El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels Paperback – 17 Jan 2013
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Grillo's clear-eyed, sobering account has authority and a flair for colourful anecdotes, making for disturbing but riveting reading (Metro)
A superb report form the front lines of narco-violence (Independent)
[A] shining example of dogged, impassioned and courageous reporting ... compelling ... his pace is furious, like driving at top speed along a wild mountain track in a pickup and there is no doubting his expertise, his compassion or his grit (Daily Express)
It is hard enough to report the facts of Mexico's crazy death spiral of drug violence. Ioan Grillo goes much, much deeper. He explains why El Narco threatens the soul of this beautiful country. He tells us how we got here (William Booth, bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Washington Post)
A fascinating and terrifying account (Sydney Morning Herald)
Heartbreaking ... El Narco is a fine work of journalism (Irish Times)
Remarkable (Houston Chronicle)
Puts a human face on the bloodshed (Boston Globe)
The gripping account of the out-of-control drug wars that have brought chaos to Mexico- and are now spilling into the United States.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're into reading about the drugs war in Latin America then you'll no doubt purchase the book. If you're wanting to get a quick overview and an introduction to the topic then this isn't the right book for you.
In addition to some typos and misused words, the use of slang is jarring (if you're going to regularly use 'cranium' instead of 'head' you could at least get the pluralisation correct), and the occasional attempts at evocative metaphor fall flat. I tend to feel strongly about finishing books when I start them, but I ended up not bothering with the last two chapters of this out of sheer indifference.
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.Read more ›
At one point the author claims that he has tried to read everything ever written on the subject, and at times it is more like taking a university course just reading a book. The initial part on the history of the drugs trade is probably too detailed, but it is worth persevering through to the remaining sections. The trade is far more pervasive and complex than you might think.
The benefits of having a journalist write this are that he is not putting forward a simplistic explanation, to some extent America is complicit in this catastrophe, and even those heavily involved in the trade are given a sympathetic hearing. It is the personal stories that carry the real emotional heft. While it is depressing to hear of tens of thousands of deaths, hearing about a mother losing her son is absolutely gut wrenching.
This is a detailed and sober account of the devastating impact of a new type of war.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyed this one. Knew there was major problems in Mexico but never appreciated how deep rooted its was! I'd recommend it.Published 15 days ago by Mark
Having read a number of books about the global drug problem this one stands out as the best researched and authoritative . Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sinclair Dyer
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