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Mr Nice: An Autobiography [Hardcover]

Howard Marks
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Sep 1996
Howard Marks began his career by dealing small amounts of hashish at Oxford. By 1980 had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines and owned 25 companies trading drugs throughout the world. Finally caught, sentenced to 25 years in prison and released after seven, this is his story.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 466 pages
  • Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd (9 Sep 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436203057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436203053
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 371,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

What an extraordinary fellow Howard Marks is. His autobiography takes him from his South Wales childhood and Oxford University education through his life dealing marijuana and the enormous mythology that accrued around what the tabloids called "the English Toff Drugs King of the World". This book is called Mr Nice after one of the many aliases Marks's life as a merchant of pot obliged him to assume, but it describes him perfectly too: the epitome of British niceness, the nicest international criminal you could hope to meet. It's not hard to see why this has become a cult book--Marks is a brilliant version of a mate down the pub, telling you the gobsmacking stories of his many adventured life. The writing is direct and the narrative will detain you as comprehensively as Marks himself was detained for seven years at Terre Haut Penitentiary, Indiana. He was released the same day as Mike Tyson. "I had," he observes mildly, "been continuously in prison for the last six-and-a-half years for transporting beneficial herbs from one place to another, while he had done three years for rape." Truly there is no justice; but there are eye-popping adventures, hilarious touches and a thorough-going wisdom in this excellent book. --Adam Roberts --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"Frequently hilarious, occasionally sad, and often surreal" (GQ)

"A man who makes Peter Pan look like a geriatric with sleeping sickness" (Loaded)

"A folk legend... Howard Marks has huge charisma. He sounds like Richard Burton and looks like a Rolling Stone" (Daily Mail)

"A racy yarn with plenty of globe trotting colour" (Christopher Hirst The Independent)

"Marks weaves a fascinating story spiced with brilliant detail, far stronger than fiction" (FHM Magazine) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good... 18 Sep 2011
By Gcrikey
a great autobiography into howrds marks rise from a welsh kid in the valleys to the worlds largest dope smuggler. it gives a highly detailed account into how he starting smuggling and the fun he had a long the way up unyil his imprisonment in america's toughest prison. very enjoyable...
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I love reading real life crime. You know that game where you pick 6 famous dinner date guests, well Howard would be on my list! :)

This is a fascinating tale by an interesting and charismatic man. I read this whilst on holiday in Thailand and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I don't know how much is sensationalised for the reader but it doesn't matter because it's such a great book.

Howard has spent most of his life dealing and smuggling cannabis, and had various stints in jail. He's mingled with the Mafia, IRA and has somehow been able to mix with a variety of conflicting unsavoury people/organisations without attempts being made on his life. Considering his choices he does seem in lots of ways to have been incredibly lucky!

Surprisingly many names (some well known) have been dropped into his story leaving me a tad confused, because of the nature of his dealings.

In some ways his behaviour was quite selfish because he had a wife and children who were left whenever he got hauled off to jail, but you just can't help but like this guy - Mr Nice :)

He doesn't take himself seriously. His sharp wit and superior intelligence makes this book incredibly entertaining. This book is highly recommended if you enjoy real life crime. I'd like to read his friend's and wife's story to see how they correlate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MR NICE IS MR ICE 24 May 2011
As soon as i picked the book up i did'nt want to put it down,sometimes its funny,sometimes its sad,even hard to believe how much dope he was dealing with.Watched the film before i read the book,dont bother with the film YOU MUST read the book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smoking read 1 Mar 2011
By 4242DK
Format:Kindle Edition
Not being an avid reader i thought i would struggle with this how wrong i was a great read once i started it was hard to put it down.BUY IT
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a wonderful book ! 15 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the story of an adventurer, entrepreneur, family man, maverick and thoroughly Nice person. Witty and memorable, it charts the career of Howard Marks who creates a multi-million dollar trade in cannabis largely, it seems, from using public telephone boxes. No mobile phones in those days. His natural charm is his biggest asset, and this is conveyed throughout the book. A super read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mmmmmmmmmmmmm 5 Jan 2010
not sure what to make of howard marks as if you read his books then he makes out as though he was misguided and didnt do half of what they say he did, but if you read his friends acoounts which are much better then he was quite a naughty charachter and his own books dont portray him in that way
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Man - 25 May 2007
The truly amazing story of a many men encapsulated into the life of one. A genuinely likable anti-hero.

A Welshman with enviable British charm, a real life gentleman rogue, a top class international drug smuggler, a traveller, a hippy, a criminal, a lawyer, a prisoner, a spy, a fugitive, a father, a brother, a son, a husband, a businessman, a student, a teacher, and the list goes on...... As do Howards number of alias', passports & bank accounts!

Most importantly Marks fits the bill of the 'thinking mans criminal' perfectly. Forget the Krays, the great train robbers, al capone, etc...What this story lacks in hard edged criminal violence and attitude, it more than makes up for with witty, intelligent, luck-filled (both kinds!) drug smuggling/smoking capers.

The pre-internet/mobile phone world that Marks operated his illegal/legal business in is far away now, and adventures of this calibre would be hard to repeat today.

An absolute 'Must read', without wishing to advocate Howards smuggling activities, at several stages through the book I seriously considered a career change!!! (Then I considered descriptions of his confinment in a US jail and reality hit!).

5 stars are not enough!! The 'nepalese temble ball' of Biographies!!!

Thankyou Howard.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best auto-biographys I have ever read 14 Jan 1999
By A Customer
The great Howard Marks has proved to be as adept at writing as he was in hash smuggling. This book will have smokers crying with joy and sadness, as Marks recounts his, often surreal career, in the trade, as well as his part time work for MI5 (who were somewhat unimpressed when he smuggled drugs with the IRA instead of spying for them.) and his subsequent capture by the DEA. A fine autobiography of one of Britains most sterling rogues
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A1 service and product - Thank you!
Delivered quickly and well packaged and at a very fair price - Thank you!
Published 2 days ago by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars Reference
If you have seen the movie then reading the book is a must! It gives you an incline to another world
Published 17 days ago by Jan Holloway
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILL!!!
Excellent book, defiantly worth a read. I was hooked from start to end. Totally fascinating the life this man led
Published 1 month ago by Saul
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Howard Marks is a interesting guy. Great to read about. I think this is his best book. Definitely buy and enjoy.
Published 1 month ago by Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Brilliant book well written and someone I would like to meet. Howards good humour and sense of being are ever present - may have to buy another copy as mine has been lent to so... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Phil Co
2.0 out of 5 stars Foolish choice
I read the reviews on this and thought it might be a good read. I'm not usually so easily swayed, but I had read several based on reviews and they proved excellent. This wasn't. Read more
Published 3 months ago by AMMCD
3.0 out of 5 stars An intresting read.
Did go into to much depth about the drug deals and maybe a little to much about Howards college days.
Published 4 months ago by JPB
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT
Great book n great smell!! cracking story my second read of it cant wait for summer days to read away :)
Published 5 months ago by Jill Kirby
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr nice review
Great read,what an interesting character.brilliant in-site into his world,gives you food for thought about are “friends“ the Americans.well worth a read.
Published 6 months ago by robert goode
5.0 out of 5 stars Marks is a loveable rogue
Regardless of your views on illicit drug use you will be amused by Marks' witty banter and blatant disregard for authority. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jtrackpaul
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