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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars informative and chilling
If you're one of those people who are fascinated by the seedy world of drugs this book is right up you dimly lit street.
It goes into great depth about the extent of the impact that "El Narco" has within and without the boundaries of Mexico. As the book rolled on I found myself having to stop and agjust to reality so I could properly digest the enormity of what is...
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but not that interesting
A somewhat sensational and oddly structured book that does not really get going. I'm not sure I learnt much more than I knew already. I'd give it a go but don't expect too much and try and ignore the "hip" language, which is irritating and detracts from rather than enhancing the text.
Published 5 days ago by Grant F Ferguson


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars informative and chilling, 27 July 2014
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If you're one of those people who are fascinated by the seedy world of drugs this book is right up you dimly lit street.
It goes into great depth about the extent of the impact that "El Narco" has within and without the boundaries of Mexico. As the book rolled on I found myself having to stop and agjust to reality so I could properly digest the enormity of what is going on in Mexico. I enjoyed it and it was money well spent, if this is your type of book Last Seen in Bangkok could be worth a go too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 23 April 2012
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This is a highly informative book that is very accessible but still provides a great deal of information and insight into the horrific insurgency that is blighting Mexico. I knew nothing of this particular drug war and came away utterly stunned. Grillo is a fine writer who conveys the politics, the social impact and horror with a clear eye. Excellent, I was truly impressed and could barely put the book down.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling account of the then and now of the Mexican Narcotics Industry, 22 Jan 2012
This is the sort of book I have been really keen to read for a long time; an explanation of the history behind these current events is so important. Having the facts laid out in such a clear way, and with a constant reminder that this is a human (and as such universal) story it provides a really good basis for a serious debate.

Such as the one I had with my Uncle, Aunt and cousins during a christmas dinner in London. All participants had an entrenched point of view. While I do not think anyone succeeded in changing the position of the other, I was able to share some history and context with my relatives.

The story told within is a real one, but given the subject matter it reads like a hollywood movie. It is a gratuituous and glamourous world. One that beggars belief and shocks. I was compelled to keep reading at the same time as being repelled by the horrible people and actions described.

For me, the bottom-line is that this story goes beyond drugs and actually reveals how humanity is incapable of embracing multiple points of view, and ways of life. The hypocrisy exposed is sickening. Drug-dealers, bankers, law-enforcers, politicians- the list of power abused with impunity is part of daily life.

Mexico's cartels reflect the market economics that also make Wal-Mart so successful. The added-value lies with the distributor. The manufacturers of the product are exploited as much as possible. The final client is sold as much product as the distributor can get away with. The 'brand-value' is a clever way of selling high for the lowest quality the market will bear.

At the very least, the legalisation of these drugs would deliver transparency across the supply-chain and we can begin to start holding all aspects accountable.

Such is the relevance and power of the story, I finished hoping to read a sequel. Of course, such a progression will be dictated by events. I only hope that everyone touched or interested in this issue, across the globe, can appreciate how we are all connected, and complicit in this state of affairs.

I really hope that any sequel tells the story of solutions. Lasting and peaceful ones.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El Narco - A warning from history?, 6 Feb 2013
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gary marto "marto" (warrington cheshire uk) - See all my reviews
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If you really want to know how the diabolical situation that exists on America's southern border began and is currently perpetrated, then I suggest you read this excellently researched book. Powerful and evocative, this book brings together the hopelessness and defenselessness of the Mexican people... the poorest,as usual, suffering the most. We are talking about a heinous and unstoppable barbaric criminal insurgency, uncontrolled and with the overt complicity of the state - the like and scale of which has never been known in a western 'democracy'. This book should serve as both a warning and a wake up call to the USA, (and the rest of the first world) that globalisation is not limited to big business. The USA bears the greatest responsibility for this threat to democracy, due to its blinkered self interests and its pandering to its bible thumping classes. Legalise recreational drugs, ban the selling of assault weapons and deprive these cartels their oxygen. Prohibition does NOT work. WAKE UP!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El narco, 26 July 2012
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Duncan Hall "Duncyano" (Lancs) - See all my reviews
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This is a great book if you want to really find out what is going on today in Mexico. The book is well written and comprehensively covers the situation from grass roots to the top . The great thing is that Mr Grillo conveys the horror of the situation in such a way as not to glamorise the reality of it as so many other writers do when writing about organised crime. Fantastic work I will definitely be on the look out for more work by this Author.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read., 1 May 2012
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Having become interested in the drug related crime explosion in Mexico after reading Don Winslows "Power of the Dog" I found myself searching through material from books,tv shows and the internet to find more on the subject, I still had not found a book which was a good overview of the subject.

This book is definately that, the first material I have found which clearly covers the whole history of Mexico narcotics problem(both taking and dealing/exporting), the crimnal elements behind them (Early gangsters to the modern day cartels), the response to it from police, army and government to its effect on the whole country.

Its well set out, as easy to read as it is well written and you dont feel you are getting lost in a plethora of names/gangs/government agencys as I have with other books on the subject. Taking the history from the begining makes it easier to follow and it is the best history of how it became like it isfoolowed by an rundown of the current situation that I have read. It also keeps the whole situation in perspective with regards to the rest of the world/its effects on mexico and never seeks to sensationalise the problem for easy goreseeking thrills.

A fascinatinating and worthwhile read that opens your eyes to a problem in a country that is after all partly caused by first world greed for illegal narcotics.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable, 14 July 2014
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Good book, very detailed and thorough.
Felt it was quite heavy going at some points but well worth a read
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book!!, 4 Jun 2014
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For anyone interested in learning about the dark, shady under belly of the Mexican drugs trade i would highly recommend this book. From the early beginnings of the drug trafficking within the country working for the Columbians to local kingpins taking over and carving out their own mini empires. Very interesting learning about a country freed from dictators, newly elected democratic government struggling to cope with corruption and the endless war on drugs. Excellent book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tells it as it is., 25 May 2014
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This review is from: El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels (Paperback)
Its a subject I've interested in for a while, since watching ' Scarface' the movie!

Its about the human nature of moving this commodity around and what drives these people to behave as they do.
Ok, its the money, that obvious, but the whole culture and history of it all mystifies.

Worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening, 2 April 2014
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We have all seen the headlines and the body counts but WHY? Buy this and read it and you will find out. An amazing piece of work. Very comprehensive, again you couldn't make it up if you tried.
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El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels
El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels by Ioan Grillo (Paperback - 17 Jan 2013)
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