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Publisher's Summary

A true story of friendship, cocaine and South America's strangest jail.

Rusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the twenty-something Australian law graduate travelled to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. What followed took both men by surprise: they formed a strong and instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with Thomas and recording one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time.

Sometimes shocking, sometimes funny, Marching Powder is an always riveting story of survival.

©2010 Rusty Young (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    137
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    63
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Performance

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    52
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    4
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Story

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

Step into a world you could not ever imagine ...

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes and no. Perhaps I would recommend they read it rather than listen to it as I found the narration annoying. The subject matter, however, is so interesting and almost beyond belief. I did not know anything at all about Boliva, the prison system, drug making etc. and I found it almost fantastic.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Marching Powder?

The time the protagonist spent in solitary confinement in the first months he was jailed were riveting.

Did Adrian Mulraney do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I thought the voice of Thomas was irritating but he did the other character voices well...it was difficult to connect the voice of Thomas to the character he was portraying.

Do you think Marching Powder needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. It ended properly and did not lead to a sequel.

Any additional comments?

A good story spoiled by an irritating narration.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 05-30-17

Great insight into a bizarre world

If you're a fan of the NatGeo series 'locked up abroad' you will really dig the first part of this book. It's the classic tale of someone trying to smuggle drugs internationally, it's a fascinating start to a crazy journey. The second half of the book was really unexpected to me; it's a detailed account of being in prison in La Paz and it's a very unusual prison. This book is chalked full of details painting a picture of daily life and survival in a foreign prison. Overall I found 'Marching Powder' really interesting and hard to put down, I recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

narrator is not a problem

Many have criticized the choice of narrator, but Thomas is originally from Tanzania and grew up in Liverpool, England, so the narration is spot on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Absolutely fantastic!!!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book is a MUST!!!!
The narration by Adrian Mulraney makes this audio book.. No doubt about it!!!
His characters (especially the Aussie and Kiwi) are spot on!!!

What does Adrian Mulraney bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Adrian makes this audio book very hard to put down...

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I have mixed emotions about this book, but that's because of the storyline..
It's real.. It's daunting!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alex
  • North York, ON, Canada
  • 07-30-11

Marching Powder by Rusty Young

Good audio. Narrators speak clearly - good recording. Really cool book - cant wait for movie

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Fabulous book...

loved it.. it almost makes me want to visit and tour the Bolivian prison! 😀

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The felon Forrest Gump!

This guy is the perverbial victim. He is the best the chosen one and forced or tricked into every situation. I do not find Thomas McFadden to be honest. Iwhat he says is true. It is very interesting. If could have found corroborating evidence and had he not contradicted himself. I would have enjoyed it more. f,

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

DETAILED

Very in depth, informative and well read. A lot to think about. Descriptions puts you right in the prison.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Detailed and unbelievable story

Don't focus too much on other negative reviews; it's an astonishing story, worth your time. Narration too is entertaining. Nice book to read if your traveling South America.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting and Entertaining

I agree with some of the other reviewers that the narrator's accent for Thomas was kind of confusing (if he is British, even of African decent, shouldn't his accent sound at least somewhat British?). But the narrator conveys the story well and in an entertaining manner. I found it riveting. I really enjoyed this.
Also, I understand there is a movie adaptation of this in the works. :-)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • josh
  • 08-31-16

WAOW - next stop Bolivia!

This is an amazing book simply for it's shock factor... I still can't believe San Pedro exists

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sparky 73
  • 07-27-16

great book

Very interesting story about a very strange prison and a very corrupt country
Definitely recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-17-16

A truly gripping tale!!

Wow this was such an interesting listen. I was gripped from the start! I enjoyed the
narration.
I love Thomas. Thank you for telling your story! Great insight into the world of smuggling and the corruption that goes on in these South American prisons!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Richard Llewellyn
  • 02-19-16

love this story, and the reader is brilliant!

I really enjoyed the story, I flew through it in no time. I really felt that I knew Thomas by the end of the book, and many of the other characters as well. I want sure if the way it was broken down initially with the introduction part by Rusty, but by the end it made perfect sense to do it this way. I forget the name of the reader, but he was brilliant. I really felt that it was Thomas himself telling me the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • 02-02-16

love this book

one of my favourite books finally in audio. Read brilliantly I can't wait until this comes out as a film

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 11-11-15

Great read!!

Great book 100% worth a read! The story entices to read listen more and more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ann
  • 02-07-18

Grim and gripping

So pleased to have had this book recommended to me and even more so to find it in audiobooks. An extraordinary insight into drug trafficking and the compromised Bolivian penal system.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jws
  • 09-03-17

Loved this book

If you could sum up Marching Powder in three words, what would they be?

Fascinating, thought provoking,eye opener on life in a Bolivian prison.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Thomas McFadden

What does Adrian Mulraney bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Perhaps a better picture and idea what Thomas McFadden went through

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If only I had had the time!

Any additional comments?

An amazing story of what life is like in San Pedro prison, unbelievable, a sad story but also inspiring that a man can survive all of that hardship & share his story. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot believe that such things go on in a South American prison.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-28-17

You couldn't make this up: must read!

Incredible story, very enlightening. I wasn't keen on the reading and very bad / inaccurate accents- got in the way for me. However, the story is so incredible I had to listen.
Recommend to anyone who is interested in travel, politics, law, friendship and personal development.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Craig F. J. Charles
  • 05-02-17

Some dodgy accents but overall a good story

Well worth the time some really funny moments I might even try to visit .....

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire Wallace
  • 04-02-18

Gripping, cannot put it down once you start

Fantastic narrator and captivating story. Powered through this novel as couldn't put it down. Blows your mind the fact that this is all a true story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-30-18

Needs a good editor

This book would be a much more interesting read if it was half as long and had been edited more efficiently. The narrator is so wrongly suited to this story it is ridiculous, the accent is so misplaced as to be distracting. A big disappointment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • 03-14-18

Kept me captivated from the start.

An extraordinary story. I enjoyed it immensely. Narrator also fantastic. Highly recommend this book. Thank you

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Colin Purchase
  • 01-14-18

Great storyline

Loved it. Was an insight into a different world. I did not think the life of a prisoner could be so interesting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-16-17

Exceptional

Absolutely brilliant narration and detail
The interesting matter of fact way this story is told is an absolute credit to all
Highly recommend this

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-28-17

Absolutely fantastic

This was a fantastic book, well read and I just wanted to go back for more! Such an incredible story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Isabella
  • 09-16-17

Amazing story

This was an incredible story, like nothing I've ever heard before! The narration was great, I was hooked from the first chapter. Highly recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 08-12-17

very enjoyable

the narrator really made this book. amazing story and glimpse into a shady area which most people have never heard of let alone travel to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nick
  • 07-26-17

amazing

amazing from start to finish from The Corruption to the panic to the Horizon highly recommended for anyone to read this

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clint
  • 04-06-17

great

loved it and a true story that was greatly told...highly recommend you buy ... i couldnt stop