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Publisher's Summary

The dense hills of Sinaloa, Mexico, are home to the most powerful drug lord since Pablo Escobar: Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Responsible for uncountable murders since taking charge of the Sinaloa cartel in the 1990s, and a central figure in the recent surge in drug-related violence and bloodshed, Guzman is among the world's ten most wanted men - and also appeared on Forbes magazine's 2009 billionaire list.

With his massive wealth, his army of professional killers, and a network of informants that reaches into the highest levels of government, catching Guzman was considered impossible - until now. The all-out war between the Mexican cartels has isolated Guzman from former partners at the same time that the Mexican government has intensified its fight to restore order and end the terror. With El Chapo vulnerable as never before, Mexican and DEA authorities are closing in, and journalist Malcolm Beith, a Newsweek contributor who has spent years reporting on the drug wars, follows the chase with full access to senior officials and exclusive interviews with soldiers and drug traffickers in the region, including members of Guzman's cartel.

The Last Narco combines fearless reporting with the story of El Chapo's legendary rise from a poor farming family to the "capo" of the world's largest drug empire. The Last Narco is an essential book about one of the most pressing and dramatic stories in the news today.

©2010 Malcolm Beith (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Courageous, gritty, and gripping." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Informative yet unintentionally hilarious

If you're a fan of Killing Pablo type journalism, you will most likely find this informative, but the narrator's attempts at a Mexican dialect are just horrible and made me laugh out loud. He comes off sounding more Chinese than Mexican, and considering how many talented Latino and Latina actors there are -- or even Anglos who can execute a passable accent -- if I was Hispanic I think I might be slighlty offended. Sorry, John Alen Nelson, you have a fine voice and all, but a man's gotta know his limitations. Or as you might call them, "Lee-ma-tay-chuns."

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Mountain View, CA, United States
  • 04-16-12

Wow! Great story.

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

El Chapo made the Forbes billionaire's list. He stayed (partied) for several years in a Mexican prison -- until he was supposed to be extradited to the USA. Suddenly he disappeared. He has been on the run for over 10 years -- with a $7million reward for his capture (US and Mexico).<br/><br/>Where did he come from (poor poor)? How did he rise? Who are the other players in the story? I have lived in Mexico for several years (close to the prison he escaped from). El Chapo is a mystery. It was interesting to get the details behind the story, as well as the other narcos involved.<br/><br/>It was also interesting to hear the details of El Chapo's time in prison. He was captured in 1993 and escaped in 2001.

What about John Allen Nelson’s performance did you like?

The complaints about his spanish accent, almost kept me from getting the book. I can promise that these complaints were very exaggerated. In no way does the narrator distract from the story. I have listened to the book twice, and I can understand why he has narrated so many books. He is good. The book kept my interest from beginning to end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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great book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Narco to be better than the print version?

I almost did not buy this because some reviewers said it was just news stories rehashed to a book. This is ridiculous. There is so much info in this book, I learned so much. It was very well written and extremely detailed in research. This is a must read for anyone today as you learn that this Sinoloa cartel has reach worldwide. This book was absolutely fascinating. The only thing I wish the author included was a postscript to speak about how he was able to keep his life safe while his time researching, especially on his travels in Culiacan and around. He admits in one chapter he is a white man that sticks out easily and he admits that the narcos know whenever someone comes and goes inside Culiacan.

What about John Allen Nelson’s performance did you like?

Great, loved the accents. It was somewhat funny but very effective.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The 5 planes and 2 helicopter entourage of Chapo during his wedding to 18 year old.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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OMG! Skip this one!

This could have been a great story, but given that the narrator had no concept of how to pronounce Spanish (place names, names of the characters, etc.), I just couldn't force myself to finish listening to the book.

Did anyone knowledgeable, listen to this performance before releasing it?

Skip this one!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • John R.
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • 12-31-15

Almost the same story as "El Narco"

Would you try another book from Malcolm Beith and/or John Allen Nelson?

Not Sure

Did John Allen Nelson do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Not really

Do you think The Last Narco needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No unless you really want to learn more about Chapo Guzman

Any additional comments?

I went into this book hoping to learn more about Chapo Guzman but I learned almost nothing more than I learned about him from the news and the book "El Narco" I was almost expecting this to be a sort of biography but it did nothing like that, this drug lords son actually gets murdered by his rivals and it barely even mentions this in this book which really amazed me.

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  • Omar
  • Bloomington, MN, United States
  • 11-18-12

good book, poor narration

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Allen Nelson?

Anyone who has a better understanding of how to pronounce Mexican names (people and places).

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

It almost made me cry because of how bad the narrator butchered names and accents. If I were unfamiliar with the subject matter of this book I would have thought it took place in an Asian country as opposed to México.