Alite’s days with the Gambino family but this book is sadly nothing more than the accounting of his childhood articulated by a woman who clearly has a thing for him— a childhood I consider fairly routine for a man his age growing up in a lower income in NYC. Which is fine, if that’s how it’s being presented, but that’s not how it was marketed. That said, if you’re looking for a shred of mafia content this book will fail you. I don’t think the name Gambino or Gotti was mentioned once in the book. A real failure and a real snooze, although narrator Joe Barrett kills it as usual.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive

  • By: Dan "Tito" Davis, Peter Conti - contributor
  • Narrated by: Thomas M. Hatting
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Dan "Tito" Davis comes from a town in South Dakota that's so small everyone knows their neighbor's cat's name. But once he got out, he made some noise. While at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he started manufacturing White Crosses, aka speed, and soon had the Banditos Motorcycle Club distributing ten million pills a week.  After serving a nickel, he got into the weed game, but just when he got going, he was set up by a childhood friend. Facing 30 years, Davis slipped into Mexico, which began a 13-year odyssey that led him to a hideout for a Medellin cartel, and much more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating!

  • By JNyla on 01-31-19

Great book, ends somewhat abruptly

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-18-18

Fascinating story and all in all a very interesting listen. My only complaint is to say the end is somewhat abrupt would be an understatement. I think it would have been better had he kind of explained, for better or worse, what that experience and subsequent arrest had done to his current life situation. It is just basically “I got arrested, I tried to get my legitimately acquired assets back, no dice. Audible hopes you enjoyed this program.”

  • Pablo Escobar

  • Beyond Narcos
  • By: Shaun Attwood
  • Narrated by: Max Tilney
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 62

Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was a devoted family man and a psychopathic killer; a terrible enemy, yet a wonderful friend. While donating millions to the poor, he bombed and tortured his enemies - some had their eyeballs removed with hot spoons. Through ruthless cunning and America's insatiable appetite for cocaine, he became a multi-billionaire, who lived in a $100-million house with its own zoo.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much more than Netflix docs; war on drugs exposed

  • By Dragonfoureyes on 10-04-17

A straight rip-off of Mark Bowden’s Killing Pablo

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-24-17

While an interesting book, almost every single quote is lifted from a far more thorough telling, Mark Bowden’s Killing Pablo. And when I say every quote I mean every quote. No footnotes, no credit. In my opinion, this is hastily produced effort largely focused on capitalizing on the popularity of Narcos— which is fine— but give credit where credit is due.

  • Luck of the Devil

  • My Life as a Drug Smuggler
  • By: Jack H.W. Collins
  • Narrated by: Ken Solin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

Luck of the Devil follows Jack Collins fresh out of the Navy in 1969 as he heads to Miami. There, he falls into the hippie culture of the day. Looking to score free drugs for himself and his friends, he starts dealing blow and pills on the side. Jack eventually grows into the "bigger" game of pills and cocaine as he establishes relationships with the Colombians.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • wasted a credit

  • By Amazonian on 03-24-18

No American Desperado...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-17-17

Not a bad story-- or set of vignettes to be more accurate-- but the narrator is as bad as they come. He also randomly repeats sentences and at times you can hear what I presume is him adjusting a lamp. American Desperado by Jon Roberts is the major league version of this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Killing Pablo

  • The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw
  • By: Mark Bowden
  • Narrated by: Mark Bowden
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,028
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 631
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630

Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar. Also from Bowden: the best selling Black Hawk Down.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Relevant Accessible History

  • By Bob on 03-25-03

Fantastic Detail Told From Multiple Perspectives

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-01-11

In my opinion this is Bowden's best work. His detail and research is unparalleled and the story itself couldn't be any more wild if it was fiction. Bowden offers a gripping look inside the many faces of Escobar, from the ruthless cartel boss that waged war on the Columbian state to the concerned family man who fought fiercely to keep his family safe.

The wealth, violence and details are shocking and Bowden's ability to organize so many narratives and perspectives into a single, cohesive timeline makes for one of the best non-fiction titles I've ever read. Having both the audiobook and the paperback, the abridged audiobook doesn't exclude much. As for the audiobook, Bowden's delivery, often direct and with disregard for political correctness, exponentially improves the quality of the audiobook as you get the sense that the man who did the research is telling you a great campfire story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful