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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the story - good enough to forgive the fraternal bias
There have been plenty of books about Pablo Escobar and Mark Bowden's detached view of the hunt in Killing Pablo, read like a thriller even though it was a true story. Since this book gives an account from inside the family of the man himself and the 24/7 stress and danger involved just by being related to Pablo Escobar, this book is of equal stature, and equally...
Published on 27 April 2009 by Born Again Bookworm

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really worth reading
The book is filled with so many contradictions that it amazes me no editor picked up on them, my favourite one being, 'Pablo wouldn't kill anybody himself, and of that I am sure' which follows the passage 'Pablo promised, "I'm going to kill those motherf***ers myself"' just a few pages before! The story goes back and forth in a manner which makes it difficult to...
Published 13 months ago by Lou


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the story - good enough to forgive the fraternal bias, 27 April 2009
There have been plenty of books about Pablo Escobar and Mark Bowden's detached view of the hunt in Killing Pablo, read like a thriller even though it was a true story. Since this book gives an account from inside the family of the man himself and the 24/7 stress and danger involved just by being related to Pablo Escobar, this book is of equal stature, and equally addictive to read, as Mark Bowden's book from the 90s. That said, there are a couple of irritating parts where Roberto Escobar states "I don't believe my brother would do that" in response to rumours he was told. Such clear familial bias was left unresolved in the text and might as well have been cut out.

That niggle aside the rest of the book is an excellent oral history of someone no longer alive to defend himself, and unlike Killing Pablo which I burned through in three days, you can relax and read this one at a slower pace and still enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really worth reading, 11 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Escobar (Paperback)
The book is filled with so many contradictions that it amazes me no editor picked up on them, my favourite one being, 'Pablo wouldn't kill anybody himself, and of that I am sure' which follows the passage 'Pablo promised, "I'm going to kill those motherf***ers myself"' just a few pages before! The story goes back and forth in a manner which makes it difficult to follow, and is very repetitive, saying the same things over and over (I don't need to be told 3 times that 10% of cash was lost to water damage, for example). There are few, if any, hard facts, and it reads more like an attempt to clear Pablo's name than shed any light on the truths behind the operation. It reads like someone wanted to cash in on his death, with little research and no quality control, but relied simply on a confused memory. Hugely disappointing. I was expecting the bias in the book, given that it was written by his brother, but it feels like it was written for an idiot willing to swallow anything.

Having said that, it wasn't a total waste of time. It helped to visualise the riches, and the money, and the ways in which they smuggled the drugs was interesting enough to redeem it slightly. It'd make a good toilet shelf book, nothing more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping storyline, difficult to put it down, 25 Feb. 2014
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I loved this book and found it very difficult to put it down, it's supposed to be a true story that gives you an insight into the Colombian drug business, and into drug business in general. I assume that since the story is told by Pablo's brother, it makes it feel more personal but also a bit more mistified too. I wanted to get to know more about the life of Pablo Escobar and the drug business in general and found this book to be very satisfying. I started reading Killing Pablo too but was much happier with the narrative in this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Unfulfilling, 29 Aug. 2013
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Unfortunately this book suffers from huge bias, which in fairness should be expected when reading an account about a notorious and by all accounts ruthless criminal written by said criminal's brother.

Whilst bias could be forgiven in the circumstances however, the lack of detail and fact cannot. This book skims over the main points of Escobar's exploits using the excuses of either false accusation (if that is the case, clearly demonstrate the facts that back these claims) or having to protect key figures that were involved and have not yet come to the attention of the authorities (most factual accounts regarding a similar theme will come across the same problems, but manage to include factual content nonetheless by hiding identities etc).

This book then unfortunately becomes a frustratingly vague, and as such perhaps pointless (?) account of the life of Pablo Escobar. The lack of detail and fact is padded out with what can only be considered inconsequential stories of Roberto Escobar's visions and legitimate business projects, and countless reflections on how poorly Escobar and his family were treated by the government, their only admitted crime in this account being "having the blood of Pablo Escobar running through our veins" (and how can one disagree, with a 14 bedroom prison hospital floor being allocated for the sole use of Roberto Escobar; his having 18 guards, 6 of which being personal employees, for around the clock protection from cartel rivals and fathering 3 children whilst serving a penal sentence in such terrible conditions?).

The poorly written content turns this book more into "let's just get this finished so I can move onto something better" than the interesting read that reveals something new and astounding with each page that it should have been.

It is a shame then that whilst this book could have provided an insight into Escobar like no other author surely could, it comes across more as the meanderings of a man bored with the straight life, but not really remembering or perhaps even knowing enough to tell a good story about the days gone by.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best book ever!, 1 April 2011
absolutely brilliant book from start to finish!always loved gangsta movies such as godfather, carlitos way, scarface , casino etc and wanted to read about a real life drug baron and they dont get much bigger than pablo escobar. his brothers account of what happened is engrossing and gives you an idea of how it was. the endless stories he tells of how they were nearly caught by the police so many times whilst hiding away on one of pablos many farms is exhilerating. roberto also doesnt 100% side with pablo. he often makes the point that pablo was no saint and that his chosen carear path was obviously dangerous and that pablo knew that came with the territory. as pablo said "no drug dealer ever died of old age"
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4.0 out of 5 stars Life of Pablo Escobar., 13 Sept. 2014
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Interesting subjective account of Pablo Escobar's personal and business life told from the perspective of his brother Roberto. Detailing his rise to prominence in the world of Crime and smuggling narcotics, and his subsequent development into the world of Colombian politics and terrorism. Then his incarceration and escape , and ultimately his death at the hands of US Special Forces operatives detailed to take him dead or alive , as various coordinated US Government agencies dedicated to catching him eventually detected his location and shot him in a gunfight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Insiders view, 3 Nov. 2009
By 
Mrs. B. Meehan "shanxi" (Yorks,England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A good read for anybody interested in organised crime. It gives an insiders view of Pablo Escobar and his life, the grinding poverty that inspired him and the giant ego. Also it explains the complex venal Columbian politics ot the time.The author, being his brother, is often trying to explain the motivavtion behind some of the horrors committed by Pablo but you do realise he was by no means the only monster invloved. And the drugs still flow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read, 20 Jan. 2014
By 
Mrs. C. M. Howard (west Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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I satrted reading this a few months ago, just before a short trip to Barcelona. I started reading this on the plane, and had it finisherd by the time I got back. Enthralling, exciting and makes you realise that Pablo wasn;t the tyrant people made him out to be. He did a lot for Colombia and it's people. A definite read! An amazing book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into theworld of Pablo Escobar but very biased towards his Brother, 12 Dec. 2013
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This is a great insight into the world of Pablo Escobar and his rise to power. It also highlights how easy it was to corrupt the Columbian Government at this time. However Roberto as you would expect is very biased towards his younger Brother and you get the feeling that he isnt telling the full story of the real Pablo Escobar.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 22 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Escobar (Kindle Edition)
superb reading from somebody who knows the true story of Pablo Escobar telling the story as it actually happend excellent read
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Escobar by Roberto Escobar (Paperback - 4 Feb. 2010)
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