Customer Reviews


44 Reviews
5 star:
 (23)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Global Underworld
This exploration of the rise of international crime - a kind of sinister version of globalisation - had me riveted. Glenny is an experienced journalist and knows how to tell a story well, capturing the reader from the off with an account of a bizarre, seemingly random shooting in the Home Counties, using this to illustrate how the old boundaries of organised crime are...
Published on 13 Aug 2009 by Catherine Murphy

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Title, Pity About the Cover
As other reviewers have pointed out, the cover is awful, must qualify for the accolade of Worst Cover of the Decade. One reason why it's so bad is because it gives a very poor picture of what the book is about. Whereas in contrast the title gives a concise and snappy description of exactly what the book is about, which is essentially the internationalisation and branding...
Published on 22 Dec 2009 by D. Collier


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Title, Pity About the Cover, 22 Dec 2009
By 
D. Collier "Haze-Dweller" (North West England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
As other reviewers have pointed out, the cover is awful, must qualify for the accolade of Worst Cover of the Decade. One reason why it's so bad is because it gives a very poor picture of what the book is about. Whereas in contrast the title gives a concise and snappy description of exactly what the book is about, which is essentially the internationalisation and branding of high-level crime in the first decade of the 21st century - a McDonalds-ing of Mafia-ism, very clever.
You really need to read the book to get an idea of precisely what this means and how it has come about.
I found Glenny's writing a bit disjointed and his grammar in need of some good copy-editing in places, so this is not an elegant or satisfying read, but he makes his points compellingly, it is journalistic information above all else.
Whether his facts are thoroughly accurate, how am I to know? But whether they are are not, there's lots here to learn and ponder over.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Global Underworld, 13 Aug 2009
By 
Catherine Murphy "drcath" (Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
This exploration of the rise of international crime - a kind of sinister version of globalisation - had me riveted. Glenny is an experienced journalist and knows how to tell a story well, capturing the reader from the off with an account of a bizarre, seemingly random shooting in the Home Counties, using this to illustrate how the old boundaries of organised crime are breaking down and shifting to allow new patterns to emerge. It's a judicious mix of facts and figures, enlivened with real life material to keep the pages turning. A warning though: some of the latter are quite disturbing. Ludmilla's story of how she was duped into the sex trade by a phone call from a friend cost me more than one sleepless night, for example and there are others almost as lurid.

Glenny's work illustrates how crime, like any other business, expands into new markets as they emerge. The world is a smaller place and not just for tourists. Nowadays, you're as liable to be ripped off by scammers from Nigeria or Brazil as have your phone pinched by the friendly neighbourhood mugger. On a sober sidenote, he supplies at least two examples of how the removal of the "right" kind of crime lord - men who supply law and order as well as drugs and counterfeit DVDs - only leads to chaos and the emergence of a hundred less desirable replacements. Sometimes, leaving well enough alone is the best solution it seems.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book - Truly awful cover!, 12 Mar 2009
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
I can't think what the publishers were thinking by putting such a garish, tasteless cover on this book. Are they trying to fool those who buy trashy crime novels? Anyone caught out in this way will possibly find the going a bit tough, even though this is an exteremely accessible book to those with half a brain (I modestly include myself in this category!)

The problem though is that possibly like me, anyone with said half a brain will be instantly put off by the cover and not give it a go.

Well let me assure you; This book is a must read if you have any interest at all in current world events, real crime or just great journalism.

This is scary stuff and serves to make the point that just about everything you touch nowadays is tainted somewhere along the line by death and corruption.

Although written before the current credit crunch, mauch of the content here is uncannily prescient about where the world was going and may yet go.

And there are some great stories in here for those "watercooler moments". Outdo those going on about "The Wire" with some real life horror stories out of this book.

I am giving this book 6 stars but it has to lose one for THAT cover so see how I get to give this a 5 star review?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Educational and sometimes entertaining - frequently shocking., 9 Oct 2009
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
Took on holiday and read it far more quickly than I usually do a non-fiction book.
It was well written and researched (although it did seem to be partisan in approach, that didn't bother me too much - it wasn't a doctoral thesis after all). The subject matter was gritty and well explained and the links between the sections were well thought out and moved the narrative on in a logical fashion.
However, the sections seemed quite disparate and none of the groups or activities looked at really seemed to have been investigated in a great deal of depth. It left me wanting more - which is a good thing. Don't read it for encyclopeadic knowledge on international crime. Do read it to get an over-view and a well-argued view-point.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting though lacking structure, 16 Mar 2009
By 
Antioquia (London and Dublin) - See all my reviews
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
This provides a good geography lesson of global organised crime and deals with about 40 countries, though many peripherally. The book intersperses detail with policy and it mostly works, though oddly the author demurs from providing a description of how triads dealt with Brazilian informers and other deliberate narratives are also short on detail. There were some oddities such as the omission of maps and the photograph of Mia Mista is not specifically referred to in the book itself. The book feels like it lacks structure as it sashays across the globe and the section on the future of organised crime is tiny. The staged cover photographs grated after a while but all in all it is a good engrossing book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Not A Book to Judge by It's Cover, 10 Jun 2009
By 
Maximus "Max" (Geneva, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
I nearly didn't buy this book because of the cover which as has already been said looks like some trashy crime novel but I recognised Misha Glenny as a known journalist and as I was at an airport with no rush began to flick through the pages. I am pleased I did; it is a really interesting book, I enjoyed it immensely. The book covers organised crime across the world in a reasonably serious way everything from Gold smuggling to people trafficing and if you work in and/or have an interest in world finance then it helps explain an awful lot of what you see going on in places like Dubai, Switzerland and the various offshore centres around the world. May also make you more careful about your use of computers. I particularly found the discussion and reasons for the rise in the Russian and Eastern European Mafias interesting and the idea that these organisations provide structure and a service to the community they operate in where the state has failed to meet those needs is compelling. Get past the cover and it's a very good book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enlightening, 13 April 2009
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
I found this to be a very enjoyable, well researched, well written book. At the same time it was very though provoking and indeed worrisome.
If judging by the title you were expecting to read about Sicilian Mafiosi or waste disposal specialists from New Jersey then you're in for a surprise. In fact, the topics in the book make you yearn those good old days.
Instead this is a study of organised crime as it operates within the new world order we call globalisation. Depending on your interpretation of the book you might even believe that organised crime is one of the major drivers of Globalisation (the author doesn't explicitly state this, it's just personal analysis, other readers may have a different view).
The author has also been so kind as to include some reference reading in the sources section. The trouble with great books such as this one is that for each one you read you end up wanting to read several more as background/related material. I see my wish list only getting longer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read, 18 April 2014
I've read similar books before, generally they've been a collection of anecdotes from various characters in the criminal underworld and the effects and repercussions of their actions. Although I expected no more of them and they entertain in their own way, this book is a different beast entirely.

It is a little slow starting and to be fair and not for someone after something akin to the above, but some of the stories of various underworld figures and their collaborations despite differences of race, language and even at times of war against one another in pursuit of the mighty dollar...

Also highlights how blurry the line often is between legitimate daily business and illegal dealings; how hard they are to distinguish and how inter-related they are.

Can be heavy going but a thoroughly interesting read; don't be put off by the cover!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and captivating, 18 Jan 2010
By 
Lenike Rasmussen "Insatiable" (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
In this colossus of accumulated insight and investigative journalism Mischa Glenny skillfully lays bare the international criminal networks that make their profits on racketeering and illicit goods like drugs, slaves and weapons - often aided by government - corrupt or incapable as it may be.

Far from being a glorification of organized crime he also tells the stories of the victims - entire populations who are being ripped off as their country's natural resources are being stolen by greedy and corrupt politicians, the women who are being kidnapped into the sex-trade and are raped dozens of times every day and the victims of the countless armed conflicts that are perpetuated by arsenals of illegal weapons - often supplied to both sides of the conflict by the same distributor.

If you have any interest in how the world really works - read this book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Crime everywhere!, 8 May 2009
This review is from: McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (Paperback)
This book is a very informative and easy to read overview of modern organised crime. The author's review is global in scope but illustrated by reference to specific situations. So, for example, he cover Nigerian fraudsters, Chinese pirates of intellectual property, Russian mafia, Canadian marajuana growers and sex traffickers, to name but a few.

The book is a real eye-opener. Who would have thought that the Canadian province of British Columbia is one of the world's main (or one of the main) growing areas for marajuana? And that the drugs policies of Western governments are almost entirely futile and drugs legalisation would actually remove a large part of international organised crime.

This book is definitely one to read. The first quarter is slightly heavier going than the rest but overall it is a great book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime
McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime by Misha Glenny (Paperback - 5 Feb 2009)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews