Monday, June 20, 2011
I Am the Market
Subtitled "How to Smuggle Cocaine by the Ton in Five Easy Lessons", I was hoping I might pick up some sort of business lesson, even if I'm not a drug dealer myself. At the very least I hoped for an interesting story. Hopes dashed all around.
By five easy lessons, the publisher and/or author mean in five chapters. Each chapter isn't really a lesson in and of itself. It's just a bunch of rambling about the drug trade from a former semi-big dealer who is in prison. The author of the book, an Italian journalist, interviewed him and then appears to not have edited the transcription in the least. Or maybe he did, which would be even more sad.
The book is a reliving of the guy's glory days and he talks about some of the ways he smuggled cocaine which are no longer valid because they've been shut down by law enforcement.
About the only thing good about this book are some of the interesting unsubstantiated claims the guy makes like the "fact" that the drug trade is keeping Florida's banks afloat or that law enforcement often buy drug sniffing dogs from the drug cartels themselves. If true, well yes, that is quite interesting. But how are you going to substantiate the claim?
Not worth the read, even though it is a very slim book and a quick read.
Update: Turns out I wrote a review of this before and didn't publish it. I like my writing better in this one:
Thought it might be fun to read a book about smuggling cocaine. Subtitled how to smuggle cocaine in five easy lessons, I thought I would soon be up and going importing coke and selling it to Amish kids. Or maybe hosting raves. Everyone likes Amish raves.
In all seriousness, I thought I might glean a business tip or two from the book. You never know where you might pick up something new. In this case, though, there wasn't much to be gleaned.
The book seems to be one extensive interview of a former semi-successful coke smuggler by an Italian journalist. The coke smuggler himself would tell you he was more than successful but being as he's saying that from prison, I'll disagree.
He was full of himself, the interview seemed as if it was lightly edited, and outside of some interesting tidbits (but not necessarily facts (like the claim that many drug sniffing dogs purchased by government drug enforcement agencies are bought from drug suppliers)) I didn't enjoy it that much. Given the lack of anything remotely concrete, the amount of braggadocio, and the fact that five chapters does not equate five lessons if there is no structure, I'm calling this a definite pass.
I also gave up on The Skeptic's Guide to Writers Houses. A more ostentatious author I have not encountered. I gave it three chapters and then returned it to the library.