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Law of the Jungle: The Hunt for Colombian Guerrillas, American Hostages, and Buried Treasure Paperback – 8 Mar 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (8 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061671827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061671821
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,711,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Paperback. Pub Date: 2011 Pages: 384 Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks On Feuary 13. 2003. A plane carrying three American military contractors crash-landed in the jungle-covered mountains of Colombia. Within minutes. FARC guerrillas swarmed the wreckage and killed the American pilot and a Colombian crew member. then marched the survivors-Marc Gonsalves. Keith Stansell. and Thomas Howes-at gunpoint into the rain forest. The Colombian government sent 147 soldiers to rescue the Americans. The troops spent weeks subsisting on monkey meat and Amazon rodents as they chased the guerrillas deeper into the jungle. But then a soldier on a bathroom eak stuck his machete into the ground and pulled out 20 million pesos-part of a buried rebel cache of 20 million-and the game suddenly changed. Veteran journalist John Otis places the Colombian hostage story in its full context. explorin...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ben on 7 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very detailed in its description of the guerrillas, drugs, hostage situations and also the relations between the US and Colombia. The issue of military contractors as opposed to 'real' US soldiers is well explained as the book centers around the three hostages that were captured roughly ten years ago. To try and disentangle and explain the net of Colombian politics, drug conflicts and its context is not an easy one but Otis pulls it off.

The reason it does not get five stars is the amount of detail that is sometimes given as if to show the in depth research that the author has undertaken to write this book. E.g. the chapter where he describes the life and family of one of the American hostages for several pages. It harms the flow of the book that is otherwise very entertaining. Especially considering that this all actually happened not too long ago.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Spellbinding Tale 24 Mar 2010
By Ted - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Law of the Jungle is a great read- it really lays out the complex web of narco-politics in Colombia through the story of three "gringos" shot down over the jungle interwoven with the strange adventure of the Colombian Special forces team who were sent to find the Americans. The story would be difficult to believe if it were not true- and that is the common thread through out the novel.
I have often wondered the back story of the whole war on drugs- especially as it has played out in Colombia, Law of the Jungle brought me up to speed in a thoughtful and entertaining way.
The author's in depth knowledge of latin america, both culturally as well as politically show through in the narrative, Mr. Otis should continue writing on this subject, I can't wait for his next book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
good read and accurate 29 Jun 2010
By rightway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good documentation and entertaining read on Colombia's narco guerrillas and the American hostages. Would also recommend "Out of Captivity" written by the three American hostages on their ordeal.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A real page-turner 11 Nov 2010
By Eric Kayne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Two friends of mine who worked closely with John Otis in South America in the past told me about this book and I had also heard about it on a radio interview here in Houston.

Otis brilliantly weaves the lives of three Americans held hostage in the jungles of Columbia against a backdrop of global politics, buried treasure and a harrowing rescue. The book narratively clarifies the conflict between the government of Columbia and the FARC. A real page-turner, this is a good book for a long plane ride or a bedside book good for pre-sleep adventures.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
great book 25 Aug 2010
By Tyler Bridges - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was familiar with the overall story. But with incisive reporting, Otis brought the entire story alive and made me want to keep reading to the end. I knew how the story would come out, but Otis made me want to see how. I especially liked his details on the climactic hostage rescue.

I read the book during a couple of flights. It's a good, quick read. The book has a good mix of background material that doesn't slow the overall story.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A complex tale full of untold stories 14 May 2010
By R Lawrence - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
John Otis wrestles successfully with a complicated subject that remains largely ignored by most of the world - outside Colombia. Complex stories require reader patience, and this one was hard to crack - which I think caused another reviewer to down-rate the book. I learned a great deal about the FARC, Colombian politics and government since the 1970s. The tales of three American contractors, and of Ingrid Betancourt, bookend sad stories of the hundreds and thousands who have suffered at the hands of Colombia's right, left, and center. Otis's book explores and enlightens, approaching a crescendo in the last ten chapters that kept me up reading late until I finished.
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