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4.6 out of 5 stars483
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 January 2004
A truly fascinating and at times unbelievable book about a British drug smuggler who was caught and sent to a Bolivian prison.
I am not a big book reader and it usually takes me weeks to get through a book, but I read this in 2 days on holiday, which annoyed my girlfriend no end.
A must read!!!!
0Comment27 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 December 2003
I never finished reading any book in that short amount of time, I've read this book just in two days and I got completely blown up.You get read and discover yourself the extraordinary character Thomas Mcfadden and inside world of San Pedro,It's really amazing book.It's worth buying.
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on 15 March 2008
An insight into one of the most fascinating though thoroughly grim prisons in the world. Its hard to take in what you're reading, knowing it actually happens in a prison. I have moral issues with Thomas, though as a survivor nobody can fault his sheer stamina and drive to better himself in the face of well, some hell of an adversity within prison life. This book offers a truly insightful view of a world a million miles away, totally beyond our own comprehension.
0Comment25 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 July 2003
This book, written by first time author Rusty Young, gives an absolutely rivetting account of life for a british drug-smuggler in what must be one of the most corrupt prisons in the world (not only do inmates have to buy their cell as if they are buying an apartment, they even have to pay an entry fee on first arrival). The book, although actually a biography which is written in the form of an autobiography, combines humour, horror and romance and introduces the reader into the fascinating life of a drug-smuggler, user and convivt and also the truly incredulous corruption found at just about every level in Bolivia to provide a thrilling read. I couldn't put it down.
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on 4 November 2013
This isnt what i would call a thrilling read, its not full of twists and turns nor is it dripping of suspense. However, it is profoundly interesting and shocking account of the Bolivian prison system. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, following Thomas' journey inside the prison and feeling dumbfounded when new facts about the prison are discovered. A really enjoyable read that is a must for anyone planning on visiting Bolivia and even for those who dont plan on actually going there, after you read this is will probably make you want to go so you can see for yourself!
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on 13 December 2004
It's a kinda Bolivian version of the book 'The damage is done'. Although life inside San Pedro prison is somewhat different in many ways.. Money talks! Inmates buy and sell their own cells, manufacture coke, bribe anyone to get whatever they need and make a little extra cash from backpackers tours of the prison.
Thomas McFadden is a convicted British drug dealer who lived here for 5years.
A truly fantastic read, and Rusty Young certainly takes you into the bizarre prison with every chapter..
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on 11 May 2013
Really enjoyed the first half, after that I got the increasing feeling that very little of it was true and what was true was grossly exaggerated. It falls into the same trap as a lot for these sort of books where the 'hero' is virtually impervious and the best at everything with the luckiest breaks and a strangely immediate respect and trust from everybody he meets. In that respect it's like Shantaram. The lead character has no flaws other than those slightly heroic ones that characters such as Dirty Harry have...everybody loves him so much immediately after meeting him and he seems to get drawn into the inner circles of everything he goes near despite the apparent improbability of anything like this possibly happening.

Good read but 'true story'? Not sure. Maybe it is, but I don't think so.
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on 28 January 2008
A fascinating and extremely well written account of Thomas McFadden's incarceration in Bolivia's San Pedro prison. The stories of the inner workings of this prison are just incredible. It usually takes me weeks, or even months, to read a book (short attention span), but I became so engrossed in this book that I finished it in 3 just days.
Fantastic book! Highly recommended!
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on 8 March 2009
I thought this would be just another memoir of one mans struggle to cope in third world prison and bought the book thinking i had idea of what to aspect yet i was took by surprise its absolutely fascinating stuff!

I liked Thomas a lot yet i do think its written in false way and we read how Thomas McFadden would like us to see him rather then who he is. I find it hard to belive that he earned the respect he did so quickly without being some nasty sly character yet none of this comes across. However, don't let that put you of this book as it is cracking read and must buy.
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on 23 October 2013
This book was really gripping right from the start. It was honest and when I looked up news/the prison referred to in the book, it was obvious how accurate the protrayal was. It is a page turner, and gives a good insight into life in the prison. Not an uplifting book, however, and left me wanting to know what happened to the guy after leaving the prison.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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