Rating: 7 / 10 •
An excellent introduction to the global cocaine trade — production, distribution, logistics, and financing are all covered. The history and evolution of the cartels & mafias in Columbia, Mexico, Italy and Russia was fascinating, even the bits I already knew.
I was hoping for more details on the Italian/European organisations, beyond the ‘Ndragheta. The occasional diversions into reflections, poetry and minor characters added to the bulk. (I completely understand Roberto’s need for that reflection—his books have cost him a free life.)
Rating: 6 / 10 •
A memoir written as a letter to the mother. It’s beautifully written, though disjoint as times, as our thoughts often are.
I loved the sections of experiences with mom and grandmom, of finding love, of loss (twice), and of addiction. The short section of friends lost to drug addiction was simple yet moving. The prose sometimes, written as thoughts flow, often made comprehension hard.
It was a bit hard to read, to stay interested in. Yet, there are many moments from the book, both beautiful and sad, which have stayed vividly in memory.
Rating: 8 / 10 •
Fast, breathless, always moving…
I never connected with the characters. I understood term. I may have even known some Sals and Deans. But I just couldn’t connect with them, as people.
Yet, I enjoyed the writing.
Enjoyed the vividness of the scenes.
Enjoyed discovering a subculture of 7 decades ago.
Even, at times, enjoyed the wild wanderings of minds constantly high of mj, insomnia and youth.
Not bad for a book I picked up by mistake.