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on 2 December 2013
Whilst I expected some bad language and local lingo etc (and a lot of the time it was warranted given the nature of the book and the author), unfortunately it was so full of slang and 'bitty' between different points in the life and evolution of the council, it became very difficult to follow and read. Much better off watching the documentary to visualise and appreciate the scenarios fully
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on 25 July 2013
If you've ever wondered what a 'stand up ho with a strut' is, then wonder no more, because this, and other tidbits of the Harlem underworld are explained by Mr Untouchable himself.

Morally, it's all very reprehensible of course. I've seen documentaries about Nicky Barnes which seem to blame him and Frank Lucas (of American Ganster fame) for the social disintegration of Harlem in the 1970s. It's not that simple, and poverty generally is a cause of, not caused by, drug addiction; however, having heroin on tap in an already struggling neighbourhood can hardly help.

It's a hard knock life for Mr. Barnes growing up. He himself fell victim to the temptation of drugs, and it's not hard to see how he turned to dealing to make money. I suppose it's either that or, well... get a job.

Few jobs pay well enough to fund the sort of lifestyly Mr. Barnes enjoyed however, a lifestyle that's evoked in some detail in 'Mr. Untouchable'.

I'm not sure 'The Council' - Barnes' dealing partnership - was quite as slick and organised as this book makes out - something that is rather confirmed by the way it fell apart when Mr. Barnes eventually went to chokey, seemingly for good.

It's certainly a readable book, with Tom Folsom Mad Ones, The helping out in that respect, perhaps. I'd have liked to hear more about Louis Diaz's involvement in bringing Barnes to book, but perhaps that's a separate story altogether.

Fast paced, deeply sexist and totally amoral; a gangster's tale with no apologies.
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on 19 September 2010
What a fantastic insight in to the lives of some of the great all time gangsters.
A excellent book iv'e read it twice now, and highly recomend to anyone with an interest in the underworld.
Although a very serious book there is plenty of witty one liners and jokes too.
Not for the faint hearted though!
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on 17 April 2012
very good book on the underworld life of gangsters and drug dealers would highly recommend for anyone who like this sort of genre.
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on 20 March 2011
A well written book on a very complex issue drugs and drug dealers. It is an honest account by Mr Barnes on his rise from street junkie to Mr Untouchable. And he gives you his reasons for turning informer on his former "council members". It is a brutally honest account of his life and his work. Well worth a read for anyone interested in the drug trade and the devestation it causes
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on 8 February 2015
great book. a tour de force
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on 29 January 2015
Great read!
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on 23 January 2014
It's not a bad read but pretty much the same as most under world / gangster books I've read before
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on 25 November 2014
Good
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