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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of the most successful cocaine dealers in the world: Pablo Escobar Gaviria, Jorge Luis Ochoa Vasquez, Carlos Lehder Rivas, and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha. 

In the 1980s, they controlled more than 50 percent of the cocaine flowing into the United States. The cocaine trade is capitalism on overdrive - supply meeting demand on exponential levels. Here you'll find the story of how the modern cocaine business started and how it turned a ragtag group of hippies and sociopaths into regal kings as they stumbled from small-time suitcase smuggling to levels of unimaginable sophistication and daring.

The $2 billion dollar system eventually became so complex that it required the manipulation of world leaders, corruption of revolutionary movements, and the worst kind of violence to protect.

©1989 Guy Gugliotta and Jeff Leen (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Kings of Cocaine

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Almost Perfect.

This book well written, but since its copyright date is 1989, it's incomplete and MAJOR parts of the story are missing. the epilogue rushes through some of them. Still, it's probably the most informative audio book on the history of Medellin cartel. It was also refreshing to finally listen to a book on cartel history that wasn't written with the authors political views in mind.

The narrator is top notch too.

7 people found this helpful

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great book

really takes you inside the cocaine machine of the medellin cartel and the others involved.

3 people found this helpful

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  • rl
  • 08-29-19

“Co-caine”, not “kick-caine”

Loved the book. Interesting topic explained through a well-written book. The narrator was fine but it drove me absolutely bonkers hearing about “kickcaine” for twelve plus hours.

2 people found this helpful

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The Jackal

Awesome audiobook it broke down lots of the players in the coke game from the US and from Colombia Carlos was one of the main focal points. it makes me wanna go back and watch Blow again just to see how sneaky his character is. Great book give it a listen

2 people found this helpful

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No other book like it

This is straight from the top level reporting of the 1980s drug wars. The book is a gem from the era that has stood the test of time. Not big on conjecture or opinion. Just solid reporting.

2 people found this helpful

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Wow Very Detailed

Plenty of details plenty of villains and very detailed some people might get lost in the weeds but everything ties into each other

1 person found this helpful

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A History of Drug Trafficking in the USA

I wished they would of went into more details about Pablo Escobar and Griselda Blanco role in the drug trade. I would recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in learning how the drug sales got so rampant in the USA and how the war on drugs got started. I only gave it three stars because I wish it went into more details about the drug kingpins.

1 person found this helpful

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an awsome book

this book was alot better than i thought it would be. after reading several other books and seeing several other documenteries on the world of cocain and some of the people and events mentioned and talked about in this book this book touches on and goes into deeper detail on all of them. it was great to get more detail and different views on those events and books and shows. if you really enjoy this topic and learning about the world of drugs and cocain and their history and smuggling you will enjoy this book. even more so if you have seen and read some of those others and are familiar with some of the other people and events and stories and points of view talked about in this book. bruce porters book "blow" and magnolia films "cocain cowbows" are among those. the only reason i'm not giving 5 stars is that it seemed to end before the sory and history was over. seemed like there should have been a few more chapters in there. but what was there was awsome. so for me it was absolutely worth the credit.

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Interesting story and impressive reporting, but difficult to follow

Interesting story, robust and detailed reporting. But so many characters made it difficult to follow; And it read more like a historical account than a story; Written in a way that did not build a lot of suspense or drama.

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Kept me engrossed from start to finsh

Really enjoyed this. It was like a jigsaw puzzle and I was invested in the story. Didn't drag or slow it was really enjoyable. Planning on reading it again.