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The Accountant's Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel [NOOK Book]

Overview

"I have many scars. Some of them are physical, but many more are scars on my soul. A bomb sent to kill me while I was in a maximum security prison has made me blind, yet now I see the world more clearly than I have ever seen it before. I have lived an incredible adventure. I watched as my brother, Pablo Escobar, became the most successful criminal in history, but also a hero to many of the people of Colombia. My brother was loved and he was feared. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in his funeral procession, and certainly as many people
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The Accountant's Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel

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Overview

"I have many scars. Some of them are physical, but many more are scars on my soul. A bomb sent to kill me while I was in a maximum security prison has made me blind, yet now I see the world more clearly than I have ever seen it before. I have lived an incredible adventure. I watched as my brother, Pablo Escobar, became the most successful criminal in history, but also a hero to many of the people of Colombia. My brother was loved and he was feared. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in his funeral procession, and certainly as many people celebrated his death."


These are the words of Roberto Escobar-the top accountant for the notorious and deadly Medellín Cartel, and brother of Pablo Escobar, the most famous drug lord in history. At the height of his reign, Pablo's multibillion-dollar operation smuggled tons of cocaine each week into countries all over the world. Roberto and his ten accountants kept track of all the money. Only Pablo and Roberto knew where it was stashed-and what it bought.


And the amounts of money were simply staggering. According to Roberto, it cost $2,500 every month just to purchase the rubber bands needed to wrap the stacks of cash. The biggest problem was finding a place to store it: from secret compartments in walls and beneath swimming pools to banks and warehouses everywhere. There was so much money that Roberto would sometimes write off ten percent as "spoilage," meaning either rats had chewed up the bills or dampness had ruined the cash.
Roberto writes about the incredible violence of the cartel, but he also writes of the humanitarian side of his brother. Pablo built entire towns, gave away thousands of houses, paid people's medical expenses, and built schools and hospitals. Yet he was responsible for the horrible deaths of thousands of people.


In short, this is the story of a world of riches almost beyond mortal imagination, and in his own words, Roberto Escobar tells all: building a magnificent zoo at Pablo's opulent home, the brothers' many escapes into the jungles of Colombia, devising ingenious methods to smuggle tons of cocaine into the United States, bribing officials with literally millions of dollars-and building a personal army to protect the Escobar family against an array of enemies sworn to kill them.


Few men in history have been more beloved-or despised-than Pablo Escobar. Now, for the first time, his story is told by the man who knew him best: his brother, Roberto.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
There is true crime and then there is true crime: Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug cartel formed the greatest criminal empire of all time. At its peak, in the 1980s, Forbes pegged the Escobar fortune at a cool $6 billion. Pablo's older brother Roberto, the author of this book, says that actually the Escobars were worth far more than that. (He notes, for instance, that the family was trafficking so much cocaine that they spent $1,000 a week just on rubber bands to hold together their bundles of cash.) In The Accountant's Story, he offers far more than diverting contraband trivia, presenting us with an insider's view of a murderous enterprise that outflanked governments on several continents. One of the most astonishing true crime books of the decade.
Publishers Weekly

Roberto Escobar provides an intimate portrait of his brother, Pablo Escobar, the infamous leader of the Medellin drug cartel. He makes a strenuous-if not entirely persuasive-effort to reveal his brother's more sensitive side and to argue that the Colombian and U.S. governments exaggerated the degree of Pablo's involvement in the cartel. The book's organization is spotty and the familial bias often frustrates-listeners will likely crave a more unvarnished biography-but Ruben Diaz provides an unimpeachable performance. With an authentic, never grating accent, he narrates so sincerely that the audience might believe they are listening to Roberto himself. A Grand Central hardcover. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Pablo Escobar's brother and business partner recalls the Colombian drug lord's outsized life and death. Roberto tells Pablo's story with a cool reserve. He makes no excuses for his brother's crimes, but he wants readers to have a more rounded picture. In Roberto's view, Pablo was not all bad. He was loyal, he was a family man and he had a streak of generosity to match his violence. Growing up poor, he soon discovered a knack for smuggling. The contraband was cigarettes at first, but he was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the cocaine boom, much of it fueled by U.S. users. It was purely a business decision, made without remorse: Cocaine was easier to smuggle than washing machines (another of Pablo's specialties) and provided a much greater profit. The amounts of money involved were ludicrous; it was so difficult to find good hiding spots for tens of millions in cash that about ten percent was lost to water damage and rats. Pablo used submarines for his smuggling operations and had so many members of the army, police and state bureaucracy on his payroll that he rivaled the government as an employer. Yet the consequences of his trade were death and destruction, which rain down on almost every page of this memoir. Jaw-dropping events abound. Leftist guerrillas took over the Palace of Justice at Pablo's request to seize papers that threatened his extradition to the United States. He built his own prison with the government's assent and dispensed colossal sums to the impoverished and needy. "In Colombia," Roberto explains, "poor people have always tried to help each other." Pablo wasn't exactly underprivileged by the time he was dispensing alms, and the eerily detachedway he gave execution orders doesn't buttress his brother's case for his charitable side. Nonetheless, his life makes for a grim, ensnaring tale. The Robin Hood mantle draped over Pablo is a bit much, but his exploits will keep readers agog.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446543699
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/25/2009
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 223,485
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Roberto Escobar resides in Colombia. Under the rules of his parole, he cannot leave the country.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Columbia's Very Own Robin Hood

    This book was a quick read because it was very interesting. Although it's hard to feel any sort of sympathy for drug traffickers, this real-life story about Pablo Escobar makes him seem like a modern day Robin-Hood to his people. Each story has two sides and this one definitely takes you to that other side, to see what it's like to walk in the shoes of a different person.

    I liked the way this book was able to take you into the busy city streets of Columbia as well as to the hidden jungles where many laboratories were built to make cocaine; it made me feel like I was actually there. What really stood out above everything else were the translations from Spanish to English; they were right on target and I've never seen a better job done when it comes to translating. I'm not sure if there is a movie planned for this book but it sure would be a great idea!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2010

    About As Enlightening As It Gets!

    To be honest with you, i went into reading this book knowing absolutely nothing about Pablo Escobar except for the fact that he had a very small role in the movie Blow starring Johnny Depp. Thats what got my attention. It turns out this book was extremely informational probably due to the fact it was written by his brother who was there the entire time. Anything you want to know about Pablo, its in there. I do NOT think they spent too much time trying to persuade you how good of a guy he was, that was just Roberto telling what he thought of his brother. The thing they may have talked about too much was the politics involved in everything, they went into great detail at times that might bore some people. All together though it was a fascinating book that i reccomend to anyone seeking knowledge about the life of the greatest drug lord the world has ever seen. Exciting, enlightening, and it kept me curious for more the entire time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I enjoyed the read, but....

    Rather than simply tell the story, the author spends way too much time trying to explain that despite his sins, what a kind, good and decent person Pablo Escobar was. I really grew weary of this constant effort to paint Pablo in a kinder, gentler light. The ability of the author to "excuse" his and Pablo's crimes was astounding. The murders, bombings, and lives ruined by their cocaine trade seem to be excusable, it was just business. Yes, he and Pablo's organization did some bad things, but others including the police, army and Cali Cartel were just as bad.....Give me a break.

    The book would have been much more enjoyable had the author stuck to the story and spent less time trying to "correct history" as he saw it.

    There are always two sides to any story, and I'm sure that to some, Pablo was a hero and a benefactor to many of Columbia's poor. But there seems to be an almost total lack of acknowledgment when it comes to their crimes and the monstrous crime machine they created.

    I'm glad I purchased the book, but I almost feel "dirty" knowing that my dollars spent are going to this criminal.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2009

    A stunning, eye-opening inside look at history's most successful criminal

    Do you have any idea how much space a billion dollars in hundred dollar bills takes up? when your cocaine importing business brings in that much cash every week, what do you do with it all? Roberto Escobar is the brother of the infamous Pablo Escobar, who made more money from crime than any person in history - and he was also his brother's financial wizard. A wonderfully written book, thanks in large measure to co-author David Fisher, and fascinating from start to finish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2013

    Though I don't believe his recall of what happened fully I enjoy

    Though I don't believe his recall of what happened fully I enjoyed the book, his version and his truth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Good read

    I really like this book is mostly his brother saying that the government of columbia is corrupt and alot of the thinhs said about pablo are not true ...i really like it it has a lot of details on all the events through out their life

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  • Posted August 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Humanizing Pablo

    Pablo Escobar's brother tells a very personal story about his knowledge and experience with the Medellin drug cartel. Some people might not be able to relate because their relationship (Roberto - the author - and his younger brother - Pablo) was so unique of mainly Catholic countries, specially in the developing (and third world) countries - the close family relationships specially between brothers and that deep bond between friends. Sad to say, no matter how bad or evil your perception of Pablo Escobar, it just proved that he was still just another human being and he had his own life story, just like yours, ready to be heard and learned. For those who love mafia stories, this is a must-read.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It was really enlightening. It was an easy read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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