Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Marks, 26 Nov 2008
This review is from: Senor Nice: Straight Life from Wales to South America (Paperback)
Howard Marks made his name in the literary world with "Mr. Nice", an very entertaining account of his adventures (and misadventures) as he pursued a career smuggling dope; it's an excellent read, although there's bound to be a few who missed out on his natural writing style because of the drug-centric nature of the book. No matter - it's their loss. Quite rightly it became a huge hit, and he now supplements his income reading extracts from the book and recounting amusing tales that have happened to him along the way.

He's still very much pro-dope; he stood as a candidate for the Legalise Marijuana Party a few years ago, and although he claims to have been motivated by the chance to raise the profile of that political issue, I suspect that at least part of the reason was simply to cause a bit of mischief.

He's an educated man (went to Oxford University, and so on), and has an ability to make you feel that he's talking to you and you only when you read his writing.

His latest publication is "Senor Nice", and it documents his journey of discovery as he decides to travel to Brazil and Argentina via the Caribbean to discover the history behind Henry Morgan, the famous pirate and his claimed-to-be relative, and to see if he can find much evidence of Welsh settlements in South America, where more of his relatives are rumoured to have made their homes.

That's the thing about Howard - he's got such energy for someone who spends such a large percentage of his time smoking weed, as well as a very accurate recollection of conversations had during said smoke-a-thons; quite remarkable in itself really - there's a real sense of spontanaity and loquacious sociability in the way he related to the world, and that attitude is evident all the way through this very entertaining book. It's as good a travelogue as any I've read, and will be full of interest for those of you who are Welsh (but then you won't need any introduction to Mr. Marks' work anyway!).

A lot of weed is smoked along the way, but this is incidental in many ways to the amazing experiences he vividly describes along the way.

At last - an intelligent travel book with a counter-cultural perspective that is both intellectually stimulating and refreshingly funny.

Thanks for the good read, Howard.
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