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Publishers WeeklyIn this wistful but honest look at a life subsumed by drugs, now-reformed smuggler O'Dea (a Canadian film producer) pulls back the curtain on the machinations and motivations of a hugely successful, outrageously addicted 1980s drug trafficker whose redemption came too late to save him from prison. Haunted by childhood sexual abuse, O'Dea found escape in drugs and alcohol, eventually building a life around them. O'Dea's over-the-top abuse (an estimated 1000 tabs of acid in five years) and spiral of shame (he would "spend considerable energy avoiding" his brothers, sisters and parents) seemed, paradoxically, to push his illicit activities (and the justifications for them) further. Stories illustrating the lengths to which the smuggling ring would go, and their enormous potential for disaster, include a $100,000 plane rental which O'Dea almost co-pilots into the sea (steering by the lights of the fishing boats below, instead of the stars). Told through a prison-block framing device that returns again and again to the call, "Cuenta! Counting B Range!", O'Dea maintains a sense of numbing repetition that resonates with the addiction narrative and keeps the drug cowboy tales grounded. Throughout his life's many ups and downs, however, O'Dea remains a charming, relatable narrator you can't help but root for.
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