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91 Reviews
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 (41)
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 (35)
3 star:
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2 star:
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well researched
This is a biography of the life of drug king Pablo Escobar. The writer has clearly got some inside story as to his life as it is very detailed (probably too detailed regarding his early life which does drag on far too long). However, if you stick with it, it does give a fantastic insight into Pablo's early years, what formed him and Columbia's recent history...
Published on 11 Mar 2007 by J. Mellor

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1.0 out of 5 stars Show me the proof!
Dull but I think that this was it was so poorly researched; few footnotes or appendices. I understand if people's identities have to remain secret, but throughout the book I had no idea whether what the writer was saying was truth or speculation. No 'fact' appeared to be attributable except to the author himself - I do like a little confirmation of the veracity of an...
Published 15 days ago by The 3 Hares


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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. Thomas R. Mullin (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Very well researched and detailed account of a truly staggering story.
Indeed the money & amount of casual violence involved is so incredible that the book benefits from Bowden's reserved & detached style & ultimately is all the more powerful for not taking pushing sensationalist angles of the story. Could easily have got bogged down in drug use tales & moralising.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched but somewhat lacking, 15 Nov 2007
By 
Mr. C. Mansell "manuel1891" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a decent read for anyone with an interest of how US forces operated in South and Central America around the time this book relates to.
I found myself becoming bored with the superlatives used to describe the US spying techniques and yearning for greater insight into how Pablo and the cartel were adapting and still avoiding capture.
A well researched and insightful book just occaisionally lacking in detail with regards to Pablo himself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy book!!, 7 July 2014
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This review is from: Killing Pablo: the Hunt for the Richest, Most Powerful Criminal in History (Paperback)
Amazing read so interesting
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 Jun 2014
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What a fantastic book.

Edge of the seat stuff.

The corruption involved in this story, was at first, unbelievable, until you hear the amounts involved.

Excellent book, well researched.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Jun 2014
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The kindle has a highlight feature. On only 2 occasions has this been pointless. Ceaser's wars which was the most disappointing rubbish I think I've ever read and this book. Might as well click highlight on the first word advance to the end and select all.
A fascinating insight into a very crafty individual.
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3.0 out of 5 stars hmmm... second time round?, 29 May 2014
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Read this fine book first time round in paperback and was completely blown away... I truly hadn't read anything this good for so long... So good in fact I picked up 2 other books by Mark Bowden (black Hawk down and another I forget the name of about a Trojan virus) unfortunately I really only enjoyed the latter and found BHD lacking in character development, whereas killing Pablo gets you right into the thick of it and takes you into the personal life of this infamous criminal... But my problem lies with this kindle edition on my second time round... Might just be me but it feels heavily edited with what feels like half the length missing...

Perhaps this is an abridged version, if so, avoid and read the entire book on print... Pity
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 20 May 2014
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Very detailed account of the life and death of the world's most dangerous criminal.Quite amazing how powerful Escobar became and how far he fell thanks to the relentless work by dedicated people to put a stop to his empire.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 20 May 2014
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Great book, goes right through the history of Pablo Escobar life from his attempted political career to drug cartel career
All the drama from his escape and eventual capture
Highly recommend
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5.0 out of 5 stars a remarkable true story, 13 May 2014
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An amazing account of true events. A fascinating account of the rise and fall of the worlds most ruthless drugs kingpin.

A thoroughly well researched book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars KILLING PABLO by Mark Bowden, 26 April 2014
This review is from: Killing Pablo: the Hunt for the Richest, Most Powerful Criminal in History (Paperback)
The factual story of the rise of cocaine baron Pablo Escobar and the US-Columbian hunt for him.

The first half of the story is the rise, which holds few surprises: a young gangster who is more brutal than the rest seizes power, pretends to be Robin Hood and infiltrates every level of (an already corrupt) society.

The second half, detailing the hunt is more interesting. Partly because the Columbians are so spectacularly incompetent at first and partly because it shows the complexity and length of time that real-life special operations take.

Rather than focusing on the trigger pullers - the whole book is fairly bloodless - Mark Bowden focuses on the electronic warfare specialists (especially the ISA) who tracked Escobar and on the death squads (to which the US turned a blind eye).

As ever, the key is focusing on the human vulnerabilities of the target. In this case, it was Escobar's love for his family which led to his death.

Bowden clearly has access - much of his information is from unverifiable anonymous sources - and he writes a fast, well detailed account. It won't please action fans or policy wonks but it is very readable about an interesting subject.
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