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Rusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the young Australian journalisted went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. They formed an instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with...
Rusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the young Australian journalisted went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. They formed an instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with Thomas and recording one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time. The result is Marching Powder.
This book establishes that San Pedro is not your average prison. Inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants. Women and children live with imprisoned family members. It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments, while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation. Violence is a constant threat, and sections of San Pedro that echo with the sound of children by day house some of Bolivia's busiest cocaine laboratories by night. In San Pedro, cocaine—"Bolivian marching powder"—makes life bearable. Even the prison cat is addicted.
Yet Marching Powder is also the tale of friendship, a place where horror is countered by humor and cruelty and compassion can inhabit the same cell. This is cutting-edge travel-writing and a fascinating account of infiltration into the South American drug culture.
Excerpted from Marching Powder by Thomas McFadden Copyright © 2004 by Thomas McFadden. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|1||El Alto Airport||17|
|2||Change of Plans||23|
|4||Thirteen Days in Hell||44|
|5||San Pedro Prison||51|
|7||Researching the Housing Market||80|
|8||Buying a Cell of My Own||102|
|9||Preparing for Trial||109|
|10||La Noche de San Juan||113|
|13||The International University of Cocaine||132|
|14||Abregon: Brothers in Crime||137|
|15||A Night on the Town||141|
|17||A Voluntary Inmate||160|
|19||Christmas in Prison||169|
|22||My Trial Begins||185|
|23||Thomas the Tour Guide||190|
|27||San Pedro Prison Tours||214|
|28||Thomas the Shopkeeper||225|
|30||Night Shift in the Cocaine Laboratories||237|
|32||'One of the World's Most Bizarre Tourist Attractions'||244|
|35||Mike Goes Crazy||261|
|37||The Australian's Wallet||270|
|43||A Special Visitor||325|
|48||My International Human Rights Lawyer||350|
|49||Witness for the Defence||358|
Posted May 3, 2012
This is the story of one of the most unique jails there are, one where you need to buy your cells, children roam the street and whole families survive inside. If you have EVER been interested in the jail system this is a book for you. The author commands your attention and it is really a book that I couldn't put down until it was finished!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2008