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Publisher's Summary

An in-depth report that takes readers on a shocking tour through a macabre global underworld where organs, bones, and live people are bought and sold on the red market.

Investigative journalist Scott Carney has spent five years on the ground tracing the lucrative and deeply secretive trade in human bodies and body parts - a vast hidden economy known as the "red market". From the horrifying to the ridiculous, he discovers its varied forms: an Indian village nicknamed "Kidneyvakkam" because most of its residents have sold their kidneys for cash; unscrupulous grave robbers who steal human bones from cemeteries, morgues, and funeral pyres for anatomical skeletons used in Western medical schools and labs; an ancient temple that makes money selling the hair of its devotees to wig makers in America -to the tune of $6 million annually.

The Red Market reveals the rise, fall, and resurgence of this multibillion-dollar underground trade through history: from early medical study and modern universities to poverty-ravaged Eurasian villages and high-tech Western labs; from body snatchers and surrogate mothers to skeleton dealers and the poor who sell body parts to survive. While local and international law enforcement have cracked down on the market, advances in science have increased the demand for human tissue - ligaments, kidneys, even rented space in women's wombs - leaving little room to consider the ethical dilemmas inherent in the flesh-and-blood trade.

By turns tragic, voyeuristic, and thought-provoking, The Red Market is an eye-opening, surreal look at a little-known global industry and its implications for all our lives.

©2011 Scott Carney (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Mr. Carney writes with considerable narrative verve." (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting and depressing

I'd had this book on my wish list for a long time, and I'm glad I finally chose to listen to it because it is a fascinating look at the myriad of ways that parts of people are bought, sold, and traded across the world. Some are voluntary, some are financially motivated, some are criminally stolen. Buying blood, hair donations, organ sales, hired surrogates, kidnapped children adopted out internationally........the stories are both interesting and depressing. Because of the internet and the ease of world travel, local laws are not much of a restriction when laws of other countries allow one to obtain internationally what is not available locally. And sometimes even what one obtains locally could have been sourced internationally - with ethical problems attached - without one knowing. It's a complicated and ethically fraught web of problems.

I did find the author a little overly preachy about some issues, but it didn't detract much from the overall effect of the book. I can't quite say I enjoyed it, but it was very interesting and a worthwhile "read".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Peter Ganim reading something macabre is excelent.

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

Yes, I fell in love with his voice listening the Coyote series and always wanted something like this.

Any additional comments?

This is the first book that I decided to buy just because of the narrator

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo Potocki
  • Exotic Toledo, Ohio by breathtaking Lake Erie
  • 06-22-12

Intriguing Listen!

Would you listen to The Red Market again? Why?

I actually wind up listening to "The Red Market" more than once. I've recommended it to some of my not-so-squeamish friends and they liked it too.

If you’ve listened to books by Scott Carney before, how does this one compare?

first time listener

Have you listened to any of Peter Ganim’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

My first listen to Peter Ganim but he's a good narrator.

Any additional comments?

This is a mind blowing book that human body bits are even traded on the red market - it's a real eye opener.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • CBlox
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • 06-06-12

I now want to buy a human skeleton!

If you liked STIFF get this book! Scott Carney takes us on an incredible journey which is sometimes hard to believe exists. The solid narration by Peter Ganim helped push this story along very well.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • alex
  • reston, va, United States
  • 08-29-17

Awesome book!

I would have enjoyed this book even more had it been 4 hours longer. it would have been nice to hear a few more personal stories.

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Very Enlightening!

I found this book to be very educational and shocking. I was shocked by the history of how India is exploited for everything. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wonders about how third world countries are exploited for their hair, blood, as well as organs.

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  • Vicki
  • CAMERON, SC, United States
  • 12-15-12

Body Parts For Sale!

Wow! "It was the best of times, the worst of times, and the bloodiest of times!" Red Market refers to various activities where the human body can be used to generate profit. Carney describes the organ transplant market, baby selling/stealing, blood farming, surrogate motherhood, and other disturbing mechanisms for making money. The book is written as a work of investigative journalism. The tale takes the reader on a journey throughout India, Cyprus, Eastern Europe, and the US. The buyers of the red-market goods are usually well-to-do Westerners, while the sellers tend to come from developing countries. Red Market conjures up thoughts of morality, coercion, and exploitation. Interesting thought provoking listen.

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An eye opening experience. Comparable to "Not for

What other book might you compare The Red Market to and why?

I compare this book to Not for Sale. It makes me appreciate the standard of living in the United States. This book exposes how the poor, especially in India are taken extreme advantage of by a few.

What about Peter Ganim’s performance did you like?

Peter Ganim did a superb job.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Bored to snores

For information that I would have found "gripping" in a more scientific delivery this did not appeal to me. I mostly picked it up because I liked listening to the audio recording choice of narrator.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful