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372 Reviews
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
A truly fascinating and at times unbelievable book about a British drug smuggler who was caught and sent to a Bolivian prison.
I am not a big book reader and it usually takes me weeks to get through a book, but I read this in 2 days on holiday, which annoyed my girlfriend no end.
A must read!!!!
Published on 29 Jan. 2004 by Mr. Simon N. Clifton

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story
Excellent story! Definitely an eye opener into the unknown truth! It is sometimes so crazy it doesn't seem real. Not a literature master piece but a good interesting read.
Published on 12 Mar. 2012 by MR O J BIRKWOOD


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 29 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
A truly fascinating and at times unbelievable book about a British drug smuggler who was caught and sent to a Bolivian prison.
I am not a big book reader and it usually takes me weeks to get through a book, but I read this in 2 days on holiday, which annoyed my girlfriend no end.
A must read!!!!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intoxicating read., 15 Mar. 2008
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This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
An insight into one of the most fascinating though thoroughly grim prisons in the world. Its hard to take in what you're reading, knowing it actually happens in a prison. I have moral issues with Thomas, though as a survivor nobody can fault his sheer stamina and drive to better himself in the face of well, some hell of an adversity within prison life. This book offers a truly insightful view of a world a million miles away, totally beyond our own comprehension.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marching Powder, 3 Dec. 2003
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This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
I never finished reading any book in that short amount of time, I've read this book just in two days and I got completely blown up.You get read and discover yourself the extraordinary character Thomas Mcfadden and inside world of San Pedro,It's really amazing book.It's worth buying.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't believe what you are reading!, 5 Aug. 2007
By 
A. Mackie (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
Since finishing this book (a fortnight ago) it has been passed on to three of my friends all of whom have found it an amazing read. Having grown up in South America I'm very aware of the corruption that takes place, but I was still completely dumb-struck by the activities of San Pedro prison. My feelings towards Tomas are slightly mixed, while I admire his survival instincts and business accument I can't forget the fact that he is guilty of his crime and hasn't apeared to have learned anything about the effects of drug trafficking/taking. Read it and see for yourself.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into life for a brit in Bolivian prison, 5 July 2003
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This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
This book, written by first time author Rusty Young, gives an absolutely rivetting account of life for a british drug-smuggler in what must be one of the most corrupt prisons in the world (not only do inmates have to buy their cell as if they are buying an apartment, they even have to pay an entry fee on first arrival). The book, although actually a biography which is written in the form of an autobiography, combines humour, horror and romance and introduces the reader into the fascinating life of a drug-smuggler, user and convivt and also the truly incredulous corruption found at just about every level in Bolivia to provide a thrilling read. I couldn't put it down.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Money talks!, 13 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
It's a kinda Bolivian version of the book 'The damage is done'. Although life inside San Pedro prison is somewhat different in many ways.. Money talks! Inmates buy and sell their own cells, manufacture coke, bribe anyone to get whatever they need and make a little extra cash from backpackers tours of the prison.
Thomas McFadden is a convicted British drug dealer who lived here for 5years.
A truly fantastic read, and Rusty Young certainly takes you into the bizarre prison with every chapter..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, will recomment it., 15 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
I must say I was not keen after reading the blurb; drugs are not the sort of thing I am interested in. However, this book is nothing about drugs. It was very good, written in a very conversational style and fast paced. Sometimes, I found myself thinking whether everything he has written is in fact true, but it must be. I could not believe he was allowed out to go to the movies and go clubbing. The book made me think about taking cocaine. Lol, but I won't. I was left wondering what Thomas McFadden is up to, now that he has been released.

It was very good and I am glad I read it; goes to show it does not hurt to try something new. Apparently, a movie is to be released and Brad Pitt's production company is holding the rights at the moment.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read!, 11 Oct. 2009
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Anita McAree - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
I had to keep reminding myself that this book wasn't fiction! Marching Powder paints the intricate world inside San Pedro Prison, one as far removed and fascinating as deep space or middle earth.
What makes this story so powerful however is Thomas McFadden; his crime was real, the corrupt system he found himself trapped in was real and the people he met along the way were real. I found this book completely absorbing and I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome, 5 Aug. 2003
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shakes (sydney, australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
Ok, im one of those people who will start a book and either never get it finished or it will take me ages to finish it.. i finished marching powder in 3 days, i could not put it down. It is such an amazing story and the book never gets boring. i would recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about how bizzare the real world can be, it does get a little disturbing in some parts and there is a hell of alot of drug use. an awesome book, i was actually a bit upset when i finished because i have to find something else to do with my spare time now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars rivetting but ultimately disappointing, 10 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Marching Powder (Paperback)
It is rivetting in it's detail. A gripping read BUT it is strange that no depth or perspective is given on what this person's philosophy is. So it does sound a lot like showing off. I am sure that a better, more experienced writer might dig deeper. A person surely has some spiritual and moral views but they are not delved into. Thomas does not sound like the kind of person who does not ask questions like Who am I? Is what I am doing causing harm? What about these tourists who can dip into their "third world experience" but so easily go back to their freedoms. He does not seem to ultimately lose hope in humanity even though he suffers huge betrayals. Yet he is presented largely as rather shallow. Doing good if moved to, but also not suffering the introspection that one expects he would feel from his actions that do harm.

It would also be interesting to know how Thomas came to traffic drugs. Was it poverty? Outside influences? How does he feel now? People do not just up and decide to get involved in crime without something missing in their lives? I read on another website (not in the book) that his parents died when he was three and lived with a family in Liverpool but started trafficing drugs in his teens....?but it would be great to know more...and how he is doing now. Although all credit to him if he wants to put it all behind him and to build himself a fruitful and fulfilling future.
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