Marching Powder

Marching Powder 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 so

  • Title: Marching Powder
  • Author: Rusty Young Adrian Mulraney
  • ISBN: 9781743110669
  • Page: 474
  • Format: Audio CD
  • 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 friendRusty 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.Marching Powder is a shocking, darkly comic account of the life in San Pedro In this bizarre prison, inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents Others run shops and restaurants, and hundreds of women and children live with imprisoned family members It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation Violence and crime are never far away, and sections of San Pedro that echo with the sound of children by day house some of Bolivia s busiest cocaine laboratories by night.Sometimes shocking, sometimes funny, Marching Powder is an always riveting story of survival.

    • Marching Powder - Rusty Young Adrian Mulraney
      474 Rusty Young Adrian Mulraney
    • thumbnail Title: Marching Powder - Rusty Young Adrian Mulraney
      Posted by:Rusty Young Adrian Mulraney
      Published :2019-09-12T07:53:42+00:00

    About "Rusty Young Adrian Mulraney"

    1. Rusty Young Adrian Mulraney

      Rusty Young born 1975 is the Australian born author of the international bestseller Marching Powder, the true story of an English drug smuggler in Bolivia s notorious San Pedro Prison and the bestselling novel, Colombiano, a fact meets fiction revenge thriller about a Colombian boy who sets out to avenge his father s death.Rusty grew up in Sydney, and studied Finance and Law at the University of New South Wales He was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia s famous San Pedro Prison Curious about the reason behind McFadden s huge popularity, the law graduate went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas s illegal tours They formed an 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 After securing Thomas s release, Rusty lived in Colombia where he taught the English language and wrote Thomas s story The memoir, Marching Powder, was released in 2003 and was an international bestseller.Following the success of Marching Powder, Rusty was recruited as a Program Director of the US government s Anti Kidnapping Program in Colombia He was part of a team that trained local police, military and SWAT teams in kidnapping response and hostage rescue At the time, Colombia had an average of eight kidnappings a day It was a role fraught with danger and Rusty lived part time on a military base, drove a Level III armoured vehicle, communicated with colleagues via encrypted radio and changed houses in Bogot a dozen times He kept this work completely secret.Through police and army contacts, Rusty was able to interview special forces soldiers, including snipers and undercover intelligence agents, about their work He also interviewed captured child soldiers from the two main terrorist organisations FARC and Autodefensas The former soldiers, some as young at twelve when they joined, described in great detail their reasons for enlisting, their hatred of the enemy, their gruelling military training, their political indoctrination and their horrific experiences in battle Once Rusty had earned their trust, they also opened up to him about gruesome tortures they were forced to witness or participate in.These interviews, along with Rusty s extensive in the field knowledge about cocaine trafficking, formed the factual setting and background for his novel Colombiano, a fact meets fiction revenge thriller.Colombiano was published in Australia in August 2017 and was the highest selling Australian fiction title that month It will be released worldwide in 2018.In 2011, Rusty co founded the Colombian Children s Foundation of Australia, which helps rehabilitate and resocialise former child soldiers Currently, his house in Bogot is the charity s headquarters Ten percent of his royalties of Colombiano will go to the foundation, which has almost 200 former child soldiers under care.Rusty also fronts the documentary Wildlands 2017 in which he interviews notorious characters formerly involved in the cocaine trade, including George Jung famously played by Johnny Depp in the movie Blow and, terrifyingly, John Velasquez or Popeye , Pablo Escobar s right hand man and one of the deadliest hitmen in cartel history.

    723 thoughts on “Marching Powder”

    1. This is one of the easiest books to hand sell in my shop. It's ideal for a long haul flight but just as good read at home during these long nights of curfew after Irma, Maria and the two flash flood tropical storms the media didn't mention. Thomas McFadden was a drug dealer in South America. He did it for the kicks and the money, he didn't do drugs himself. He relied on paying off a network of thoroughly corrupt officials and never gave thought to one of them might sell him out. Which they did.N [...]


    2. While poorly written at times, this book was an incredible story about an unbelievable subject. At one point I thought the overall narrative was over (something that happens half way through a lot of non-fiction books) but that is when the book gets darker. That is what makes this book worth all of its pages. This book has made me dream of cocaine ingestion (neither positive or negative) and that is the view that is portrayed. Jailhouse tourism may never take off worldwide, but this is an excell [...]


    3. This book made me angry because it was so poorly written - such an interesting story made into something so flat and annoying. The narrator was not trustworthy - in high school lit, we would have called him an "unreliable narrator." One of the faults of the first-person narrative structure - the narrator had no independent authority and the author didn't have the skill to bolster his narrator's credibility (He would say, "I did this bad thing, but I'm not a bad guy" and my reaction would be "I d [...]


    4. Drug runner Thomas McFadden was the epitome of a likeable rogue who lead a charmed life. But his luck ran out in Bolivia. The most unintentionally funny part of the book was Thomas's outrage that the corrupt Bolivian official he bribed betrayed him.Arrested and kept in a holding cell for thirteen days, Thomas was robbed by his arresting officers which left him no money to buy food. Frozen and starving Thomas begged to be moved to a prison. The officers found this desire to be moved to prison hys [...]


    5. This real life account of an English drug dealer’s time inside San Pedro prison reads more like a thriller- even if only 10% is true, then it’s a pretty crazy place- from having to buy your own cell to manufacturing the best cocaine in Bolivia, from wholesale bribery to prison tour guides, this has it all. Easy to read, with very little of the violence you’d suppose from this kind of story, the book offers a glimpse into a very different world.


    6. Having lived in Bolivia for the first twenty years of my life, where the goings-on inside San Pedro are public knowledge, I can vouch for the veracity of the story exposed by Young / McFadden, although it reads as stranger than fiction. The bizarre, sometimes brutal, sometimes comic revelations of Marching Powder, are not as astonishing to me as they might be to someone unfamiliar with “the way things are in South America”, but even to my acquainted eye the book still made for interesting re [...]


    7. Ghost writer wanted!I love a good ripping yarn - tales of adventurous stupidity, derring do and the right mix of good and bad luck. Throw in a good dose of local colour and corruption, and away you go! But not this timeI can't believe how dull this book turned out to be. Thomas bleats on and on ad infinitum about how crazy the jail is and how loco the situation is - prisoners taking out mortgages on cells, imbibing in the purest cocain in the world, restaurants run by prisoners and even a cat th [...]


    8. Everyone has one of those friends that drink too much and tell outrageous stories. Things like "The time I sat next to Hannah Montana in first class and she totally hit on me," "The time I got lost in the NYC subways and spent the night hanging out with a bunch of homeless guys," or "The time my boat almost sank but I was saved by a magical friendly dolphin." If you're lucky, your friend is entertaining and the ridiculous stories are actually fun to listen to. If you're unlucky your "friend" is [...]


    9. This is just one of those amazing true stories. If a fiction author wrote it, you would think it was too unbelievable. I dare anyone to try to read this book and remain non-nonplussed by the fuctupedness in this story.The story takes place in a Bolivian prison which is unlike any in the world, I imagine. The protagonist is a drug smuggler; he was caught red-handed and is sent to a bizarre prison in which you pay to enter and pay to own a cell. The guards never really enter the prison grounds in [...]


    10. I first heard about this book a couple years ago and was interested straight away. A book set in the San Pedro prison in Bolivia. Full of corruption, crime and drugs.What I got was full of corruption, crime and drugs. But also a fair bit of boredom and self-pity. No matter how nice he was he was still a convicted drug smuggler and dealer and I can't have any sympathy for him at all. If he'd been innocent I would have felt differently. But he was there because he deserved to be. So for me that re [...]


    11. I bought this book because my 'book lady' in Saigon recommended it to me and boy am I glad I did!! It is the amazingly true story of a drug trafficker from England who is caught and arrested in Bolivia where he is sent to San Pedro. When he arrives he is barely alive and it seems as though he has no chance of surviving. San Pedro is like no prison I have ever imagined could exist. For starters, prisoners have to buy their own cell. They have various sections to choose from to live in depending o [...]


    12. This memoir of a British drug dealer's nearly five years inside a Bolivian prison provides a unique window on a bizarre and corrupt world. McFadden, a young black man from Liverpool arrested for smuggling cocaine, finds himself forced to pay for his accommodations in La Paz's San Pedro Prison, the first of many oddities in a place where some inmates keep pets and rich criminals can sustain a lavish lifestyle. McFadden soon learns how to survive, and even thrive, in an atmosphere where crooked pr [...]


    13. Um WTFAt first, reading about the prison conditions, the prisoners lifestyles and bribery I was entertained. Not amazed, as its a third world prison and they will never amaze me Unfortunately from about halfway through I found Thomas to be whiny and self centered. And the more I read, the more it grated. Granted it would be hard being thrown into a third world prison, hell it would be hard being thrown into any prison, but the fact that Cocaine is glorified throughout the novel, until the last f [...]


    14. So, this wasn't terribly well written - if you're after a masterpiece, don't read it. But it's a fascinating story with lots of descriptions involving corruption and how money buys influence. And how corruption focuses around a lack of basic human rights.I started reading this book as I've had a couple of friends who travelled through South America and said that EVERYONE was reading it (similar to One Day or Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on the London Tube). I can understand why it would be fascin [...]


    15. Everyone I'd talked to about this book told me it was incredible. I feel that I might need to stop asking everyone about books. The headline on the back of the novel boldly states:"A darkly comic, sometimes shocking account of life in the world's most bizarre prison" Why is it, then, that I feel so underwhelmed by this novel? Is it because the protagonist fails to conjure up any charisma? Is it because all of the "shocking revelations" could've probably been summed up in a 5 page summary? Is it [...]


    16. Where do I even start? Maybe the reason for reading. I am endlessly fascinated with correctional facilities, prisoners and corruption. I wont discuss particulars but this is one biography that you just inhale. The language is easy, and the story is magnetic. It evokes a sense of curiosity and fear; you feel the need to see these things for yourself much like the visitors that toured with him, but there is a little voice in the back of your mind that talks to what could and what does go wrong. Hi [...]


    17. Awesome. Fascinating look into the inside of a South American jail where the inmates have almost unlimited freedom, run their own businesses and have their families staying with them inside the prison, come and go seemingly at will, have drugs-fuelled parties (cocaine, mostly, naturally!) and invite guests in to take tours of the prison but start out with nothing, living amongst filth and scum in a common and dangerous central compound, having to buy their way into a cell. This was an eye openi [...]


    18. Such a great true life story, I didn't mind too much about the way it was written. What a fascinating life he has led and lived to tell the story. Loved it, would read again.


    19. I notice that there has been some mixed responses to this book by Rusty Young, some people even found it boring. What?? As with Colombiano I again found his writing style both refreshing and chilling and any book that keeps me hooked liked this one did deserves the 5 star rating I have given it. Both his novels have been based on interviews he has done with people who are either too scared or unable to write about their own experiences. He obviously takes a little bit of licence at times but wha [...]


    20. Amazing story and very authentic voice. Very simple and entertaining read. I guess after watching the series Narcos on Netflix, I'm a little less surprised by this type of story.



    21. Marching Powder details the bizarrely true story of Thomas McFadden who spent four and a half years in the infamous San Pedro prison in Bolivia. The book is written by an Australian backpacker who visits McFadden in prison before striking up a friendship and deciding to detail McFadden’s life and experiences within the notoriously corrupt prison and judicial system. As the title suggests, there are plenty of drug-related references and violence splattered throughout its pages which include “ [...]



    22. Concur w/ Raghu's 10/25/10 review, much of which is duplicated below:Rusty Young's 'Marching Powder' is the real-life account of Thomas McFadden, a black Englishman and cocaine trafficker, and his nearly five years in the San Pedro prison in La Paz, Bolivia. What is bizarre and unusual and incredible about the book is the nature of the San Pedro prison. One is used to hearing about notorious third-world prisons where corruption, crime, violence and inhumanity is rampant. Police brutality and cor [...]


    23. It has been some time since I've been as absorbed in a book-length character study as this. I was totally taken in by the strength of Rusty Young's storytelling here, but he is not the star of this book. Instead, it is a biography of an English drug trafficker, Thomas McFadden, who was imprisoned in Bolivia's San Pedro prison on drug charges. It's far from a normal prison: Australian author Young met McFadden when he visited San Pedro as a tourist and sampled the cocaine made in-house. "He sniff [...]


    24. I read Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail over one wild, windy weekend, only getting up off the couch to eat, say hi to my long-suffering partner and sleep. Then I read the reviews. Strange, but I agreed with both the 5-star and the 1-star comments. It's a fascinating, page-turning story, told in a simple, easy-to-read style. It has touches of surreal comic brilliance, as it tells of the narrator Thomas's survival through incredible hardships [...]


    25. Very easy book to read and if you enjoy reading prison non-fiction books then this should be one already on your list. Thomas McFadden is an Englishman sent to a Bolivian prison for drug trafficking. Unlike other prison books that detail the horrifying conditions (there's those too) this presents a completely different eye opener, such as tourist visits, corruption (paying for day trips, nights out, Satellite TV and gaming consoles and anything else you can imagine) there's a unique 'unofficial' [...]


    26. I love the show Locked Up Abroad so I knew that I will love the book as the story is usually quite similar. Someone gets busted smuggling drugs and gets thrown in foreign prison, where the standards are much lower than in the wester world:-) That is exactly what happened to Thomas, professional drug smuggler, who got thrown into Bolivian notorius San Pedro Prison that is a world on its own. Once you get thrown in, you have to buy your own cell, provide your own food and everything else. The pris [...]


    27. This is a fantastic story written very amateurishly. The first two thirds of the book focuses on the La Paz prison and the idea that such a thing could exist - the entire USP of the book. However, that is the part which is lousy, and you would be better advised to stick to the Wiki page. By the end of it though, one does feel for Thomas, and the indulgent adventure that he turned it into. The small length of the chapters grate one's senses, and one gets a sense again and again that the book was [...]


    28. Fascinating story on a convicted English drug trafficker in San Pedro, a Bolivian prison. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how San Pedro was run and about the people and politics in Bolivia but the story dragged in places and it was not written well. At times I found myself wondering how much of the story was true as Thomas, the English drug trafficker, spends most of his time stoned or drunk whilst in prison and surely this would affect his memory and ability to retell his story? I also found it di [...]


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