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Mr Nice Paperback – 2 Jun 1997

143 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (2 Jun. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749395699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749395698
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,110 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

Review

"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)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gcrikey on 18 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Smart on 25 May 2007
Format: Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Pierson on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 4242DK on 1 Mar. 2011
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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By Gurjit on 20 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
For someone who has smoked puff everyday for 20 years, Howard Marks certainly has a good memory, not to mention a lot of energy. Indeed, the opening line `I was running out of passports, ones I could use' sums up the scope of his business.

Life in the 60's and 70's is well documented as a perfect era for some of the breathtaking scams he pulls-off, which he later admits wouldn't have worked today - perhaps reflecting that his luck could only hold out for so long.

In parts, the book can sometimes read as a novel, or appear like an episode of The Wire, the major difference being is that this story actually happened. And as such, one cannot help but feel a certain fascination with this man despite where you may stand on the moral issues of drug smuggling.

His associates are vast and varied and at times it's hard to keep track of who's doing what. It is nonetheless a riveting read and an eye-opener for all that is good and bad in narcotics smuggling and of all those involved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Jim on 20 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Counter culture hero, the new Tim Leary? Nah not really actually just a drug dealer who justified it by saying he should be allowed to anyway. There are some great takes and its well written but the book gets really boring in places as well as the intimate details of drug deals are raked over
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lapat"republic of mancunia" on 5 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
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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By Simon Palmer on 17 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I've never been into drugs, never indulged in drug smuggling or anything illegal of any kind, yet somehow I found myself reading this book.

And I loved it!! It'a a great autobiography into Howard Mark's rise from a Welsh kid in the valleys, then Oxford Uni, to becoming the worlds largest dope smuggler.

It gives a highly detailed account into how he starting smuggling, mainly from Pakistan, and the fun he had a long the way. It tells how he made a fortune, lost it, then made it again!! It literally shows you how its done and leads up to when he is eventually caught and imprisoned in one of America's toughest prisons.

The book, for me was better than the film and Marks is a character you can't help but like. An excellent read!
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